A mum from Croydon is appealing for residents’ help after the coronavirus pandemic and associated quarantine measures severely impacted the fundraising efforts of the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Sharon Ann-Gayle, 56, was given just months to live by healthcare professionals after she was diagnosed with cancerous myeloma and amyloidosis (a rare and serious non-cancerous condition caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein) at the same time.

During her treatment at St George’s Hospital she was given care by a Macmillan nurse and psychological support by Macmillan too. Now she hopes to encourage Croydon residents to help her support the charity after lockdown saw a massively damaging 73 per cent drop in sign-ups to its once-popular coffee mornings.

“I don’t know what I would have done without my Macmillan nurse, Jo,” Sharon recalled.

“That’s why I’m so pleased to be taking part in a Coffee Morning this month, in the park, after me and my friends from the Macmillan Move More group have enjoyed our specialist exercise session,” she added. “I want to give something back as I could not have coped without Macmillan’s help.

“I could hardly move after cancer treatment...But now I’m active once again with the added bonus of meeting some great people – I love them!”

Last year, Londoners signed-up for more than 16,000 Macmillan Coffee Morning events, raising some £71,800 to fun the charity’s vital cancer support efforts.

This year, figures show the number of people planning to hold a Coffee Morning across South London have fallen by a staggering 73 per cent, leading to the charity worrying there will be an equivalent fall in money raised.

“Emma Stokes-Heley, a Macmillan Senior Fundraising Manager for London said:

“There has never been a more terrifying time in recent history to receive a cancer diagnosis with disruption and delays to treatment and fears of becoming infected with Coronavirus.

“While the traditional coffee morning can’t go ahead, there are still lots of ways to take part and raise money to fund services that are needed more now than ever before

To help Macmillan out and get involved, click here or call: 0330 102 7810.