6th December 2013

Hi Everyone.    

Just the regular update from PPR land.      Before I start, I must correct an error from last week.    The “Black, White and Pearls Ball” is 7th November 2014, not the 14th!     It’s a bit of a poor do when I ask you to ‘save the date’ and I tell you the wrong date, isn’t it!

Well, it’s been another busy week.  Last night we had our ‘Pearl Party’ at Dawna’s house in Beech Avenue.    This was a really nice pre-Christmas event.    Dawna made us all very welcome with drinks and tasty tapas and she has the perfect home for entertaining.  The event was well attended and besides Val’s lovely pearl jewellery, we’d several other Christmas items on sale.   Dawna the host and Val the Pearl Lady 5.12.13

Val ‘the Pearl Lady’ and Dawna, our Hostess

I was really pleased to be part of it.  All of the gifts on sale were such fantastic value for money.   I looked after a stall selling candles and Christmas cards.  I can tell you, I was very busy and the till was ringing!       We had a ‘Tree of Life’ manned by Paula and I think everyone was very pleasantly surprised indeed when they opened their present from the tree.   One of our guests texted back later to ask if there were any more – alas, No!   It was a complete sell out. 

Paula at the Pearl Party 5.12.13

Paula and the Tree of Life

Irene and Jetta were selling Irene’s beautiful pinafores, cushions, and several other goods all, quite literally, as it said on the label, “lovingly handmade”.      Irene has a real talent for this.

Irene and Jetta at Pearl Party 5.12.13

Jetta, “Pinny & Pearls” and Irene

So all in all, thank you very much indeed to all who took part, especially to Dawna for letting us enjoy her beautiful home and hospitality.   

Earlier in the week, you could say we had our first meeting in the new office!     It was a mini-meeting and we were surrounded by wrapping paper and gifts in preparation for the Pearl Party evening and not a lot else, as the furniture was not in place at that point.   Sue, Paula, Pammie and I met to discuss how to take forward our proposals to support the carers of brain tumour patients.   From our meeting with Macmillan the previous week, we know they are keen for us to start up such an avenue of support as there is nothing like this in our area.   They are offering us several courses to equip us and we are eager to gain as much of their knowledge as possible on this.  However, the bottom line is, we just want to offer empathy and understanding and maybe some advice, borne out of our own experience, as to what might come for those who find themselves in the position we were in.   Coincidentally, I had coffee with a friend yesterday and she told me about a friend of hers whose husband has been diagnosed.  Without me having told her about PPR’s planned support, she asked me about the illness and the turns it would take on behalf of her friend.  I recall having such a need to know more when Ian was diagnosed.  I had never even heard of the words “Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV” before.   The medical profession could give me a lot of advice but I had so many other questions.   I hope we can go a little way to assisting those who ask us at what will be the most awful time of their lives.

So, just like everyone else, we are having our Christmas lunch out this coming week.    No fundraising that day – I think we deserve a social event when we’re not ‘on duty’.    We’ll be missing Irene and Margaret, unfortunately, but hey, girls, we’ll raise a glass to you both.

Until next week, all the best.    

Rosie x


30 November 2013

Hi – long time, no see!     I’ve been trekking around down under with Sue in New Zealand.  We had a brilliant time and met some super people.   It was no holiday though!  We joined a tour and although we got to see a vast amount of the country, it meant being up and out by 7.30 each morning, living out of a suitcase and sleeping in a different bed every night.  Still, it all added up to a great experience.     And of course, as you might imagine, we used our time there wisely.     We put the word out about Sue doing the Great North Swim in June and I suggested to our fellow travellers that they might like to sponsor her by donating their unused foreign currency.  Well, this turned out to be a great idea and Sue collected both New Zealand and Hong Kong dollars.  I don’t think she’s converted them back to Sterling yet but as soon as she has, the money (and it was no small sum) will be added to her Just Giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/Sue-Forsyth

Meanwhile, back at home, there’s been plenty going on.   A Pearl Party has been organised for this coming Thursday evening, details of which Pammie mentioned in last week’s blog.   She also mentioned the Ball that we are holding next year (14 November – Royal Hall, Harrogate). Well, I won’t go into too much detail about that yet except to say that we’ve had a wonderful prize donated for the auction that we’ll be holding that night – only a week’s holiday in a lovely house in Majorca!    Not bad, eh!   

