Activism is at its finest when it is performed for the benefit of others and not in the cause of self-promotion. This morning a local girl and good friend, Joanna Manwaring (pictured right), organised a superbly successful local event at the Isleworth Working Men's Club in support of Macmillan Cancer Support's "World's Biggest Coffee Morning", a spectacular nationwide fundraising initiative in aid of the popular cancer support charity.
Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, medical and financial support and pushes for better care for cancer sufferers. Nurses help patients through their treatment whilst volunteers give a hand with some of the everyday tasks which so many of us take for granted but which for those suffering the ravages of cancer can be so stressful and difficult.
When I walked into the hall at the IWMC I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many people had turned up to offer their support to this project. Every table was taken, and locals enjoyed a chat over a cup of coffee and a bite to eat whilst volunteers sold raffle tickets for prizes which had been donated by local individuals and small businesses.
A food stall was well laden with a great variety of offerings that members of the community had prepared and donated, from tasty jam scones (diabetes be damned, they were lovely) to onion bhajis and some truly succulent mini samosas which I was just too polite to eat in the quantities that I would truly have liked, donation notwithstanding.
Aside from the charitable side of the event, it was great to reconnect with several people whom I used to see far more frequently when I was a more regular user of the IWMC. I had a number of interesting conversations in which all the old issues and concerns, as well as a few new ones, were discussed and pondered upon.
Our community is a lot richer for people like Jo, her partner Kevin and her helpers who gave up their time to make today's coffee morning a great success. A total of £430 was made for Macmillan Cancer Support, and a great community event was enjoyed by a whole lot of people, brought together in support of a worthwhile cause. Let's hope this catches on.