Determined Yasmin’s campaign in memory of husband Ken

Yasmin (left) and her fundraising team

By Peter Barnett

When Yasmin Bailey’s beloved husband Ken died from pancreatic cancer in August 2013 just ten weeks after diagnosis, she vowed to do all she could to raise awareness about the disease and raise funds for ongoing research.

Yasmin, from Ramsgate, remains determined to do all she can.  This is her story:

“Ken and I had been in the St. John Ambulance for many years, Ken being the Divisional Superintendent of the Ramsgate Division.  Because we had to continually fundraise for all our equipment and ambulances Ken and I had a strong background in fundraising.

“Shortly after Ken’s death I learned about the charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF) and the work they do funding research programmes into this terrible disease to aim for earlier diagnosis and better forms of treatment for pancreatic cancer patients.

“I decided that I wanted to do something constructive in Ken’s memory and so I started my own fundraising for the charity.

“Several of my friends joined me in this quest and so the journey began.  To date we have raised £61,076 for PCRF.

“Over the years we have held many different fundraising events and I do have collecting tins at various outlets mainly in Ramsgate.

“From April 2024 there will be changes  to PCRF  as Maggie Blanks, who founded the charity in 2004 following the death of her husband from pancreatic cancer, will be retiring after giving 20 years of dedicated work to the charity.  This means that there will be no more new research programmes supported by PCRF as the charity is scaled down.   This does not mean however that PCRF is closing down, indeed far from it.

“In 2023 five new projects were funded by PCRF and so donations received up to 30th April 2024, along with the charity’s reserves, will be used to fund those latest five projects, most of which will run for three years.

“The PCRF Pancreas Tissue Bank will also require ongoing funding.  The continued funding from PCRF will ensure that this vital resource is maintained for researchers worldwide as it transitions to becoming self-funding.

“Owing to these changes, Maggie has been having extensive discussions with Diana Jupp, the CEO of the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK (PCUK) and her management team when their new five-year strategy for research was discussed.   Its vision outlines a bold and impressive commitment to not only increase the charity’s investment in research, but also to campaign hard for greater government funding to be allocated to pancreatic cancer research.

“Maggie is actively encouraging us to consider supporting PCUK in the future in order that we can continue to drive vital progress in defeating pancreatic cancer.

“I have discussed my future with Maggie as I want to continue to support this vital work and the five 2023 projects will continue to need support as indeed the Tissue Bank will and therefore the two events which we have planned for April and May will be in support of PCRF.”

Yasmin Bailey and Rock the Pav co-founder Andy Burring

The first of these is the sixth annual Rock the Pav music showcase at the Pavilion in Harbour Street, Broadstairs, from midday to 5pm on Sunday, April 28. So far these events have raised in excess of £10,000 for PCRF.

Admission is free but there will be bucket collections during the afternoon. There will also be leaflets available about PCUK as an introduction for anyone wishing to learn more about the work that they do.

The second event is The Thanet Male Voice Choir concert on Saturday, May 18, at the Sarah Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs, starting at 7.30 p.m.  Tickets are £12 in advance and £14 on the night and can be obtained from the Sarah Thorne Theatre Box Office.

Yasmin added: “I am dedicated to continue to support any work into the research of pancreatic cancer and I thank everyone who has helped us to raise this amazing amount of funding over the past 11 years and I now look forward to the next stage in this journey.”

Details of these changes can be found on the PCRF website

Anyone wishing to have further information regarding Yasmin’s support of PCRF and PCUK in the future can contact her via email at [email protected]