And talking of donations, they are still coming in thick and fast and in many guises.    Jetta was at a meeting last week and was handed £50 in cash for our cause;   our architect, Chris Robinson, on top of everything else he has done for us, sent us a £500 cheque and a lady called Ginny who works in the coffee shop at Chesterfield Hospital (where Pammie was visiting one of our PPR ladies, Margaret who is in their care at present) also made a donation, on the back of asking Pammie what her badge meant.     Again, the generosity of people wanting to support our research never ceases to amaze us.  

Earlier this week, we met with a lady from MacMillan to talk about the support group that we are wanting to set up and I am pleased to report that we have their full backing.   We would like to offer support to those people who are going through what we did when our loved one was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.   Brain cancer is different from other cancers as it obviously very quickly affects the way the sufferer’s mind works.  The person closest to the brain tumour sufferer can feel very alone when they undertake this journey with their loved one.   We would like to be able to ‘be there’ for the carer.

And on a much lighter note, we had our fund raising Wine Tasting yesterday evening at Dr B’s Kitchen.  It was great!    9 different wines to try from Graham Coverdale of House of Townend and lovely food to accompany the wine by Dr B’s Kitchen.    It was well attended and everyone seemed to be having a merry old time.  Definitely worth doing again!

All the best and see you next week.

Rosie x


Friday 22nd November 2013

Well Hi again …..  Everyone,

I am posting this, my final blog today as, thankfully, our lovely Rosie will be back, blogging again, with you all next week; on Friday 29th November so this is my ultimate blog.

Rosie and Sue have so much to share with you all from their experiences in The Antipodes and, we are all looking forward to hearing about their travels from the other side of the world. (Amongst it all, they have even endured an earthquake)!! – Lovely Sue slept through the whole thing – well done Sue – I too slept throughout the UK tremor a few years ago!!!!)

I have certainly enjoyed sharing all our PPR news with you all and I think I have been very privileged as I have been able to tell you about, amongst others, two very exciting events in my last two blogs. The first being that my most amazing and dedicated, ‘Six PPR Ladies’ won the Volunteer Oscar for the ‘Unsung Heroes of Harrogate’ and, how very proud I am of them all. If a group of uniquely dedicated volunteers ever deserved an Oscar – these ‘Six’ wonderful PPR ladies certainly did.

The Magnificent Seven

Jetta and Irene certainly rose to the occasion on the evening in question to accept this Oscar on behalf of the ‘Six PPR Ladies’; they deserved their own private Oscar for their performance; they are our two quietest and most gentle PPR Ladies



The second wonderful piece of exciting news was confirmation from Rebecca Turnbull, (Sales Manager for HIC), that The Royal Hall has given us this stunning and special venue, totally free from a hire-fee, for our inaugural;

PPR Foundation; ‘Black, White and Pearls Ball’

To be held on Friday 7th November 2014. This is the very first time that The Royal Hall has awarded such a concession and we are so very privileged and indeed, humbled that they have chosen us as their very first Charity to receive such a generous accolade. Thank you to everyone who has made this happen, especially to Rebecca who was foremost in instigating this amazing initiative.

Image 1

pprwinetastingnov2013thumbThis week has been quite quiet by comparison to the last, but we are very excited that a week tonight as, on Friday 29th November, Rosie is hosting her very first ‘PPR  Event’, (the first of many we hope),  – A Wine Tasting Evening at Dr B’s. Tickets are selling fast so please do contact Rosie to secure yours. rosielvr@gmail.com It promises to be a really super evening and you will taste some wonderful wines and can even place an order in time for Christmas delivery. Dr B’s are providing super canapés; do come and join us; it will be such fun.


How very lucky we are to have another event on the evening of December 5th, very generously hosted by Mrs Dawna Goss at her Beech Grove home and The PPR Ladies thank her so much for her generosity.

Val Jones, from Borcq will be showcasing her bespoke pearl jewellery, on sale that evening, (prices from £10 upwards). Val is very talented; she re-strings precious pearls for so many people, (including The Gentry); takes bespoke commissions, makes superb jewellery and, is always in such demand.

The PPR Foundation will, on the evening have a ‘Tree of Life’; with fabulous prizes and our ticket price, (which is only a minimum cost of ‘£1’ – our signature donation). We will also have a wonderful array of unusual and special Christmas candles and ‘Christmassy Bits’ for sale.

A glass of fizz, coupled with Dawna’s specialist handmade canapés certainly cannot be missed; do please come and join us for this lovely pre-cursor to Christmas – it will certainly get you into the Christmas Spirit with a vengeance.

