A CANCER patient from North Tawton helped to give something back to the charity that has supported her and her family with a charity event last Friday.

Serena Fewings, kitchen manager at North Tawton Primary School, had surgery and treatment for bowel and ovarian cancer last year and has just finished another course of chemotherapy after three further lesions were discovered this year.

FORCE Cancer Charity, based in Exeter with an outreach service at Okehampton’s Castle Ham Lodge each Thursday, has helped the mum-of-two by providing advice and support throughout and she wanted to find a way of repaying them.

She said: ‘The Support Centre in Exeter is a lovely place to go, away from the hospital.

‘It’s a nice place to just sit and relax. I also drop in for coffee with new friends I’ve made at Castle Ham and I’ll also be going there for massages.

‘I’m not the sort of person who can run, climb a mountain or jump out of a plane.

‘So a ladies’ night seemed like a good way for us to give something back to FORCE.’

She decided upon a ladies’ night at Quinns Hairdressers in Okehampton on July 31. There were drinks and nibbles served by topless waiters — including some of Okehampton’s firefighters — a raffle and silent auction.

Her friends and family, including children Karina, a theatre nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and media studies graduate Alexander, known as Jab, have been a great support to Serena during a tough time in her life.

In the past five years she has lost both parents and her husband Malcolm, who died in an accident, before her initial cancer diagnosis in January 2014.

Serena said: ‘The event went fantastically well.

‘Loads of people turned out to support it, and we sold out of raffle tickets two weeks before the event so the support has been absolutely fantastic.

‘We’ve raised more than I had hoped — £4,300 so far — and with some more money due to come in, I’m hoping that we can hit the £4,500 mark.’

Serena expressed thanks to her brother-in-law Dave Grimes and son Jab Fewings for their help sorting out the topless waiters, Dawn Pitts and the entire team at Quinns for their support, her sisters Tonya and Merissa for all their help, her daughter Karina for organising the silent auction and Launceston’s Tesco store for donating all the food for the event free of charge.