Group holds swansong event after 57 years of aiding medical research

The present Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research, with Jenny Prettyman missing

The present Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research, with Jenny Prettyman missing. - Credit: Mick Howes

A long-serving group has marked the end of an era after almost six decades of supporting medical research.

With the Lowestoft branch of Action Medical Research set up in 1965 its first fundraising event was a coffee morning that raised £11.10s (shillings).

The end of an era has been marked for the Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research.

The end of an era has been marked for the Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research. - Credit: Mick Howes

Now 57 years and dozens of events later, the Lowestoft committee has held its final meeting having raised tens of thousands of pounds.

The Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research held its final event in the marquee at the Park Hill Hotel, in Oulton, Lowestoft last week.

Co-chairwomen Margaret Cole and Jan Paterson said: “As this was our last meeting, we invited our loyal supporters to come and enjoy afternoon tea.

"The Lowestoft committee have been in existence for 57 years, although the charity - which is celebrating 70 years of saving and changing lives - was founded nationally in 1952 by Duncan Guthrie, initially to help fund research into polio and to develop the first UK vaccines.

"Over the years the charity expanded the research to cover all age groups with pioneering work into hip replacement surgery, developing Rubella and Meningitis vaccines, ultrasound scanning in pregnancy and creating the award-winning ‘Matrix System’ for disabled children."

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The research started with children’s diseases and the charity is now called Action Medical Research for Children.

The latest projects include research into the effects of Covid 19 and Long Covid on children.

The co-chairwomen said: "The first function was a coffee morning which raised £11.10s (shillings).

The Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research celebrating 50 years in 2015

Back then - A press cutting showing the Lowestoft committee of Action Medical Research celebrating 50 years in 2015. - Credit: Mick Howes

"The Lowestoft committee have arranged many different fundraising events and in 1982 are thought to be one of the first in the town to arrange a car boot sale which originated in America as a tailgate sale.

"Other events have included sponsored horse rides and lunches with interesting speakers, fashion shows, quiz nights, floristry and cookery demonstrations - and in just the last 27 years we have raised £102,100."

Mrs Cole added: “Over the years we have had great times at fundraising events and have made lots of friends.

"It has been wonderful.

"Sadly, this is the final meeting of the Lowestoft branch due to age of the committee and due to our inability to raise money during covid.

"All good things come to an end, and we have raised significant sums of money over the years but is now time to call it a day."