Lynette, 77, carries Commonwealth Games baton
Lynette Hopkins with Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding and the Queen's Baton
A St Monica Trust resident, whose breast cancer charity has supported hundreds of local families, was selected to carry the Queen's Baton as part of the official relay for the Commonwealth Games.
Lynette Hopkins carried the torch along the route through St Paul's when the Queen’s Baton Relay visited Bristol.
She said: “I could not believe it. How many people get an opportunity like this in their lifetime? I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen out of all the thousands that were nominated. The atmosphere, the laughter, all the people clapping - it was so fantastic and I was very humbled. I’ve never done anything like this and it was such an accolade to be chosen. It brought tears to my eyes.”
The baton's first stop was at the Empire Fighting Chance Charity in Easton and then it headed to St Paul's to be met by children from local schools and the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE.
Lynette got to run an extra leg of the official route after one of the Batonbearers failed to turn up, which meant she took the baton to the finish line at St Agnes Park.
“The end was absolutely fantastic. I went round corner and all the pupils from St Barnabas Primary School were there clapping.
“They were so excited and were absolutely delightful. One little boy shook my hand and said: ‘congratulations’ and I asked him if he’d like to hold the baton for a moment.”
Lynette and her fellow inspirational Batonbearers will take the Queen’s Baton on a 2,500-mile journey through England, ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which opens on July 28.
The seventy-seven-year-old Bristolian was selected for her work with Bosom Buddies, a support group founded by Lynette in 1997 to help patients and families cope with the psychological and everyday effects of breast cancer.
Lynette said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. Although the medical treatment I received was fantastic, I felt there was a lack of support in general for people with breast cancer and so I set-up Bosom Buddies.
“We had an office in the BRI with a 24-hour helpline. We’d hold monthly support meetings, visit people in their homes, drive ladies to chemotherapy sessions, organise fundraising and so much more.
“I’m delighted to say that twenty-five years later, both myself and Bosom Buddies are still going strong.”
Lynette has been a resident at the St Monica Trust’s Westbury Fields retirement village for the last four years. Village manager, Jeanette Iles said: “As well as her charity work in the wider Bristol community, Lynette is also an active and popular member of the Westbury Fields community, so it is wonderful to see her achievements recognised in this way. She’s a huge fan of Her Majesty, so carrying the Queen’s Baton during the Platinum Jubilee year was extra special for her.”
Find out more at bosombuddiesbristol.co.uk/ or by calling 0117 342 4940.