Our new PPR Office in Ripley is now nearing completion and we cannot wait to start our very important work there. The carpet tiles were supplied and laid, (courtesy of Graham Ervine (of ‘Design Contract Flooring’), totally free of charge. ‘Uncle Graham’, you have been so generous; thank you so much from all at The PPR Foundation – we all owe you so much.



Asia has been in the office this week, cleaning it to …… – within an inch of its life and, she will not accept any payment whatsoever for her services; QUOTE, “Pammie; it is all for PPR”.  Also, Maciek, Asia’s husband, works quietly, (and also free of charge), in the background doing all those jobs that so desperately need doing and, the ones that nobody else wants to do. Thank you Asia and Maciek so very much; you have been so generous. We are so grateful to you both; we love having you both on board,Image

We have been very busy unpacking boxes of kitchen equipment and other sundry items – all needed for our office and, all anonymously donated. We are humbled by the kindness of so many people; thank you all so very much – you all know who you are even though many of you choose not to be named.



I cannot write my final blog without highlighting the very serious side of The PPR Foundation. It is a tragic fact that, it is not only the individual diagnosed with a brain tumour that suffers; it has a devastating effect on the whole family and also upon on their close friends. It is a terrible shock, bewildering and horrifying to all when this horrendous news is delivered. Life can never, ever be the same again as I know from my own very devastating experience; for everyone concerned changes at that absolute moment; it

Much, much more needs to be done to ensure that increased funding goes into brain tumour research. We desperately need to understand why this illness is on the increase, especially in children – WHY?  To that end, we need to double, even  treble our efforts. It is absolutely shocking that 60% of Brain Tumour Research is charity funded and that only 0.7% comes from the government.  Even more shocking is these  statistics are unknown.  It is 2013 for goodness sake! Why are these awful stats hidden?

The PPR Foundation is dedicated to raising funds, raising the profile but above all, the awareness of this definitely ‘FORGOTTON’ cancer.  Please help to eradicate this forgotten cancer; this devastating ’Ticking Time Bomb’. Research is the only way forward; funding is essential; we need your help.


Welcome home Rosie and we look forward to hearing from you next week.

Have a great weekend everyone


Monday November 18th 2013

Well Hi everyone,

It’s me again, the ‘Deputy Blogger’, standing in for Rosie for the penultimate week of her tour of the Antipodes.

Well, several things have happened this week and one of them is this. A really delightful lady, Dawna Goss, has invited us to her home on the evening of Thursday 5th December from 6.30pm onwards as she is hosting a ‘Pearl Party Evening’ in her home Her kindness is amazing and she has promised to produce some very exciting nibbles for us all to spur us on with our shopping; a super pre-Christmas event.

Val Jones from Borcq is going to showcase her fabulous pearl jewellery, (all of which will be available to purchase). Furthermore, Val would be delighted to take commissions; no matter how small, for bespoke pearl jewellery. Val’s talents are wonderful so please do take advantage of this opportunity; one certainly not to be missed. (She will also re-thread your existing pearls and is always in demand; her knowledge is second to none).

We at The PPR Foundation will have a ‘Tree of Life’ and gifts from this tree can be purchased for a minimum cost of £1. All gifts from the tree are valued at in excess of £5; many are worth significantly more. Our PPR Foundation charity Christmas cards will be available and also, lots of unique Christmas candles and ornaments. Don’t miss this event; it really is a ‘Too good to miss evening’; please put the date in your diary immediately.

Our new office in Ripley is now nearing completion and Graham Ervine, (Uncle Graham’), of Design Contract Flooring is supplying and fitting our new charcoal grey carpet tiles totally free of charge. Graham came over to measure last Tuesday and the carpet will be fitted tomorrow; we are so lucky – everyone has been so terribly kind 

I know that I am late posting this blog, but that is intentional as I was awaiting confirmation of some wonderful news. The PPR Foundation are planning to hold their inaugural ball in November 2014 and to that end, Paula and I looked at several likely venues, one of which was the magnificent Royal Hall; The Palace of Glittering Gold! I have only five minutes since put the telephone down after speaking to the delightful Rebecca Turnbull who is the Sales Manager for this amazing venue. Rebecca has told me that the charge for the hire of The Royal Hall for:

The PPR Foundation; Black, White and Pearls Ball, 

WILL BE WAIVED! It is the very first time that they have chosen to do this and we feel both privileged and humbled that they have chosen our charity. All I could say was ‘WOW’ and then I simply couldn’t wait to write and tell you all about the many kindnesses that have come our way since my last blog!

