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Nottingham woman’s Swish for Chris events raise almost £7,000 for Maggie’s in mum’s memory

A Nottingham woman whose mum died of a brain tumour has raised almost £7,000 for Maggie’s in her memory.

Christine Newport was diagnosed with a tumour in April 2016.

Despite surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Chris sadly died on 18 August 2017, aged 76.

Swish for Chris events – which her daughter Lisa Newport started as a simple clothes-swap social – have so far raised £6,874 for Maggie’s at City Hospital.

“My mum loved glamour,” said Lisa. “She loved clothes and jewellery. She always had her hair done and her make-up on and was often stopped in the street by strangers, complimenting her on how lovely she looked.”

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Lisa is a qualified designer, lecturer and make-up artist, who describes herself as a style liberator.

“Right up until just a couple of weeks before we lost her, I had to make sure I had my nail kit with me when I saw her to do her gel nails.”

Lisa works with women on their personal brand, teaching them how to choose colours and clothes that express their personality, and make them feel empowered.

“Mum was going through her treatment and was feeling overwhelmed by all her stuff. I helped her clear her wardrobes of clothes, shoes, jewellery and handbags that she knew she’d never wear again.

“I’d seen the idea of a Swish on social media, and thought it’d be a great way of fundraising linked to my business of colour and clothes. And so I ran my first Swish for Chris in March 2017.”

A Swish is when you take a bag of clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories that you no longer want, and go home with a bag of stuff that you do want.

Anything left over is bagged up and taken to Sharewear, a Nottingham charity that provides emergency clothes, shoes and bedding to people across Notts.

“Mum was delighted that her things were part of a fundraiser. Her clothes and jewellery are proudly worn by members of my community and I’m sure she’d be happy that they are continuing to be enjoyed.”

In total, Lisa has raised around £9,500 for Maggie’s, the hospice that cared for her mum, and Brain Cancer Research. Surplus clothes and accessories have been donated to Cancer Research UK and Sharewear.

“I’m very fortunate to have a great team of volunteers who get involved each time,” said Lisa. “They bake cakes, run the refreshments, donate raffle prizes, sort clothes, or meet and greet – it’s a real team effort.”

Lisa intended to make Swish for Chris an annual event but like so many other things, those plans ground to a halt when the pandemic hit.

Now restrictions are easing, Lisa has a Swish for Chris planned for Saturday 5 February; the proceeds will again go to Maggie’s.

“Maggie’s is such a lovely, welcoming place with an open-door policy to help and support anyone whose life is affected by cancer,” said Lisa. “Unfortunately, it’s a resource that has been tapped into by too many people I know.

“I spent a couple of years delivering skincare and make-up classes there through the Look Good Feel Better charity. To know that you might have brightened up someone’s day while they are going through a tough experience just by giving up a bit of your time is quite rewarding and humbling.

“But I found it too difficult to keep up once mum became ill.”

Annie Walton, Centre Head at Maggie’s Nottingham, said: “We are so thankful to Lisa for raising funds to help people with cancer and their family and friends in Nottingham. People with cancer need our support now more than ever and her donations will help us continue to provide free practical and psychological support in the centre, online and over the phone.”

Lisa’s next Swish for Chris takes place from 2-4pm on Saturday 5 February at Sherwood United Reformed Church.

“Mum would be over the moon that we are bringing people together for a heart-warming social event, enjoying a natter with a cuppa and a cake and updating their wardrobes  – while supporting such worthwhile causes. She’d feel quite honoured, proud and special – which she was.”

For details, visit: Swish for Chris 2022.

Find out more about Sharewear: Sharewear Clothing Scheme

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