Blo Norton’ walk in memory of Uncle Charlie raises £12k for cancer charity

Carrie Barrett of Blo Norton, with family friend Sharon Ashdown and mum Ann Ashwell, on the sponsored walk for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Carrie Barrett of Blo Norton, with family friend Sharon Ashdown and mum Ann Ashwell, on the sponsored walk for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

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A Blo’ Norton family whose memorial sponsored walk brought in more than £12,000 said it was about raising “vital funds” for charity and putting “a smile on people’s faces”.

Carrie Barrett was joined by 62 family members, friends ad colleagues in a five-mile walk and Fun Day earlier this month, in aid of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF).

The event was in remembrance of her uncle, Charlie Flatman, who passed away from the disease on December 23, 2012 — aged just 58.

Ms Barrett, who works at Gressingham Foods in Suffolk with mum Ann, dad Bob and aunt Gill, said: “When Uncle Charlie died, it was a terrible shock.

“I don’t think we understood just how aggressive pancreatic cancer is, and we’d barely taken in his diagnosis before we lost him. It was a terrible time for the whole family as we felt very helpless.”

There was drama the night before the walk when the Fun Day party tent, located on fields in Blo’ Norton owned by the Barnett family, suddenly broke and blew away due to strong winds, before friends Karen and Andrew Warne rescued the situation by providing another marquee.

Attendees set off on the Fen Walk route, before returning for the Fun Day, which included live music by Norwich singer Terry Adams, plus bouncy castles, hog roasts and a raffle.

Ms Barrett added: “The event was about doing something positive — for families and friends to come together and have a lovely time.”

“Charlie would have loved that — and he would have found the saga of the tent blowing away hilarious!”

She also said Gressingham Foods had been “absolutely brilliant”, after the company pledged to match the amount raised for PCRF, a charity which supports research into more effective diagnoses and treatment of the disease.

Company co-owner Geoff Buchanan said: “This is definitely a worthy cause and one that’s close to our hearts at Gressingham Foods, as we lost our colleague Penny Reid to this cancer too, shortly after Charlie died.

“Gressingham is a family business and we’re proud to support our staff like this whenever we can.”