Jeanne Chattoe, from Witney, is the founder of Witney in the Pink, an event that has been held in the town since 2000 and raised over £250,000 for Against Breast Cancer.
After losing her sister Delia to breast cancer in 1994, and twice overcoming the disease herself, Jeanne was determined to raise money towards breast cancer research, fund pioneering treatments and improve early diagnosis.
As a retailer in Witney, she inspired fellow businesses in the town to dress in pink for one day every year and hold events to engage the local community in breast cancer awareness. ‘Witney in the Pink’ has since become a major fixture in the local calendar, supported by the town council and the charity of which Jeanne is now Chair of Trustees.
This year’s event saw Jeanne presented with a Points of Light award for Outstanding Voluntary Service which was made by local MP, Robert Courts who presented her with a personal letter of thanks from Prime Minister Theresa May who wrote “Witney in the Pink has brought your community together for a fun and entertaining day for nearly two decades, raising thousands of pounds for pioneering breast cancer research. It is a wonderful tribute to the memory of your sister Delia and I wish you every success as you continue to grow the fundraising event.”
Robert Courts, MP for Witney, said “I was delighted to present Jeanne with this fantastic award to recognise all she has done for our local community. ‘Witney in the Pink’ represents the best of Witney – coming together to support others and their families when they need it most. ‘Witney in the Pink’ has been and will continue to be an enduring gift to the town, and we are so grateful for the hard work of Jeanne.”
Bernadette Jones, Chief Executive, one of a select few who knew in advance of the award said “Jeanne has played an intrinsic part in Against Breast Cancers’ fundraising efforts and raising awareness for our vital research into secondary spread breast cancer. Her dedication is inspiring and we are delighted that her hard work has been recognised with such a prestigious award.”
Listen to Jeanne being interviewed on Radio Oxford recently where she explains how her sister’s diagnosis led her to begin fundraising and her plans for Witney in the Pink’s 20th anniversary in 2019.
Congratulations Jeanne for this most well-deserved award.