A cancer survivor and long standing UNISON member has raised money for The James Cook Holistic Centre

Liz Lillie beat cancer of the oesophagus two years ago thanks to the care she received from James Cook Hospital.

During that time she began treatment for her pain at the hospitals Holistic Centre, which helps cancer patients deal with pain through a selection of wellness treatments including massage, acupuncture, reflexology as well as emotional support such as counselling.

“I work at Teesside University but when it closed during the lockdown, I had a lot of spare time on my hands so I began baking everyday to keep occupied, then I’d deliver the cakes to James Cook.” said Liz.

“Then I then joined forces with my neighbour Wendy McGuinness to set up a socially-distanced neighbourhood bake sale, bingo and a raffle to keep spirits up locally.”

Liz said that lockdown brought her neighbourhood closer together, and gave many a purpose to safely leave their house.

Through the events the pair raised £383 for The Holistic Centre where Ms Lillie underwent her treatment, but both decided to donate the extra money to reach £500.

“It’s spreading a bit of much needed kindness to people who really need it,” she said.

Teesside University Branch Secretary Denise Ward said “Liz is a caretaker here at Teesside Uni and hasn’t been able to work on campus during lockdown. We love to hear from our members about what they do in the community, so it’s great to see her doing something so worthwhile as well as supporting our NHS.”