A TASTY spread of cakes, biscuits and treats – plus a sprinkling of celebrity faces – welcomed guests to a charity’s fundraising tea party.
The Wessex Haven’s Tea Cosy was held yesterday at its Titchfield centre as part of a UK-wide Big Tea Cosy Week which runs until Sunday.
Celebrity appearances included actress Sarah Parish, who has appeared in television shows including Peak Practice, Doctor Who and Cutting It, ex-footballers Paul Jones and Francis Benali and ex-Southampton boss Lawrie McMenemy.
The Wessex Haven is the fourth Haven breast cancer support centre to open in the UK, and donations towards its nationwide Tea Cosy event have already reached over £26,000.
Fundraising member Alison Ascough said the event was critical in raising the profile of The Haven in the community, allowing villagers to see what happens behind closed doors.
The Haven’s usual events consist of one-to-one support meetings, pilates, yoga, and tai chi but yesterday’s event saw the doors open to the public for six hours.
Mrs Ascough said: ‘The celebrities are really important because they are a draw for people, it makes them interested in what we are doing.’
Mr McMenemy, who was in charge of Southampton for 12 years, said: ‘Every charity is a good cause, I’ve always said get involved with the community, if you can help – then do.
‘That’s why I’m here, it’s about spreading awareness.’
The 79-year old added: ‘Footballers and the managers get paid unbelievable salaries, they should always remember the man in the street and they should help if they can.’
Founded in 1997 by Sara Davenport, The Haven provides emotional free support and advice on dealing with practical aspects of life – such as money, work, eating and exercise – as well as coping with the side effects of treatment.
For more information go to thehaven.org.uk.