One more blog from me next week and then Rosie will be back. Have a great week everyone

Warmest regards




Friday 8th November 2013


Me again everyone; Rosie’s Deputy Blogger!


Well, the absolute euphoria of last Friday’s Oscar success is still keeping us all on a high! For our PPR Ladies to be the winners of ‘The Harrogate Unsung Heroes Award’ is absolutely brilliant and I am so very proud of them all.


We do however, have another three very valuable PPR Ladies, Paula, Sue and Joanna whose lives have also been touched by Brain Tumour journey. They work so hard for us and we are very lucky to have them all. Let me tell you all a little more about them all ……..


Paula was the Regional Fundraiser for Dr Barnardo’s for 12 years; she brings a wealth of experience with her and really does keep us all on the straight and narrow. Her expertise is invaluable to us, (but she is incredible fun also), and she is a critical member of our team; I do not know how we would manage without her; thank you Paula, from us all.  


Sue, a nurse with lots of neurological experience, has recently decided to have a career change. She has now qualified in massage therapy and is planning to undertake other complimentary courses. Sue does not charge for her treatments; she just asks that a donation to The PPR Foundation be put into one of our collecting boxes; what a generous lady Sue is.


Joanna, our lovely Polish volunteer, has a friend in Poland; Karolina, who has recently been diagnosed with a GBM 4; the very worst diagnosis there is! This jettisoned Joanna into action and she has become an intrinsic part of our fund-raising team and we just love having her on board.


Three more ‘Unsung Heroes’ methinks; they all certainly all get my Oscar!


I did say in last week’s blog that I would ask Irene and Jetta to write a paragraph about the ‘Oscars’ from their perspective and Irene has absolutely insisted that I print a recent eMail of hers in the blog. To quote …


“For the blog could you just write the email I sent everyone and I mean all of it please – I want the bit about you in as I want the world to know what you mean to us and how unselfish you have been nominating all of us? As your wingman I demand it!!”



Dear Girls,

                  To say Jetta and I were surprised last night is an understatement  – more like gob smacked! It was an honour and a privilege to collect The Unsung Heroes Award on behalf of us all and just wish we all could have been there. To meet such lovely people who, like ourselves, seek no reward was truly humbling and quite emotional but we were very proud. It would have been nice to say a few words but we never got the chance, as I wanted to say something about Pammie who nominated us in the first place.

Without you Pammie there would be no PPR. You are our inspiration, our strength, our vision, our driving force and our dear friend and I hope you know what you mean to each and every one of us – and for once just accept some praise!! We still have a long way to go but with you at the helm how can we fail in our hope that a cure will be found one day,


 Of course our husbands are our Unsung Heroes and always will be but I do think they would also be so very proud of us all,


Much Love,


Irene x


I whole-heartedly applaud the fact that indeed our late husbands were all absolute heroes. They endured the most awful illness bravely and without complaint; research is definitely the way forward!


I also asked Rosie, our absentee Chief Blogger, to send some news from her and Sue in New Zealand; their greeting is below


Message from Sue and Rosie is “Kia Ora” (which means Hello in Maori).




Back to business; Paula and I were very busy on Wednesday looking for a venue where we could hold our inaugural ball in 2014; it will be called:


The PPR Foundation; Black, White and Pearls Ball’.


It is all very much in the early planning stages, but very exciting things are afoot; more news hopefully in next weeks blog. People are all so kind and I am constantly humbled by their generosity; we are so lucky.


Well everyone, have a good weekend, (despite the weather), and I will be back next week with my final blog before Rosie’s return.



Well Hi everyone; I am Pammie, Rosie’s ‘Deputy’ for the next few week whilst her and Sue are away on their travels. Rosie is a hard act to follow, (she writes the Blog so well), but I will do my best, so here goes: 

November already and Christmas is just around the corner. Talking of Christmas, why not order our PPR Foundation Christmas cards: They will be available from our website as from Tuesday November 5th.

On Saturday, I received an eMail from James Hall, (a very dear friend of my late husband), telling me that he had collected £80 from his friends for The PPR Foundation. Thank you James and please thank all who so generously donated.

On Wednesday, I received a text from Craig, our builder who told me that he had collected some donations for us both monitory and ‘in kind’. IBPM, (bathroom and kitchen suppliers), donated free taps and clicker-waste; they also sold us the sink at cost. (Craig even managed to sell the sink that we were unable to use and put the monies towards the new one). EPS, (Jody and Daz), who supplied us with the boiler and all the plumbing fittings, gave us a Cheque for £50. Choice Building Supplies, (Gary and Andrew), who have supplied all the roof trusses and doors very kindly gave us a £40 cash donation.

