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Flyer advertising James Connolly's cook book giveaway for The Brain Tumour Charity. Text reads: '£10 per raffle ticket to win 150+ cook books worth over £4k'. It shows Chef James sitting next to a bookshelf, drinking a cup of tea.

News story

Inspirational chef uses his life-changing diagnosis to fundraise for the Brain Tumour Charity 

April 3, 2023

A chef from Edge Hill University who was diagnosed with a brain tumour is hoping to raise £5,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity by auctioning his extensive cookbook collection.

In 2022 James, aged 39 from Liverpool, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. The diagnosis gave him a new perspective on life, and he decided that he wanted to turn it into a positive and use his own experience to raise money for life saving research.  

James has been collecting cookbooks during his 20 years in the restaurant industry, during which he has worked at the Savoy as well as Elite Bistros venues Wreckfish and Pinion. 

The 150+ cookbooks in James’ collection are his pride and joy, representing a lifetime of learning and exploration in the world of food and butchery. They stand as a testament to his dedication to his craft.  

A picture of James with two other chefs in a kitchen.

James said: ” Each book has a timestamp of memories for me. This is the biggest thing I can offer. 

“While I’m still functional I’ve got this time to do stuff like this to try and raise some funds and stay positive for my family.” 

In the collection are books by some of the world’s best restaurants and chefs, including some unique and out of print books, making the collection worth an estimated £4,000. The trove includes the El Bulli collection and Sergio Herman’s Sergiology, both of which are worth over £500 alone. 

James added: “I just hope that my book auction will help others who are also affected by brain tumours. I am really grateful for the opportunity to make a difference. Through the charity I’ve met amazing people who also want to help, and I’m sure that with a bit more funding, they will be able to help more people in the future.” 

Candid shot of James Connolly. He is chatting, sat in front of a bookcase.

The Brain Tumour Charity is the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally. 

Data from the National Cancer Research Institute in 2021 found that brain tumour research represented just 1% of the national spend on cancer, making fundraising all the more important. 

James has so far raised half of his target, with the prize draw running until 14 April. Visit his Crowdfunder page to find out more and donate. 

April 3, 2023


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