AN unexpected birthday bash for a woman whose husband has terminal cancer raised £500 for a charity that supports people with the disease.

Ethel Thomas, of Taunton Road, was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by 80th birthday balloons when she was taken to the party at Pawlett Pavilion.

Guests threw money into a charity bucket and bought charity wristbands, key fobs and badges to raise money for Mesothelioma UK.

Ethel's husband, Jim, 83, a retired maintenance worker and painter and decorator, was diagnosed with the disease, which is commonly linked to asbestos exposure, in 2017.

His son-in-law, Dave Coleman, said: "He's had some treatment and has improved - before Christmas he couldn't even walk upstairs, but no he gets out and walks around town to the shops.

"Unfortunately, there's nothing more they can do for him though.

"My wife, Joanne, and I try to keep their spirits up.

"Until he was diagnosed, we had no idea about Mesothelioma UK or what they do.

"That's why we wanted to help by raising donations and awareness in the hope they'll end up helping someone else.

"We'd like to thank everyone for attending and for all their kind donations to this worthy cause."

More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.

Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 60 to 80, and men are affected more commonly than women.

Unfortunately, it's rarely possible to cure mesothelioma, although treatment can help control the symptoms.