A Macmillan “super-fundraiser” has paid tribute to the village community who helped her smash her £100,000 charity target despite Covid-19 and its restrictions.

When lockdown measures were ushered in in March, Fiona Phimester, 46, refused to let the pandemic blow her off course.

She set herself a deadline of November for her decade-long fundraising challenge, which had been chosen to mark ten years since she lost her 63-year-old mum to brain cancer.

Ms Phimester, from Stewkley, near Winslow, said she has never forgotten the “magic touch” of the two Macmillan nurses in Inverness who did everything to make her mum, Nancy Campbell, feel comfortable in her final months.

She said: “My mum was diagnosed with brain cancer in April 2010 and the support we received from the Macmillan services in Inverness was just amazing.

“She had two Macmillan nurses – Brian and Susan. Susan looked after her when she was in hospital and Brian would look after her at home.

“We didn’t realise how much power and clout Macmillan had until we were receiving their services.”

A global pandemic was not enough to deter the part-time cook – who describes herself as “stubborn” – from coming up with new ways of raising money for the charity, which has experienced a sharp drop in funds during the coronavirus crisis.

With the backing of the village community, husband Will and two sons Finlay and Patrick, Ms Phimeser launched a lockdown curry service, held a takeaway pizza night, walked 26 miles with friends, organised two yoga and wellbeing days at National Trust property Ascot, and continues to curry favour locally by selling cakes to order.

She hit her £100,000 milestone on September 5 and carried on raising more money, landing her in the charity’s record books.

The money raised, which is equivalent to funding a Macmillan nurse for more than a year and a half, will be split between specialist cancer services based near her home in Buckinghamshire, and the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, where her family hails from.

She said: “It was a great feeling, especially this year, when the coronavirus has made it such a challenge to come up with new ideas that are safe and comfortable for everyone.

“Raising £100,000 is something I never would have expected, but I am pleased we’ve made it.

“It’s been fun and I enjoy doing it, but there’s no way I could have achieved this by myself – there are so many robins to my batman.

Fiona’s fundraising efforts had been due to receive a royal seal of approval after the local Deputy Lieutenant nominated her to attend the Queen’s garden party, which was later called off.

Her teatime appointment with the monarch may be on hold for now, but she still feels honoured to have received an invitation.

Ryan Howarth, Macmillan fundraising manager, said: “Everyone would have understood if Fiona hadn’t managed to reach her extraordinary target this year, but she has reinvented the wheel – and then some – to make it happen.

“She is one of only a handful of individual Macmillan supporters to have raised more than £100,000 in just ten years, helping us to improve the lives of countless people with cancer.”

“Macmillan has experienced a sharp drop in income this year, just as people living with cancer worry about disruption to their care and treatment, find themselves isolated from their support networks and face more financial hardship as the pandemic continues.”

To donate, visit www.macmillan.org.uk/donate.