AN OXFORDSHIRE grandmother is planning a 'glittering fashion show' to fundraise for a cause close to her heart.

Former Wallingford town councillor Maureen Norton lost her daughter to cancer last year - but was so impressed with the care she received that she now volunteers for the Sue Ryder South Oxfordshire Palliative Care Hub, in nearby Nettlebed.

And now, in addition to her weekly volunteering as a receptionist at the hospice, the 68-year-old is planning a September fashion event at a local hotel.

Mrs Norton's daughter, Emma Norton-Smith, died at the hospice aged just 46, in January 2018.

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The grandma of four explained that her daughter had breast cancer but – despite intensive treatment and the cancer going into remission – the disease later spread to her brain, spine and chest - a 'devastating blow for the entire family'.

However, Mrs Norton added: “I am not exaggerating when I say that without the hospice and the Sue Ryder staff, as a family we would have quite simply fallen apart.

“The staff do such an incredible job day in and day out, they displayed such kindness and empathy. I really don’t know how they manage to contain their own emotions each day with the things that they face.

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Mrs Norton and her daughter

“But they do, and they were a tremendous comfort to us all.”

Amid a busy and active social life, the married mum-of-two mans the reception desk, answering phone calls and being the first point of contact for all visitors and patients to the hospice.

She says she 'looks forward' to the work and that 'it helps to know that I am giving something back.'

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As well as giving up her time volunteering, Mrs Norton is now planning an event to raise funds for the hospice.

The ‘Déjà vu Fashion Show’ will take place at Wallingford's Shillingford Bridge Hotel, from 2pm - 5pm on Saturday, September 28.

But this is far from her first fashion show - one that she organised in Portugal raised an impressive €20,000.

Using second hand clothes, this latest event will also include afternoon tea and bubbly as well various stalls selling jewellery, shoes and handbags. And both the venue and all performers have agreed to be involved free of charge.

Mrs Norton continued: “It promises to be a truly fabulous day and is sure to sell out.

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“Events like this go a long way to supporting the truly incredible work that Sue Ryder do, that my family and I will always be grateful for.”

The event will also include a raffle with prizes including a week’s holiday accommodation in Portugal, restaurant vouchers and beauty hampers.

After her cancer returned, Mrs Norton's daughter moved home for eight months before local community nurses referred her to the hospice.

Her mother recalled: “Emma was at the hospice over the Christmas period and as bizarre as this sounds she said that it was the best Christmas Day that she had ever had."

Tickets to the show cost £20 and are available by calling 07946 407 967.

Raffle tickets are available from the hospice.