Friends scoop national charity award

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A YOUNG woman who lost her dad to cancer has received a national award for her contribution to charity.

Cancer Research UK’s annual Flame of Hope Awards recognise remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering made by people from all walks of life.

And Annabelle Morel, from Hellidon, and her friend Gemma Welsh, from Southam, scooped the young volunteers of the year accolade.

An audience at the Hotel Russell in London heard how the two friends, now 21, have shown exceptional dedication to Cancer Research UK by raising more than £16,000 from a fundraising ball in memory of Annabelle’s father, Myles Morel.

Mr Morel died from lung and oesophageal cancer when Annabelle was 17 and at the age of 18 she decided to organise the ‘best ever’ night out to raise funds for Cancer Research UK so that others would not have to face the same experience as her family.

Annabelle said: “I was bowled over when I heard we had won an award, we had a fabulous day and felt really honoured.

“Losing my Dad was very hard on us all, particularly as I have three younger siblings.

“I am quite a shy person normally and I would never have dreamed that I could do something like this. My Dad would have been proud, and probably quite shocked.”

The friends are now planning a second fundraising event in September 2013 and have joined the Cancer Research UK local action team to help others with fundraising activities.