Tag Archives: fundraising

Mum ran for charity every single day of the year

Sorrel Hodgson

Over 200 supporters turned out to run, cheer and crack open the champagne as Sorrel Hodgson completed an amazing year of running for the Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T) Society.

Every single day of 2015, Sorrel ran at least 5 km (3.1 miles), clocking up an amazing 1,825 km or 1,134 miles – the equivalent of running from her home town of Nottingham to the very southernmost tip of Spain.

Sorrel has a busy life. She works with people with learning difficulties and has three young children. She found out about A-T as her children go to the same school as Kaid Betts, who has A-T. Sorrel became friends with Kaid’s mother Jo, herself an active supporter of the Society.

Ataxia-Telangiectasia, or A-T, is a rare and complex genetic disorder. It is often referred to as a ‘multi-system’ disorder because it affects a number of different systems within the body. Amongst the most significant of these are increasing difficulty in controlling and co-ordinating movements (ataxia), reduced efficiency of the immune system leading to more frequent infections (immunodeficiency) and an increased risk in developing cancers, in particular leukaemia and lymphoma.

Sorrel was moved and inspired by Kaid and Jo and last New Year, surprising even herself, she made her commitment to run 5 km a day to raise funds for the A-T Society.

She had never done anything like it before, and most of her friends thought she was crazy and would never keep it up. But keep at it she did, running day after day, come rain, wind or shine, work days and holidays alike.

Once they realised she was serious, Sorrel has had great support from her friends, and on her final run over 200 of them turned out either to run alongside her or to cheer her over the line. And in addition to raising over £2,000, she generated fantastic publicity in the local press.

William Davis, chief executive of the A-T Society said: “This is an awesome achievement and Sorrel is an inspiration to us all. She has shown that with imagination and determination anyone can achieve great things. She has made a massive contribution to the Society and to people living with A-T.”

The A-T Society aims to improve the quality of life and quality of care for people living with A-T while actively promoting research to lengthen lives and ultimately bring about a cure.

If you would like to recognise Sorrel’s extraordinary run, please visit her fundraising page.

Get baking for the Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake!

Could you rise to the occasion and whip up a treat to beat the opposition in the Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake.

Laserase Bolton and Bolton NHS Charitable Fund are organising a charity cake baking competition in aid of both the national charity Verity – which supports women whose lives are affected by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – and the Gynaecology and Dermatology departments of the hospital who also help women with this syndrome – and they’re looking for entries.

The Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake and Cake Sale takes place at Laserase Bolton (opposite the ambulance station on the Royal Bolton Hospital site) on Saturday October 10th from 2.00pm to 4.30pm. It aims to raise awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and to raise money for the charity and Bolton NHS Charitable Fund.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects millions of women. The symptoms of PCOS include ovarian cysts, irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, weight gain, excessive hair growth on the face and body, hair loss from the head, acne and the increased risk of getting certain types of cancer. The exact cause of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is unknown, but it is thought to be related to abnormal hormone levels and, although PCOS can’t be cured, the symptoms can be managed.

Julie Kershaw, Clinic Manager at Laserase Bolton, says: “Many women with this embarrassing and isolating condition are often unaware of the support available. The Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake aims to raise awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and of the PCOS charity, Verity, which was established in 1997 to share information and improve the lives of women living with the illness.

“Every year at Laserase Bolton, we treat a number of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome for excess hair growth and acne, but many are unaware that, for excess hair growth for example, NHS funding may be available. Working with the Royal Bolton Hospital’s Gynaecology and Dermatology departments, we aim to better direct women in Bolton to get the help and treatment they need.”

There are four categories open to everyone in the Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake: the Best Decorated Cake Award; the Tastiest Cake Award; the Most Creative Cake Award and the Biggest Cake Catastrophe Award. There will also be a Best Cake in the Competition Award. As the charity’s colour is purple, bakers might like to incorporate some purple into their entry, but this is not obligatory. Entry costs £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

The Cake Bake judging will be followed by a cake sale to raise much-needed funds for the charities and refreshments will be available, so if you can’t bake, you can buy instead.

Julie Kershaw adds: “We’re hoping that local people will really get behind us for this fun and worthwhile event so, to get a slice of the action, bring along your cake creations to the Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake on Saturday October 10th!”

To sign up to the Big Bolton Charity Cake Bake and to make a donation visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/bigboltoncharitycakebake or contact Laserase Bolton for an application form on 01204 570900 or email admin@laserase-bolton.co.uk.

Cakes should be dropped off Laserase Bolton, 71 Redgate Way, Farnworth, Bolton, BL4 0JL (on the Royal Bolton Hospital site opposite the ambulance station) between 11.30am and 1.30pm on the day and must include a label with your name and telephone number and the category in which you are entering. The event will be open to the public from 2.00pm and the winning cakes will be announced around 3.00pm. This will be followed by a charity auction of the winning cakes and a sale of the other cakes.

