Sisters’ pledge in memory of mum

Emily and Francesca with beloved mum Denise, in whose fundraising footsteps they are following
Emily and Francesca with beloved mum Denise, in whose fundraising footsteps they are following

When sisters Emily and Francesca Clifford joined the Girl Guides, they made the Girlguiding promise to do their best and serve the community – a vow that now stands as a shining tribute to their adored mum Denise Clifford, a former division and district guide commissioner, who they lost last summer.

Just a couple of days after what would have been Denise’s 50th birthday, the girls raised £1,849 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation by taking part in the charity’s annual Walk in the Dark, an 11-mile night-time trek from Chorley and South Ribble Hospital to Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Denise had been treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre for breast cancer. Doctors discovered the cancer had spread to her liver but after further surgery, she was given the all clear only for the disease to re-appear as a brain tumour.

Heartbreakingly, after battling cancer for the best part of two years, Denise died following surgery to try and remove the brain tumour last July.

Emily, 17, a Lower Sixth pupil at Kirkham Grammar School and a member of the Kirkham District Senior Section Unit of the Girl Guides, said: “It was originally mum’s plan and goal to raise £1,000 for Rosemere. Myself and Francesca have now taken it upon ourselves to try our best to raise money for the charity for her.”

Since Walk in the Dark at the end of April, Emily and 14-year-old sister Francesca, a pupil at Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School, have raised a further £191.77 by baking cakes and selling them at Kirkham Dance’s recent dance medal test event and Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School parents evening.

They also have further fundraising events planned. Emily has set up a Just Giving page at

Dan Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s head of fundraising, said: “Emily and Francesca’s commitment and bravery makes for a shining tribute to their mum. It’s testament to the fantastic values she instilled them, which is a wonderful legacy. We are proud, just as I’m sure she would be, to have them on board as supporters.”

The money raised by Emily and Francesca will be put towards Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s 20 Years Anniversary Appeal.

, launched last year to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of Rosemere Cancer Centre, Lancashire and South Cumbria’s regional specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

It provides all local radiotherapy treatment as well as other specialised care for cancer patients throughout the two counties.

The appeal has already funded two of a trio of ground-breaking projects – a Da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system to enable more patients to undergo keyhole surgery and an oncology research co-ordinator to grow the number of clinical trials undertaken at the cancer centre.

This will enable more patients to have access to the very latest medicines and treatments being developed globally to combat the disease and in some cases, years before they become available on the NHS.

The third and final project is a total overhaul of the cancer centre’s in-patient Ribblesdale Ward, including the creation of a more age appropriate area for teenage and younger patients.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer services and treatments to cancer patients being treated not only at Rosemere Cancer Centre but also, at another eight hospitals across Lancashire and South Cumbria that look after cancer patients, including Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Lancaster Royal Infirmary. For further information on its work and how to donate, visit its website at