Birthday bash for Wigan cancer unit volunteer

Keith Roberts celebrates his 70th birthday with a garden party and bake sale in the Wigan Cancer Centre
Keith Roberts celebrates his 70th birthday with a garden party and bake sale in the Wigan Cancer Centre

A popular volunteer at Wigan’s cancer unit celebrated the same milestone birthday as the NHS with a fund-raising party.


Keith Roberts marked turning 70 with the event in the sensory garden at the Cancer Care Centre at Wigan Infirmary.

The location was extremely special for Keith, from Standish, as he started receiving treatment at the venue to control his incurable condition multiple myeloma in 2010 and was asked to join the committee of a project to create a new garden in 2014.

Since then he has helped out wherever asked, including volunteering on the reception desk one day a week.

He said he was delighted to be asked to share his big day with the staff, volunteers and patients at the Cancer Care Unit and equally thrilled by the fact more than £160 was raised through donations on the day.

Keith said the care has received has been first class.

He added: “I think it was because of all the volunteering and work I’ve done there that they decided to put the little party on for me. It was incredibly nice of them.

“Fortunately it was a lovely day with beautiful weather. We had gazebos up, people brought cakes they’d baked in and quite a lot of people were there.

“I’ve also got some donations so I’m hoping they will add another £70 or so on top of what we raised on the day.

“The cancer care centre has been very good to me. The care has been absolutely terrific.

“There’s very much a personal touch there because it’s a local hospital and everybody knows you when you go.

“It’s a really warm and wonderful place.

“It’s actually quite joyful, believe it or not, there are always people laughing and joking and it’s a pleasant atmosphere.

“Some patients have actually said when they have finished their treatment and don’t have to come any more that they will miss it.

“I suppose it’s the security of always having somebody here you can ask questions.”

Keith is now organising another annual fund-raiser with the Friends of Haigh Woodland Park which involves all proceeds from the crazy golf course for a day going to the cancer unit.

Golfers can try out their skills for a good cause on August 15, with the course opening at 11am. Participants can just turn up and play on the day.