Laserase Bolton is one of the leading laser clinics in the North West of England and has been established for over 20 years. It offers a range of treatments for PCOS sufferers, including laser hair reduction for treating excessive hair growth using the Soprano XL laser, and a number of treatments for managing acne, including NLite laser, AFT 420 pulsed light and medical skin peels. The clinic also offers a number of treatment products to ensure optimum results. All treatments are carried out by highly-experienced medical professionals following a free, no-obligation consultation.

To find out more about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and the help available please visit www.verity-pcos.org.uk. There are also a number of informal local support groups around the country for women with PCOS to make contact with others in their area. The nearest local group to Bolton is in Manchester. To find out when and where they meet, or for information on other local support groups, email localgroups@verity-pcos.org.uk.

Gamlingay veteran remembered with charity cycle ride

A Gamlingay man who was a prisoner of war in the Far East in the Second World War has been remembered by his son and grandson, during a fundraising cycle ride across England.

Arthur Housden and comrades

Arthur Housden and comrades

Arthur Housden, known as Cuggy, who was in the Bedfordshire and Herts Division, was captured on 15 February 1942 Singapore and spent two years on the infamous Thai-Burma Railway. Before being shipped to Japan to work as slave labour in Sakata in northern Japan.

Cuggy was on the “Hell Ship” Kachidoki Maru which was torpedoed and sunk by the USS Pampanito submarine. Along with many other prisoners of war, Cuggy spent 40 hours in the water before eventually being picked up by another Japanese ship and taken on to Japan. 400 out of 900 were lost at sea. Following the war, he returned to Gamlingay and worked as a market gardener, eventually becoming the school caretaker at Gamlingay County School.

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Japan Day, which saw the release of thousands of prisoners of war in the Far East. Arthur’s son Paul and grandson James undertook the cycling challenge to raise funds for national charity COFEPOW, which is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of prisoners of war held in the Far East in World War Two.

Paul, originally from Gamlingay, but who now lives in Preston, cycled across Lancashire and Yorkshire with son James and raised over £1,000 for COFEPOW.

As well as raising funds for the charity, Paul and James wanted to highlight the suffering of the Far East prisoners of war. More than 200,000 Allied civilians and service personnel were taken prisoner by the Japanese and by VJ Day, on 15 August 1945, some 50,000 of these people had died.

Paul and James Housden in Bridlington

Paul and James Housden in Bridlington at the end of their Coast to Coast cycling challenge

Paul says: “I came off my bike once and finished up with some cuts and bruises, but I survived. I thought about what happened to my Dad in the war and that stopped me feeling too sorry for myself.”

Paul Watson from COFEPOW says: “We are delighted that Paul and James got from Morecambe to Bridlington by bike and we can’t thank them enough for raising funds for COFEPOW. The money collected will go towards building a memorial garden for Far East prisoners of war at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. We would also like to thank all those who donated and supported them.”

Paul Housden adds: “My Father was a POW in the Far East and it is hard to imagine just how much he and thousands of others suffered. COFEPOW exists to ensure this important part of history is kept alive. What we went through on the cycle ride was a small effort compared to what my Father and many others like him went through in World War Two.”

Paul will be returning to Gamlingay in September as a guest of Gamlingay and District History Society where he will be delivering a talk about his father. Entitled “My Dad’s War (The Burma Railway 70 years on)” the talk is open to all and is being held at Gamlingay Village College on Monday 14 September at 8 pm.

The 70th anniversary of VJ Day takes place on 15 August 2015 and there will be a number of events taking place around the country to commemorate this important occasion.

To find out more about Far East Prisoners of War visit www.cofepow.org.uk.

Duo cycle across England to commemorate Victory in Japan Day

A father and son cycling duo from Preston are cycling across England to raise awareness of the plight of World War Two Far East prisoners of war and the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Japan Day (VJ Day).

Paul Housden  (left) and son,  James are raising funds for charity, COFEPOW

Paul Housden (left) and son James are raising funds for charity COFEPOW

Paul Housden and son James are cycling across Lancashire and Yorkshire from Morecambe to Bridlington to raise funds for national charity, COFEPOW, which is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of prisoners of war held in the Far East in World War Two.

More than 200,000 allied civilians and service personnel were taken prisoner by the Japanese in February 1942. By VJ Day some 50,000 of these people had died.

Says Paul: “My father was a POW in the Far East and it is so hard to conceive what he and thousands of others went through. COFEPOW exists to ensure this important part of history is kept alive.”

Son James is keen to help raise funds for COFEPOW as away of recognising his grandfather’s contribution: “Having listened to dad talk about some of the things granddad and his fellow captives went through, it’s very important that the coming generations have knowledge of what happened to the forgotten army.”

The ride, which will take two full days of cycling across the Lancashire and Yorkshire dales and moors, and says Paul: “We will face a total climb of 4,222 ft and some 141 miles, but compared to what my Father went through, it is a small effort to pay tribute to him and his fellow POWs.”

