Ruth, front row, second from left, and team.
More than £1,600 was raised at a book and cake sale in memory of Claire Prosser and Tom Clabburn at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House on Monday, December 15.
Claire’s close friend and colleague, Ruth Akins, organised the event: “Claire was due to run the sale in memory of her son, Tom. The Friday before Claire died, she was concerned about the sale and I had promised her it would be fine. I never thought I’d be running the sale in her memory as well as her son’s. “
All the money raised will go to the re-named Tom and Claire’s Fund, which supports the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young.
Ruth continued: “It was astonishing to see how many books Claire had already collected only weeks ago from her former 5 Live colleagues at BBC North. With help from various people from around the BBC, we had more than 300 books on sale.
“We also had a large number of delicious cakes to sell too, thanks to the generous bakers we had in our midst. An extra thanks goes to Lorna Donlon who, as at previous sales, has always provided us with the most gorgeous cakes. “
Helpers from within the BBC were joined by Claire’s close family friends and Ruth said: “I think they found some comfort in meeting Claire’s colleagues and hearing their happy memories of her.
“Nothing will bring Claire or Tom back to us but running events such as this helps us keep their memory alive and continues their legacy.”
Claire’s husband, Paul Clabburn, said: “I was very touched but not the least surprised when Ruth said she was going to carry on with the book sale as a tribute to Claire. That’s Ruth for you. Claire and Ruth were a brilliant professional team and very close friends and Ellen and I would like to thank Ruth for her support over the years.
“We are also, as ever, astonished by the number of helpers that Ruth has listed below – we are extremely grateful to everyone for their time and commitment. Thank you.”
Organising/Book collection and delivery – Gillian Dear, Geraldine Ryan, Romello Arulanandam, Matthew Turner, Isabel Turner, Gina Bentley, Dave Bentley, Kate Riley, Sandy Smith, Elaina Boateng, Suzanne Yates, Jessica Latimer. With special thanks from Paul and Ellen to Annie Flury for so many years of organising the 5 Live books.
Cake providers – Victoria Lee, Jane Kinghorn, Lorna Donlon, Geraldine Ryan, Dhruti Shah, Ruth Akins, Ronnie Macfarlane, Jane Saunders.
Book sellers – Sue Ellis, Jane Kinghorn, Sam Upton, Alison Lobo, Jacky Hems, Sue Howells, Isabel Turner, Felix Turner, Anna Eastment, Kate Riley, Gina Bentley, Suzanne Yates, Phil Thomas, Chandrika Kaviraj.
Cake sellers – Mariita Eager, Victoria Lee and Dhruti Shah. “Mariita was the queen of cake selling – they were sold out by 1:30pm and we didn’t finish until 3pm,” said Ruth.