Published: 08:11, 28 October 2020
| Updated: 08:13, 28 October 2020
A breast cancer fundraiser has not let the coronavirus pandemic dampen her awareness efforts as she celebrates raising £6,000 via online raffles.
The Covid-19 outbreak has forced Kerry Banks BEM from Deal , who would usually host regular events around the district, to adapted her fundraising style.
In May, with the support of local people and businesses, she took to hosting twice weekly raffles for Breast Cancer Now using the Facebook live tool, from her pink-lit kitchen.
She started with just 25 numbers but it grew to 100, twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays, after people complained they couldn't get their hands on the £2 tickets quickly enough.
Two bumper raffles held last week - with 10 prizes rather than the usual three - helped mark the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month and Wear it Pink Day, and brought her total raised to an impressive £6,000.
Her efforts come as the charity has calculated that up to one million women in the UK have missed vital breast screenings which were paused by the NHS in March due to Covid-19.
It means around 8,600 women who have not had a scan could have undetected breast cancer.
Mrs Banks, who runs Deal, Kent and Sussex Breast Cancer Now Facebook page, said: "I feel really proud that I've found a way to continue fundraising throughout the pandemic as the charity needs us more than ever.
"The only event I have been able to safely hold throughout the pandemic was the annual Crocus Walk.
"But even that, we had to delay until the middle of September and was only held at a quarter of the capacity that we would usually do.
"People do not stop being diagnosed, needing treatment and support because of coronavirus.
"This all costs money so I'd like to say an extra special thanks to everyone who continues to contribute."
Businesses such as Whitehouse Kent, Bloody Mary's, Ants on the Go, Walmer Installations, PreLoved and smaller independent stores connected to Deal Delivers have donated prizes for the raffles such as wine, vouchers and accessories.
Further funds have been raised for the charity by businesses who took part in Wear It Pink Day on Friday, October 23.
Staff at Walmer Care Centre, Kerry's Bakehouse, and DFDS wore an item of pink clothing and made a donation.
Mrs Banks said: "I'd like to say a huge thank you all that took part in Wear It Pink especially our long term sponsors Whitehouse Kent for holding online raffles instead of their annual in-store event.
"They raised a brilliant £400."
To support Kerry's raffles with cash donations or gifts, contact her on 07708913976.