I opened an eMail this morning from Ask Building Control from Paul Willmore and Paul Sessford; I quote, I’m please to announce that we’ve decided to donate 50% of the Building Regulation fee that was paid for our services on this project, to The PPR Foundation. Our donation will be £135. After speaking to Craig, we have looked at the website and we’re sure your work will benefit lots of people. Your newly created office is great, and we wish you all well with the good work.”

I wrote to thank Craig from us all and this was his reply, It has been a pleasure working for both yourself & the PPR foundation. It is lovely to see a group of people devoted to their memories  & working hard to achieve a goal for such a worthy cause.” Craig

Wow! People are so kind.

Friday November 1st was the evening that the results for The Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars were to be announced. I had nominated our six lovely widows, The PPR Ladies, as they work tirelessly for our cause. Imagine my surprise when I received an eMail from Councillor John Fox telling me that they had won The Ackrill Media Group Unsung Heroes Award, sponsored by The Harrogate Advertiser. Councillor Fox then went on to say that that I had to keep it a secret! We were all invited to attend the reception at 6.30pm so, without giving anything away, I e-mailed all the ladies and asked if they were free. One by one they all replied and as each eMail came in, my heart sank lower and lower; it appeared that they were all going to be globetrotting! Thankfully, Jetta and Irene were both available to join me at the reception to be held at The Old Swan Hotel at 6.30pm.

They both arrived and I simultaneously handed them both an envelope containing a copy of Councillor Fox’s letter; they were both very quiet for a few moments and then said that they would be delighted to accept this on behalf of the seven husbands who were so cruelly and prematurely snatched away from us.

I have left Irene and Jetta representing us all at the ‘Winners Dinner’. I hope that they have a wonderful evening and cannot wait to hear about it. Maybe,  …. Irene and Jetta should write at least ‘part’ of next week’s blog! Watch this space.

Have a great weekend everyone and a big hug, from me, to ‘The Globe-trotters’ 


25 October 2013

Today is Ian’s birthday.   I couldn’t write this date without acknowledging its significance to me.   We’d have been going somewhere nice this evening and no doubt sharing a really good bottle of wine over dinner.    

Today also represents another special occasion.    Our lovely friend and photographer, Tim Hardy, and his fiancée, Hannah, are getting married.   Tim does so much for Team PPR, asking for no fee and removing all copyright. We wish them all the very best and send lots of love from all at The PPR Foundation.

We had our bi-monthly PPR meeting yesterday;  we’ve taken to having them at Dr B’s Kitchen in Harrogate as it’s an ideal venue.  We can discuss all that’s on the agenda and then have a super lunch, beautifully served in the restaurant downstairs.    That’s why I chose Dr B’s as the venue for our Wine Tasting on 29 November.  They’re just spot on!

The meeting, as ever, brought up lots of new ideas:  crafts that could be made to sell;  E-baying unwanted items to raise funds;  attendance with our collecting buckets at next year’s Horse Trials at Allerton Park.  For this latter suggestion, we have Lady Mowbray to thank.  She came along to our meeting and can make this happen for us.    (The words “friends” and “high places” come to mind!)

And the money keeps rolling in!  Jetta told me that a local group called Spectrum is organising coffee mornings to raise money for two local charities and we are one of them.    Spectrum is a social group for people who have been bereaved and they get up to all sorts of activities.    Good luck with the coffee mornings and thank you very much for thinking of us!

Pammie was at a party last week and the PPR logos on her car doors were noticed.   When she explained what they represented, an £80 donation was made by Neil;  another £50 was given by Kate Wilkinson and then another £110 from Julie Dedman (our Patron) who continues to collect donations on our behalf.  So in a very short time, Pammie had collected in £240!   She makes fundraising seem like child’s play!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for all those donations.

Oooh, and before I forget.  Last week I mentioned about our Justgiving pages.  Do you know that you can donate to PPR’s brain tumour research fund by sending a text?    This way you can donate as little as £1.   (Apparently if you donate via the Justgiving webpage, it’s a minimum donation of £2).   Why not give it a try right now and see if you are successful?     Text 70070 quoting ROWE57 £1 

Well, Pammie’s taking over the blog for the next few weeks but I’ll be back soon!