A GLITZ and glamour ball has raised thousands of pounds to help in the fight against cancer.

A total of 400 guests enjoyed the event which was held at Gladwin's Farm in Nayland.

The ball, which was organised by Susie Bradshaw, Laura Strathern and Lois Holder, raised a total of £40,000 with half the proceeds going to Cancer Research UK and half to the Cancer Centre Campaign.

For all the women, they are causes close to their hearts.

Susie and Laura both lost close relatives to the disease while Lois fought and won her own battle against anal cancer.

Susie and Laura donated half the cash raised to Cancer Research UK while Lois donated hers to the appeal to create a new £4.5 million cancer centre at Colchester General Hospital.

Lois underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer when she was 39.

She told guests at the event about her experiences - prompting one businessman to stand up and offer free use of a new car for a year as a raffle prize which raised £2,500.

Mother-of-three Lois said: "I told them about my journey and my success at being cancer free.

"I said how I got my life back, how I was still able to kiss my children goodnight and have the chance to make memories with them.

"I will be able to see my youngest daughter, Tallulah, start school and my son, Harry, start college.

"In my bleakest of days, these are memories I never thought I would have. I cherish them and I am grateful."

Lois has previously backed the Cancer Centre Campaign by donating £7,000 from a previous ball to the fund.

Lois, who lives in Leavenheath, said of the new £20,000 donation: "I am amazed at the amount raised, it is phenomenal.

"No-one is exempt from cancer and we need these facilities in Colchester and patients fighting cancer deserve them."

The Cancer Centre Campaign, which is backed by the Gazette, aims to create a new centre to bring all cancer treatments and support services together.

To support the appeal, text GAZE11 £10 to 70070 (or choose a different amount).

Cheques can be made payable to CoHoC Cancer Centre Campaign and sent to Colchester Hospitals Charity, Turner Road, Colchester, CO4 5JL. Donations can also be by going to www.CohoC.org.uk.