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

Detectamet score a goal for Candlelighters
03-05-16Our stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Since July 2014, and following a visit to Candlelighters, owners of Detectamet, Sean Smith and Angela Mousson, were determined to make a difference to our work. Detectamet, are a worldwide company, based near York, who manufacture detectable food safety, office, sanitary and hygiene supplies. They asked wedding guests to donate to us instead of giving …
St George’s Day week-end was event-full!
25-04-16Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
It’s been a busy and brilliant week-end for supporters and staff at Candlelighters! The Square was hosting an activity day for brothers and sisters of patients. Gareth Price, with family, friends and work colleagues completed a 138 mile sponsored walk in memory of his daughter Holly. Starting at Candlelighters on Friday and finishing at Forget Me …

Your stories

Fundraising event sees Menston sparkle for Candlelighters
29-04-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
This month a fundraising evening event has seen Menston sparkle in pink for Candlelighters, raising over £2000 to support the charity’s work! Organised by Michelle Pattison, mum to 8 year old patient Owen, the Pink & Sparkle event was her biggest fundraising event to date and saw a small crowd gather to eat, drink and bid on a range …
Three Wishes Charity Dinner
29-04-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Late last year supporters flocked to Harrogate’s Restaurant Bar & Grill for a night of food, entertainment and a charity auction in aid of three local charities; Candlelighters, Theas Trust and Martin House Children’s Hospice. Organised by Rowan Brunger (pictured below at our support centre The Square), the event was a fantastic success raising a …
Friendly Competition & Fundraising
28-04-16Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Staff at Pure Data Solutions are extra motivated to raise funds for Candlelighters! Last year, Pure Data Solutions raised £10,000 in aid of Candlelighters. This year, they aim to smash this. The first of their challenge will be the Candlelighters Yorkshire 3 Peaks on Saturday 28 May. 11 staff from across the company are training …
Summit Amazing!
28-04-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
On Saturday 16th April 2016, a determined family group took on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks to raise awareness around Neuroblastoma, and nearly £2000 sponsorship for Candlelighters, in memory of  Pierce White Carter. Dom White, leading the group, said “During Pierce’s two and a half years of illness, Candlelighters provided us all with support and supplied the …
Leeds College of Art scores big for Candlelighters
19-04-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Students and staff of Leeds College of Art scored big for Yorkshire families affected by childhood cancer at their fundraising football match on April 18th. It seemed the students were confident pre-match stating that “after an intense pre-season, the students have become both physically and mentally strong enough to take on the very tutors that …
Miss North Yorkshire Champions Candlelighters
14-04-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Candlelighters were delighted earlier this year when the Miss North Yorkshire competition selected Candlelighters as their chosen charity for the second year running.   Miss North Yorkshire is the regions official and most prestigious modelling competition, offering contestants an experience of a life-time, a window into the world of modelling and the opportunity to make life long …
TEENAGE CANCER PATIENTS ABSEIL AT RIPLEY CASTLE
13-04-16Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
On Sunday 24 April, three teenage cancer patients, will abseil down from Ripley Castle’s roof in aid of the charity that has supported them and their families from day one, Candlelighters. Jodi Stonehouse, from Pocklington, and Caitlin Gott, from Harrogate, are both 15 and were diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Mia Addison, from Knaresborough, is …