DARLINGTON’S Gypsies have pledged to do what they can to support cancer nurses as they prepare to throw a huge party in their honour.

Gypsies from around the country are expected to visit Darlington next month for the next charity event to be organised by members of the Welch family.

Last year, members of the travelling community helped to raise more than £6,000 for Darlington’s Springfield Care Home, where the late Lizann Welch was cared for.

The sum was raised through a ‘Mothers and Daughters’ party organised by Mrs Welch’s daughters and attended by people from across the UK.

This year, Natalie Welch Knight will join Suellen Welch Lowther and Renee Welch Barton to host another charitable event, this time in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care.

Mrs Welch Lowther said: “Our girls were begging us to do another event as they had so much fun at the last one.

“When times are hard, the travelling community comes together and one family helps the next.

“We have all lost someone or know someone who has lost someone to cancer and we will rally around to help each other and if we can help anyone else, we will pull together to do it.

“We chose Macmillan because their nurses have helped loved ones and they are there to help people who are in the last moments of their life, whoever they are.”

The UK’s Gypsy leader, Billy Welch, is backing his nieces’ charity efforts and urged others to lend their support to the cause, saying: “We think a lot of Macmillan nurses – they do the same things for us as they do for anybody else in this country, they do not discriminate.

“My uncle just died after a long life and they were there for him and there for my father – they’ve always been there for us, and everybody else.

“This is an opportunity to give something back to them for the good work that they have done and I think a few more people should do the same.

“They do vital work and people do not appreciate this until they become ill or someone in their family does.”

  • The party will be held at the Engineers Club in Darlington on Friday, November 16 and will feature a disco, raffle and running buffet.