Positive Keith’s reindeer raising vital funds for Dorset cancer charity

A RETIRED engineer living with inoperable liver cancer has used his skills to help a charity supporting those with the illness.

Father-of-two Keith Evans, of Poole, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September last year and underwent palliative chemotherapy between October and January 2023.

But he said while initial chemotherapy had caused his cancer to “go to sleep”, a later scan revealed it had returned.

“My oncologist talked me through the effects of a second round of chemo, but this would have made me quite poorly, so I chose not to accept it,” the 76-year-old said.

“I am a very positive person, so I decided just to get on with my life while I am able.”

That positivity has now stretched to putting his engineering skills to good use, making 33 rustic reindeer to raise funds for the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF).

“I became aware of the DCCF in 2010 when it was launched,” Mr Evans said. “I thought it was a fantastic charity helping the people of Dorset and I have supported it ever since.”

The DCCF gives financial help to people with cancer to pay for transport to and from hospital treatment, bills and accommodation costs and respite breaks.

And Keith started making rustic reindeer last Christmas.

“They were originally for my family, friends, and my oncologist,” he said. “Then a friend saw them and asked if I’d make some for her charity coffee morning for DCCF.”

Among those to have been impressed by the creations was Eve Went, co-founder of the DCCF, who asked Keith to make her some.

So, while he was recovering after chemo, he started work.

Keith’s love of fishing takes him to lakes where he can source the wood and twigs for his creations.

“The only items I need to buy is their noses, eyes, and some glue. So, all money taken on sales goes to the charity,” he added.

“I have made 33 reindeer this year for sale at the DCCF’s festive events. I hope that people buy them and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.”

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Eve said: “I fell in love with Keith’s reindeer as soon as I saw them, and we are all so grateful that he has decided to make them for the charity.

“Keith is a wonderful man with a positive outlook on life and hugely supportive family.

“It’s lovely that his creations are spreading joy and helping us to raise funds to help many local families facing real hardships because of cancer.”

For more details of how to apply and fundraise for the charity, or to attend one of its events, visit

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