THE women at the Bay Horse pub, in Heighington, near Darlington, like to do things differently - not that Macmillan Cancer Support is complaining.

When friends Claire Carlton and Jane Riddiough heard about the charity's Macmillan Night In, which encourages supporters to host a fundraising dinner party, they turned the idea on it's head and organised a "Macmillan Girls' Night Out".

"We're just not the sort of girls who stay in," said Claire, as she and fellow fundraisers returned to the pub to present the charity with a cheque for £1,200.

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"A few of us have a monthly get-together at the pub and when Jane heard about the Night In initiative and spread the word, it just grew and grew."

Twenty-seven "girls" from Heighington and surrounding villages gave a donation to attend the night, which featured a quiz and a variety of games, and there were raffles of gifts donated by the pub, some of its regulars, the village Spar shop and businesses in the area, all helping make the event a huge success.

The women were inspired to support Macmillan because a work colleague and close friend of Claire, Jan Egerton, was given "amazing" support by its nurses while battling mesothelioma.

Claire, who worked with Jan at Hall Constuction Services, in Rushyford, near Bishop Auckland, said: "Sadly, Jan died in January, but she would be so proud to know what we did for Macmillan in her name. I know Macmillan is also a charity that is close to the hearts of Chris and Sue Flint, landlords at the Bay Horse, so they were keen to host the evening.

"Perhaps best of all, the fundraising really gave community spirit in the village a real lift, so I'm sure there'll be more events to follow."