On Friday, March 15, ladies from across Bury met at Rapallo Italian Kitchen, Walshaw, for the 10th anniversary of the Ladies Lunch.

Run by the special events committee, the Ladies Lunch is where a group of loyal supporters of Bury Hospice gather for fun, laughs and fundraising.

Now in its 12th year (minus the Covid-19 years) the Ladies Lunch has consistently brought women together to focus on raising as much funds for the hospice as possible, each year.

The women have donated an astounding £160,000 over the last 10 years, with the recent event raising more than £17,000 on the day.

The Ladies Lunch is a phenomenally successful event that is self-organised and very well-established in Bury.

It brings more than 100 women from various local organisations and business backgrounds in one place to fundraise among friends.

Bury Times: Lee Rector, Jill Oliviero, Rosie Cooper, Jaqui Majid and Sarah Kendell at the eventLee Rector, Jill Oliviero, Rosie Cooper, Jaqui Majid and Sarah Kendell at the event (Image: Bury Hospice)

Jill Smalley, executive assistant at the hospice, has been attending the Ladies Lunch since it was established.

Jill said: “It's all about the hospice, it's brilliant and really good fun.

"What was raised on the day tends to be about the average raised each year, which makes a massive difference to Bury Hospice as a small charity.”

There’s always fun to be had at the Ladies Lunch.

Bury Times: Bury Hospice chief executive Helen LockwoodBury Hospice chief executive Helen Lockwood (Image: Bury Hospice)

This year, a magician and a fantastic singer called Connor Ryan kept the women entertained as they caught up with one another over a sit-down lunch of fine Italian cuisine with lots of flowing Prosecco.

Activities on the day included a silent auction and a raffle with outstanding prizes, which included football memorabilia, a wine tasting session with a sommelier for 12 people, and tickets to see Take That, The Killers, and the Jonas Brothers.

Anthony Lord, head of commercial income, corporate fundraising and lottery compliance at the hospice, compered this year’s event.

He said: “It was a good time, it was well attended - it was absolutely fantastic.”

Hospice community fundraiser Rachel Krafft, who also attended the event in support of the organisers, said: “The £17,000+ raised on the day is invaluable to the hospice as it allows us to continue providing support to our patients and their families.

“We, at the hospice understand the level of momentum required to run such an event, and keeping that level of momentum since 2013 is fantastic."

Rachel added: “The Ladies Lunch makes a huge difference each year by raising such large amounts of funding which helps get Bury Hospice a step closer to its ultimate goal of achieving sustainability.

“It really does help us to plant and move forward as a hospice, and we are certainly grateful.”

Head to buryhospice.org.uk/raise-money-for-us to find out ways that you can fundraise for the hospice.