Women fundraise for hospice which cared for friend during cancer battle
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Women fundraise for hospice which cared for friend during cancer battle

Those close to Linda Saffer who passed away from the illness last October, are raising money for St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds

Three friends together in Linda's final weeks, from left to right - Sandie Donovan, Linda Ullah and Rayna Bowman.
Three friends together in Linda's final weeks, from left to right - Sandie Donovan, Linda Ullah and Rayna Bowman.

Friends of a Jewish woman who died from ovarian cancer last year are holding an auction day later this month to raise money for the hospice that cared for her.

Linda Ullah, known to many as Linda Saffer, worked in the pens department at Selfridges for 25 years and her mates this week said companies that supplied the famous store had stumped up expensive gifts for the auction on 24 March.

Friends Sandie Donovan and Rayna Bowman are hosting the day in Linda’s memory in order to raise money for St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, where the 59-year old spent her final weeks before she passed away in October.

“Linda lived in Gants Hill for most of her life and moved to Spain for eight years with her husband Sean to open a fish and chip shop,” said Rayna. “She didn’t have any children but adored my twin girls, who she called ‘The Dollies’.”

The couple returned to live in Leeds but Linda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, having earlier lost her sister to the same disease at the age of 53.

“Linda and her beloved Sean were together for 30 years and never left each other’s side,” said Rayna this week, ahead of the fundraising day at her home in Barkingside. “They had a very strong Jewish life together.”

She said the companies whose products Linda sold for 25 years had “really come good” in recent weeks, with one donating a £400 pen and another donating a £325 wallet. Paintings donated by local artists will also go under the hammer, as guests enjoy music and food – “especially bagels”.

Linda’s friends have also set up a JustGiving site raising money for the hospice, which by Wednesday had raised £1,139.

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