Northumberland woman raises thousands for charities after losing mum and good friend to cancer

An animal loving woman who lost her mum and a good friend to cancer has raised thousands for charity.

Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 9:00 am
Miniature horse Harvey at a Felton fundraiser.

Jen Phizacklea, 43, raised over £100 at an event at Gallery 45 in Felton when they offered people the chance to enjoy time and get their picture taken with miniature horse Harvey.

This followed the success of the Debs Boyle Memorial Charity Dressage event at the Todburn Equestrian Centre, near Longhorsley which raised over £2,600.

Jen, from Tritlington, said: “Macmillan, St Oswald’s Hospice and Wansbeck General Hospital have been instrumental in supporting both my mum and Debs at a time of their greatest need.”

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A rider at the Debs Boyle Memorial Charity Dressage event at the Todburn Equestrian Centre.

Debs, who was from Longhorsley, passed away as a result of secondary lung cancer, while Jen’s mum had Myeloma blood cancer.

“It was very hard to lose my mum, a retired nurse, in 2019 after she’d been first diagnosed in 2015,” said Jen. “Macmillan did such an amazing job supporting her and my dad especially in her last three weeks when they came into the family home allowing dad to focus more on emotional support for her rather than the physical practicalities.”

Jen first met Debs, who was in her early 60s, when she was caring for her ailing mum.

“Debs and I bonded over a wall at a stable in Longhorsley and had a shared love of animals, especially horses and dogs; after attending her moving and well attended memorial service when she sadly died in August this year I wanted to do something to honour our friendship.

Jen Phizacklea with miniature horse, Harvey, and her dogs in Felton.

“Despite the fact the weather was terrible on the day the Todburn event was a huge success which is testament to how popular Debs was. She had the most wonderful sense of humour and a wide circle of loyal friends.”

Sarah Goldie, fundraising manager for Macmillan said: “I want to send heart-felt condolences to Jen and all those who knew her mum and her friend Debs. We can’t thank her enough for her fundraising efforts and her decision to choose Macmillan as one of the supported charities. These are unpredictable times for everyone and our cancer caring services have never been needed more and fundraising more challenging.”

If you’d like to support Macmillan or need advice, please email [email protected] or call 0300 1000 200.