Landlady of Northampton pub wants to give back to Cynthia Spencer Hospice after losing two people ‘very close’ to her

A Northampton landlady who saw the work of Cynthia Spencer Hospice twice last year is planning to raise funds for the charity.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 9:00 pm
The Old Five Bells pub will host a charity day in the summer to raise funds for Cynthia Spencer.

Liz Cox, who is in charge of the Old Five Bells pub and entertainment venue in Kingsthorpe, is determined to give something back to the hospice where a friend and her ‘second dad’ both spent time before they died.

The 45-year-old said: “Last year I lost two people very close to me.

“A musician who used to play with us died in July last year and the man who was my second dad died in October.

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Christy Strong (left) and Michael Whatton (right) both spent time in the Cynthia Spencer hospice before they died.

“I was able to see first-hand the work they do and the support they give the families.”

Both Christy Strong, who played the music at the Old Five Bells’ ‘Irish Sunday Fundays’, and Michael Whatton, who Liz called her ‘second dad’, died from cancer last year.

She said: “Christy had a very quick battle with cancer. He was diagnosed in January and was told he had 18 months, but was gone by July.

“Michael had a long fight with cancer over 10 years. He was 71 when he died.

Christy Strong (left) and Michael Whatton (right) both spent time in Cynthia Spencer Hospice before they died.

“The cancer had spread all around his body by the end.

“He was my second dad and his wife is my second mum. My best friend growing up was their daughter.”

Both men spent time at the hospice before they died.

Liz added: “It’s an amazing place and it means so much to us.

The Old Five Bells pub will host a charity day this summer.

“I think most people in Northampton have got a story to tell about Cynthia Spencer.”

The hospice has been the pub’s chosen charity since Liz and her partner took over in 2017 and this year the landlady is organising a charity day to raise funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

She said: “I saw it twice last year so I want to give something back to them.

“What Christy and Michael went through is my driving force. Luckily I am in a position where I know I can do it.”

The 'Cynthia Spencer Day' will be held at the Old Five Bells pub on Saturday July 5 and will consist of music, food and drink, as well as stocks that Liz has ready.

To make the day a success, the landlady is on the lookout for musicians, face painters or any other volunteers who can help out.

If you want to get involved, you can find out more information on the event Facebook page.