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Rebecca Bennett from Leek has raised £1,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer from selling handbags she makes

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 10, 2014

Rebecca Bennett, left, handing over one of her handbags made out of ring pulls from cans, to competition winner Julie Bayley.

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AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager has raised almost £1,000 for a cancer charity in support of her mum who has battled the disease.

Rebecca Bennett, from Leek, began making and selling handbags made mainly out of ring pulls from cans last year, and has since donated all of the proceeds to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The 17-year-old, who attends Westwood College in Leek, joined her mum's fund-raising campaign last year.

Mum Catherine, aged 53, began making jewellery out of ring pulls in 2010, one year after her diagnosis.

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She has since used more than 150,000 to create bracelets, watches and gifts.

Rebecca, who has so far made 15 bags out of ring-pulls and has more orders to complete, just needs £13 to hit her target of £1,000 for the charity.

Rebecca, whose handbags have been featured on Blue Peter, said: "I started making accessories to help the cause last year and have sold more than 15 handbags, some earrings and bookmarks.

"I can't believe I have got so close to £1,000.

"I never expected to raise that much and now I am so close I can't wait to get there.

"I watched my mum reach £13,000 recently and it really inspired me. I want to carry on making handbags and raise as much as possible.

"I was only 12 when my mum was diagnosed and it was horrible.

"We both want to stop other families going through what we did. It's as much about raising awareness as it is about the money. We always said that as a family we would beat cancer together."

Each handbag takes Rebecca around 12 hours to make and is sold for £30.

Catherine said: "I'm extremely proud of Rebecca.

"It's fantastic the amount of time and effort she spends making the handbags."

In her bid to raise the £1,000, Rebecca has also run a competition for people to guess how many ring pulls she used to make a particular bag.

She raised a total of £136 with people paying £1 a guess, and the winner has been revealed as Julie Bayley, from Clay Lake, who guessed the right amount – of more than 500 – at the Endon Well-dressing event where Rebecca and her mum hosted a stall.

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