Award winning choir evening in South Yorkshire raises over £8,000 for Macmillan

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A coffee morning turned charity concert at Wentworth Woodhouse has raised over £8,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support with more still to come.

Winners of last year’s Gareth Malone’s naked choir, The Sons of Pitches, performed live to an initimate audience of 200 in the venue’s magnificent Marble Salon. Guests were treated to canapés and a glass of fizz on arrival, before being entertained to songs as diverse as Shannon, Kate Bush and a history of UK and Irish boy bands.

The evening was organised by Paula Lowson, a Macmillan Information and Support Manager based in Rotherham General Hospital, after seeing the impact Macmillan made on her own family but also through her work.

Paula said, “My husband was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we married in 1997. What followed was 3 years of treatment and thankfully Sam has been in remission now for 16 years. Due to the support we received from our Macmillan nurse Karen Jones, we agreed to become the faces for an appeal to build the Macmillan Earl of Scarborough Suite at Rotherham General hospital. Little did I know that I would then become the specialist Macmillan Information and Support Manager of the Information centre within the suite. We have since relocated to the main entrance which has made everything so much more accessible for local people. As part of my role I’m able to put people forward for Macmilan grants and I wanted to personally help and decided to organise an event in my own time to give something back.”

Paula added, “I also volunteer at Wentworth Woodhouse so knew what an amazing house we have on our doorstep. The original idea was to hold a coffee morning, but after seeing The Sons of Pitches at Sheffield City Hall earlier this year, and speaking to Deborah Smith at the house, I had my ‘light bulb moment’ and things just sort of escalated from there! Too many people to mention have given their time and resources to help me make this happen, including Wentworth Woodhouse and the fantastic staff who work there. I want to personally thank Giles Newbold for his kindness and generosity in allowing us to use this wonderful venue.”

A spokesperson for Wentworth Woodhouse said, “We are really grateful to the Newbold Family for providing this magnificent venue and to all the staff who have donated their time voluntarily. Many of us have benefitted from Macmillan services in the past, some at the moment, and unfortunately others will I’m sure need their support at some point in the future. Macmillan is a fantastic charity and one we are really proud to support.”

Macmillan fundraising manager, Amy Hebdon, said, “It was a brilliant evening and for Paula to turn this around in just five weeks and to raise so much is just phenomenal. We are grateful to everyone who helped make the event so successful. We receive no direct government support and rely almost 99% on public donations from people like Paula. Without their support none of our services would be available to local people affected by cancer and their families.”

If you are interested in holding an event for Macmillan, not matter what type or size, please contact Amy Hebdon, Macmillan fundraising manager on 07710 307050 or email

For information on weddings, event and tours at Wentworth Woodhouse please call Deborah or Emma on 01226 351161 or email