A SPECIAL tree of remembrance will mark the 20th Witney in the Pink Day on Saturday in honour of all those who have lost their lives to breast cancer.

Fundraisers from the Witney Action Group of the Abingdon-based charity Against Breast Cancer will be placing the tree in the parish church of St Mary’s, on Church Green, and people are invited to write personal tributes to their late loved ones, and hang them on it.

Donated by Lyn Oswin of Enchanted Floristry at Minster Lovell, it will be there throughout October - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Witney Action Group chairman Jeanne Chattoe said: "Pink Day is a wonderful annual community event which raises money to fund vital research into finding a cure for breast cancer, but it’s also a day of remembrance, to honour those who have passed.

"We would like all those who have lost loved ones, not just from breast cancer, to add their own personal tributes by writing on the tags provided and hanging them on the tree."

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Pink Day was started by Ms Chattoe to remember her sister Delia Winkler, who died 25 years ago.

She said: "The concept was to keep my sister’s memory alive, and it’s amazing how many people still rremember Delia.

"Pink Day is such a special day, with people sharing memories of their loved ones, that we thought a tree in the church would give them a special focus on our 20th anniversary."

Ms Chattoe has successfully fought her own personal battle with breast cancer twice in the past, and other members of the Witney Action Group also have personal reasons for fundraising. Denise Barkley lost her mother to breast cancer aged 55.

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She said: "I was only 24, and it was so awful losing mum that I think I had blanked a lot of it.

"When I joined the group about 12 years ago and got involved in fundraising it gave me a focus, and it has helped a lot."

Another member was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago after seeing the pink balloons round town on Pink Day. She had been feeling unwell and it prompted her to see her doctor, who referred her for lifesaving treatment

Ms Chattoe added: "Pink Day is an amazing, uplifting event and if it makes just one person think and act, that speaks volumes."

The 20th Pink Day programme on Saturday, October 5, from 10am-5pm, is jam-packed this year and includes a pink car parade, flash mob, storm troopers, entertainment from bands, singers and dancers, tombola, cake stall and pink shop window competition.

Tin collectors are still urgently needed, plus tombola and cake donations.

Contact 01993 772449 or jchattoe@hotmail.com