They teamed up and united over more than 22 years to organise numerous events and boost worthy causes.

But now two fundraising champions, whose lives have been touched by cancer, have announced that they are finishing their charitable work together.

Since Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis set up the Paul Cole Cancer Fund in 2000, many groups, organisations and individuals across Waveney and Great Yarmouth have benefitted from their remarkable voluntary work.

The friends and fantastic fundraisers from Pakefield in Lowestoft established the Paul Cole Cancer Fund in 2000, in memory of Mrs Cole's son who died from bowel cancer in 1999, aged just 35.

Since then almost £366,000 has remarkably been raised by the duo.

Lowestoft Journal: Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis. Picture: Mick HowesZoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

At a party for 80 guests to celebrate Mrs Ellis' 80th birthday last Friday, April 21, at the Old Red House in Carlton Colville, the pair reflected on their memorable period of charity work.

Mrs Cole said: "I feel sad about bringing fundraising to an end, but I am physically less mobile than I used to be."

Mrs Ellis added: "Although it is sad, Zoiyar has raised a fantastic sum of money for a range of deserving causes and her son would be very proud of what she has achieved."

Recalling how the fundraising started more than 22 years ago, Mrs Cole said: "As this is an end to our joint fundraising, I would like to say a personal thank you to all the people in and around Lowestoft and surrounding area who have supported me.

"I used to go around on my bike everywhere and the generous help and donations I received over the years has been marvellous.

"Today we have presented the residue of the fundraising to deserving causes."

Lowestoft Journal: Neil and Maria Butler, Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis, Linda and Peter Parker. Picture: Mick HowesNeil and Maria Butler, Zoiyar Cole and Janet Ellis, Linda and Peter Parker. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

Presentations were made to the Jessica Butler Family Fund - towards treatment for childhood cancer; the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the Lowestoft and District Deaf Society, as each received £500.

The Louise Hamilton Trust also received a cheque for £400.

Neil and Maria Butler received the donation on behalf of their granddaughter Jessica Butler and they expressed their gratitude to Mrs Ellis and Mrs Cole.

Maria Butler said: "Fundraising for further treatment for Jessica’s neuroblastoma is progressing and with the latest donation, £75,000 of the £380,000 target has been raised so far."

Mrs Ellis added: "I didn’t want any birthday presents, so guests have made donations instead for the Sandra Chapman Ward at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston - raising an additional £725.25, which was a lovely surprise.

"I personally wanted them to benefit as they saved my life when I was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.

"I feel lucky that I am here, and I have been in remission for the past three-and-a-half years.

"I can’t fault the NHS they have been absolutely marvellous."

Looking back over the past two decades of their remarkable voluntary work, the duo said: "We have organised a range of activities.

"We did a cycle ride for six years with the last one raising £17,000.

"The ride went from Pakefield to Kessingland on the country roads and we even had Bob Champion there.

"Then there was a toe-dip that we did for three years.

"In the first year we had 159 people holding hands either side of Claremont Pier to create the longest chain of people dipping their feet into the sea and hoping to create a record.

"But perhaps our biggest fundraiser was the charity shop ‘Jazos’ which we opened in Lowestoft, and this brought the most money in."

Both Janet and Zoiyar were recognised for their tireless work by being selected individually as the winner of The Lowestoft Journal Pride in the Community award in 2007 and 2008 respectively.