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‘Bev’s big gig’ at City Hall on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

“Mum always wanted to help people. Through her cancer journey she didn’t want others to feel that they were alone and that they could reach out.”

October sees Breast Cancer Awareness Month return, starting with a night of high emotion and stunning entertainment at Sheffield City Hall.

On Sunday 2 October, the second instalment of BB With Love’s Simply The Best will take place – a concert which brings together leading lights of the West End, TV, film and music on one stage in Sheffield in memory of beloved mum and wife, Bev Croke.

The event is set up by the Croke family, from Sheffield, to continue Bev’s legacy of supporting others going through cancer, following her sad passing in March 2021 from breast cancer, aged just 61.

“By setting up BB with Love, it’s like saying from Bev with love – through us, she’s still able to help you,” said Rachel Croke – daughter of Bev and Michael and sister to Sean and Matthew.

“That’s where the inspiration came from putting BB With Love together and setting up the fund. It’s where working with Weston Park Cancer Charity has come from. We wanted to help and want to continue what mum wanted to do in helping people.”

Simply The Best 2022 takes place at the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual event designed to raise awareness for cancer symptoms, support and care available for the thousands of people and families facing a diagnosis just like Bev and the Crokes.

The Croke family have worked tirelessly since Bev passed away to do just that – raising almost £40,000 to support Weston Park Cancer Charity’s cancer support services and to enable treatment advances through research in our region.

Last year’s inaugural Sheffield City Hall concert was a huge success. Organised by the Croke family and starring RMC Academy of Theatre Performance Principal, Rachel, and West End and The Voice star, Matthew, it raised more than £35,000.

This year’s concert will again feature a moving performance by Sheffield Cancer Choir – of which Bev was a much-loved member before she passed away, taking part in gigs both online and in-person.

Matthew, a leading West End star himself, recalled the times Bev spoke to him about her own performances.

“She said to me before she was performing ‘oh Matt, what are you doing tonight because I’ve got a gig’,” said Matthew.

“Very often she would ask me what I was doing that day, and I’d say ‘oh I’ve got a gig later’. So it was her turn to have a gig – and this is her big gig. That’s the way I’m looking at it.”

As well as raising vital funds, the Croke family want BB With Love and Simply The Best to raise awareness of the support which is out there for cancer patients and their families.

Michael Croke said: “Treatment is getting better every day. It’s improving all the time and for every penny we raise, if it pays to wards helping raise awareness of the support which is out there, particularly mental health support, or if someone up at Weston Park’s research centre finds a treatment which gets us closer to a cure – wouldn’t that be wonderful?

“It’d be absolutely wonderful. And you never give up on that. We never will. That’s what’s motivating us in every way. Beverley’s passing… There’s got to be a reason for it.”

Stars including Hayley Tamaddon, Melissa Jacques, George Ure, Jahz and Darius Duncan (aka 2Che) will return for this year’s Simply The Best, joined by Ella Vaday, Daniel Brocklebank, Matt Henry MBE and more.

The event is set to be hosted by none other than Gok Wan – all to support cancer care and advances in treatment in our region.

Get your ticket online or call our team for more information.

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