About Ilkley Candlelighters

Ilkley Candlelighters was formed by Rosemarie and Liz in 1982. The two sisters sadly lost a brother when they were children and, later in life, Rosemarie’s two-year-old son John was diagnosed with leukaemia. Initially, John responded well to treatment and went into remission but sadly the disease returned after one year and he passed away six months later.  

A group of friends and the two sisters came together initially to organise fundraising activities in an act of gratitude towards the staff who cared for John during his time at the Unit. They raised funds for Candlelighters to purchase equipment for the Children’s Cancer Unit, then at St James’s Hospital in Leeds and now at Leeds General Infirmary. Thus, Ilkley Candlelighters was created.  

After John’s death, the group continued to raise funds in his memory, inspired by the courage he showed whilst enduring often gruelling and painful treatment. Solely run by volunteers, Ilkley Candlelighters continue to raise funds to research into childhood cancer to this day.

Fundraising Efforts and Key Achievements  

Over the last 40 years, Ilkley Candlelighters have raised over £1 million for Candlelighters. By being entirely run by volunteers, they ensure that every pound raised can be dedicated to funding cancer research.  

Ilkley Candlelighters have organised many balls, auctions, and events over the years and they continue to organise collections to this day. Rosemarie and Liz have given their own money and the volunteers at Ilkley Candlelighters have given their time to hold unforgettable events such as the ‘So2You’ Fashion Show, an ‘Enchanted Evening’ and a Masquerade Ball. 

Ilkley Candlelighters’ Chair, Alison Clay, and members of the committee hand over a cheque to Marie Peacock, Candlelighters’ Head of Income Development. 
Jo Shepheard, Charity Director of Candlelighters accepts the cheque from Ilkley Candlelighters Chair, Alison Clay, and Treasurer, Denise Smith.
Jo Shepheard accepts the cheque from Ilkley Candlelighters’ Chair, Alison Clay, with committee members Denise Smith, Claire Parr and Sally Roulston.

Fundraising Event Highlights:  

Street Collection - June 2023

The Ilkley Candlelighters volunteers took to the streets to raise all-important donations.  

Ladies Golf Day - September 2021

The group putt their skills to the test, organising a fantastic ladies golf day fundraiser! 

SO2You Fashion Show - September 2019

Seventy guests attended Ilkley Rugby Club on Friday 27th September to enjoy an entertaining evening and shopping that raised over £1,300.  

An Enchanted Evening - May 2019

On Saturday 11th May 2019 a wonderful ball was held in Rudding Park Harrogate raising an incredible total of nearly £30,000. 

Masquerade Ball - May 2018

Ilkley Candlelighters held a wonderful ball at Rudding House on Saturday 12th May raising an amazing total of nearly £40,000 towards childhood cancer research.  

Classico Latino Evening - May 2017

The award-winning Classico Latino group were joined at the Ilkley Winter Gardens by the Ilkley Operatic Society to offer a wonderful display of music and colour.  

To the Moon and Back Ball - May 2017

Another fabulous ball was held at Rudding Park on 6th May 2017 raising an unbelievable total of over £50,000!  

Join the group 

The Ilkley Candlelighters are a welcoming group and would love to have new members join in their efforts. If you’d like to be involved or would like to find out more, contact the Ilkley Candlelighters Chair Alison Clay, at [email protected] or Prize Co-ordinator Sally Roulston, at [email protected]

Our stories

Introducing the Nominees: Company Colleague of the Year
29-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Chloe Cross   Reception Manager Chloe Cross is the reason Candlelighters became Sky Betting & Gaming Charity this year. Her willingness to make a difference took her out of comfort zone in December 2017 when she stood up in front of peers and delivered an emotional pitch for Candlelighters, that later inspired hundreds of employees …
Introducing the Nominees: Event of the Year!
23-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Introducing the next award category nominees: Event of the Year! These amazing nominees have organised outstanding innovative, creative and challenging events to support Candlelighters. Bank of England Following the launch of the new £10 note in September, various Jane Austen notes with low or special serial numbers were auctioned for charity in October last year. The auction, …
Introducing the Nominees: Fundraising Innovation Award
23-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Introducing the next award category nominees: Fundraising Innovation Award!  These amazing nominees have come up with new and interesting ways to raise funds and awareness. We want to recognise them for thinking outside the box and utilisting their unique skills to support Candlelighters.   Pig & Pastry Julia and Steve Holding decided to do something …
Introducing the Nominees: Team Effort
20-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Introducing the next award category nominees: Team Effort of the Year!  These groups have worked hard thorough out the year both fundraising, raising awareness and supporting Candlelighters. Here is some more information about each of the nominees: Leeds RAG  The Leeds RAG undertook their Pedal to Prague challenge, cycling from Leeds to Prague in June …

Your stories

Company donates a good night’s sleep for families
23-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
  Cleckheaton based company, Duvalay, have generously donated 10 of their most comfortable mattresses to the Candlelighters Cottage, due to open in October. The Cottage will provide home from home accommodation near to Leeds Children’s Hospital; enabling families to stay together whilst a child is undergoing inpatient treatment. For many parents sleeping in a chair …
Introducing the Nominees: Above & Beyond Effort of the Year
13-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
With The Candlelighters Awards slowly approaching, we would like to introduce you to our amazing shortlisted nominees – this feature focussed on the ‘Above & Beyond Effort of the Year’ category. Words can’t describe how much these people have done for Candlelighters over the past year but we will give it our best shot.   Adrian …
The Lindsey’s scale Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in just six days!
09-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
The Lindsey Family decided to in their words ‘having a crack at climbing Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis (the highest mountains in Wales, England and Scotland respectively) in 6 days.’ Graham Lindsey the family’s father said: “We might not manage it all but we’ll give it a good go because we want to raise …
Calverley Golf Club’s Charity of the Year raises over £7,000
08-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Lee Dane and his wife Emma, who live in Bradford chose Candlelighters are their charity to support this year. Lee is Captain at Calverley Golf Club and he wanted to support a local children’s charity, after reading what Candlelighters do they themselves a target to raise £5,000 through various events from January 2018 until the …
Shannen-Keelie will be shaving her head for Candlelighters and donating her hair to The Little Princess Trust.
07-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Shannen-Keelie, of Keyingham, gave birth to Charleen Clifton on July 23rd 2015. Unbeknown to them at the time, Charleen was born with Infantile Fibrosarcoma, diagnosed aged just 3 months after her Grandma noticed a lump on her leg. Infantile Fibrosarcoma is a tissue tumour, with a percentage of 1 individual diagnosed every 4 to 7 …
Welcome back RAG Prague
06-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
We would like to welcome back the Leeds RAG’s Pedal to Prague team from their trip. They have now completed the challenge and raised £26,638.99! When returning to the UK the leaders all agreed that it was one of the hardest but most fun challenges they had ever done. They (and we) are so proud …