Caring landlady wants to help cancer sufferers

Jo Clarke Johnstone
Jo Clarke Johnstone

Tea towels spark a fire

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When pub landlady Jo Clarke Johnstone was asked to hold a fundraiser day at her pub, she didn’t have to think twice about agreeing to it.

Jo, who runs The Brewer’s Arms, in Milton, Portsmouth, lost her auntie Christine Mooney, 62, to cancer in May last year.

She also had to fight off a rare form of the disease herself 18 years ago.

Following discussions with beautician Alexandra Cruther, Jo decided she would hold a family fun day on Saturday, August 17.

Money raised from the event will go to Look Good Feel Better, a charity which helps female cancer sufferers get their confidence back.

It starts at noon and lasts all day.

There will be live music, DJs, a bouncy castle, a play area for children, a barbecue and beauticians will offer advice and treatments.

A signed Pompey shirt will also be auctioned off.

Entry is free.

Jo says: ‘This is about raising money for women with cancer who are getting support in dealing with chemotherapy.

‘It’s about their looks and getting the right colour eye shadow that will suit them now they have lost their hair.

‘It’s about giving them confidence and getting them through difficult times.’

Jo says a target hasn’t been set – but she would be happy to raise £1,000.

‘I don’t think this charity gets any funding,’ she says.

‘It’s all done on fundraising.

‘Alexandra came to me and asked if we could do this at the pub.’

Talking about the effect Christine’s passing had on her life, Jo says: ‘It was pure devastation – to me and my family.

‘We are a close family.

‘She didn’t smoke or drink and led a good lifestyle – for her to have had such an aggressive form of cancer wasn’t fair.’

In October last year a team of 33 customers cycled across Portsmouth in fancy dress costumes in a bid to fund ongoing treatment for seven-month-old Sophia Sizer Hellard, who has kidney disease.

Sophia, who lives with her mum Becky Hellard in North End, Portsmouth, has been cared for by staff at Southampton General Hospital’s nephrology ward since her birth.

Jo says she enjoys helping others.

‘I think that if you are in a position like I am, and you are able to do things for other people, then you should do it.

‘If you are running a pub and putting on events anyway – why not do it to help others?’