Moreton Hall pub's Sylvie Smith surprised with signed Liverpool FC shirt after cancer charity work
A popular Bury St Edmunds barmaid who has raised thousands of pounds for charity since she was diagnosed with breast cancer has been thanked by the community for her efforts.
Sylvie Smith, who has worked at the Moreton Hall pub for 10 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and was told she was cancer-free after a mastectomy in October that year.
Since then, the 60 year old has been fund-raising for West Suffolk Hospital’s chemotherapy and breast cancer units, in which she received treatment, and has even done two sponsored head shaves.
“I have raised about £3,500 so far but I’m definitely going to keep going,” said Sylvie.
“Working in a pub environment means that so many people learn you’re trying to raise money and they’re more than happy to help which means a lot.”
And it was at the pub that Sylvie was surprised with a signed Liverpool Football Club shirt – a team she has supported since the 60s – as a reward for her fund-raising.
The well-timed surprise, which came on the same night that Liverpool received a guard of honour after having been crowned Premier League champions, was organised by Nigel Canham, a regular at the pub and friend of Sylvie’s, who also roped in the help of pub landlady Jenny Pyne and mayor of Bury St Edmunds Cllr Peter Thompson.
“I didn’t suspect a thing because I just thought we were setting up for re-opening on Saturday,” said Sylvie, who got a tattoo of the club’s slogan ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and a breast cancer ribbon when she was first diagnosed.
“When it all happened, I started welling up and I literally had tears. I can’t put into words how it made me feel, I am actually lost for words.
“Ever since I was diagnosed, I’ve never had to go through anything alone because everyone at the pub went through it with me. They’re like my family and we look after each other.”
Cllr Thompson, a fellow Liverpool fan, said: “I have known Sylvie for over 10 years and she is a pillar of the community with a heart of gold.
“She does everything for others and the fact she was so surprised is a clear example of her humility. She thoroughly deserves her recognition.”
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More by this authorRhoda Morrison
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