Bev Connolly died aged just 47 – now ‘Team Bev’ have taken up her cancer fight

Team Bev with Bev in lilac, centre, at an afternoon tea event at Houghton Rugby Club in February last year.

Team Bev with Bev in lilac, centre, at an afternoon tea event at Houghton Rugby Club in February last year.

Friends of a devoted mum who died from cancer are raising funds to help others in her memory.

Bev Connolly was just 47 when she died at St Benedict’s Hospice, in Ryhope, Sunderland, in January.

The late Bev Connolly.

The late Bev Connolly.

She had been a patient at the hospice throughout her illness and was supported by her friends, who dubbed themselves Team Bev, in raising vital funds.

Now the team, led by Bev’s good friends Paula Lydiatt and Marguerite Harvey, are channelling their efforts into raising £14,000 for a scanner for the hospice.

Their fundraising will continue today, on what would have been Bev’s 48th birthday, with an afternoon tea and a charity rugby match at Houghton Rugby Club.

It marks the start of 16 challenges to be undertaken throughout the year, with the second seeing Team Bev run the Kielder Night Marathon, in Northumberland, after today’s tea. Other challenges will include the Great North Run and a Coast to Coast.

Bev was such a lovely person and more than 400 people were at her funeral. We all want to do this for Bev, Paul and the boys.

Marguerite Harvey

Marguerite, of Houghton, said: “When Bev needed any investigative treatment she always had to leave the hospice and go to hospital and she hated that, so hopefully the scanner will mean more people can stay in the hospice instead of having to travel for treatment.”

Team Bev will also be putting on events, such as a race night and afternoon tea with the fundraisers culminating in a grand masquerade ball in October. Money raised throughout this year will also go to The Alzheimer’s Society and the charity Brain Tumour Research.

The team is backed by Bev’s husband Paul and her stepson, Liam, 25, and sons Jamie, 19, and Oliver, 12. They will also have the support of the First Herrington Scout Group where Bev was a leader.

Marguerite added: “Bev was such a lovely person and more than 400 people were at her funeral. We all want to do this for Bev, Paul and the boys. I’ll be doing all of the challenges throughout the year but anyone can join in along the way.”

To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/teams/bev16.