If you would like to sponsor Paul and James, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Paul-Housden and to find out more about Far East Prisoners of War visit www.cofepow.org.uk

Grandson and friends take on 1,000-mile ride

The cycling team

The cycling team

A fundraiser has said thoughts of his grandmother will spur him on for a 1,000-mile cycling challenge in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Sean McGregor, from Yarm, near Stockton-on-Tees, is gearing up to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats alongside four of his friends – Robyn Sayers, Daisy Baggs, Rebecca Metin and Jack Green.

The group will set off on June 18 and have set themselves a goal of traversing the length of the country in 10 days, travelling an average of 100 miles a day.

Along the way they hope to raise thousands of pounds for dementia research – and Sean has already secured £3,000 of support from local businesses in Cleveland.

He said: “When I first had the idea of cycling this distance, I asked my friends if they’d do it with me, and I think a lot of them said yes before they realised what they’d let themselves in for.

“Four of us are military reserves so luckily we’re already fairly fit, but this is going to be a difficult challenge. I’m expecting the first two days through Cornwall and Devon to be very tough, but we’re looking forward to getting up to Scotland as the views are meant to be amazing.

“I wanted to support Alzheimer’s Research UK because my nanna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, so I’ve seen first-hand the impact the disease can have.

“I’m very close to my nanna and this is a cause that’s close to my heart. I’ve told her what I’m doing and although I’m not sure how much she’s able to take in, I’m looking forward to being able to tell her about the journey when I get back.

“Through the fundraising we’ve been doing, I’ve realised how many people are affected by dementia – so many people who’ve supported us have told us what a fantastic cause this is and that makes it all worthwhile.”

Claire Priestwood, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “What a fantastic challenge. We couldn’t be more grateful to Sean and his friends for taking on this exhausting journey, and we’ll be wishing them well as they set off.

“The money they raise will help us to provide crucial resources for our scientists, bringing new treatments, preventions and improved diagnosis closer.

“Over 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK today, including over 8,000 in the Tees Valley alone, and we owe it to them to find better ways of fighting the condition. Research has the power to transform lives, and it’s thanks to people like Sean and his friends that we’re able to fund our vital work.”

To sponsor Sean, visit http://www.justgiving.com/smcgregor24

To find out more about Alzheimer’s Research UK, visit http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/

Fantastic line up of events for neuro-muscular charity

The NeuroMuscularNeuroMuscular Centre Centre in Winsford has organised a spectacular line-up of fundraising events around Cheshire this spring and summer to help raise money for those suffering from muscular dystrophy.

The NeuroMuscular Centre (NMC), which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, provides a range of unique services and specialist advice to improve the quality of life for adults with muscular dystrophy and other neuro-muscular conditions.

Every year the centre organises a wide range of interesting and entertaining events to help raise much needed cash, and this year is no exception. Here are just a few highlights for the coming months.

Open Air Cinema

The NMC is holding its second Open Air Cinema on Wednesday 27 May on a 12ft LED screen at the NMC Meadow in Winsford.

The film showing will be the multi-award winning 2014 hit The Lego Movie starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks, an animated film about an ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, who is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.

Gates to the NMC will open at 4.30pm and the film will be shown at 5pm. There will be activities for children including face painting and glitter tattoos, plus a merchandise tent. Tickets are £7 for adults and £4 for children under 16 (under 3s go free). A family of four ticket is £20.

An Evening of Jazz

Join the NMC for its 10th annual evening of traditional jazz at the stunning Eaton Estate in Eccleston, Cheshire, on Wednesday 1 July.

Held by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, the beautiful Wolf Room provides the perfect setting for an evening of live music, with a sumptuous cheese buffet provided by Godfrey Williams Cheese adding the perfect accompaniment. There will also be a Fair Trade wine bar and a luxury raffle.

Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz are performing for us for the second year running, a 7-piece band based on the early jazz sounds of New Orleans and Chicago and also influenced by the British Revivalist jazz musicians of the 1940s and 1950s.

Tickets are £18 and the gates will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Live in the Park

The NMC is organising a Picnic Concert at Arley Hall in Cheshire on Saturday 11 July with tributes to some of the greatest acts of all time, plus a fantastic firework finale.

Arley Hall is the stunning backdrop for the live music event, where visitors can picnic while enjoying the concert, which includes The Dolly Show, Europe’s top Dolly Parton tribute act, Johnny Lee Memphis, a world champion Elvis impersonator, and The Blue Beatles, who capture the iconic sounds of the sixties.

Gates open at 5pm and the concert starts at 6.30pm. People are invited to bring their own picnics, chairs and rugs, although there will also be a variety of catering outlets available on site plus a licensed bar.

Early Bird tickets are available until the end of April and cost £19.50 for adults, £14.50 for children under 16 (under 5s go free). A family of four ticket is £58. Tickets bought from 1st May will be £22.50/£17.50/£70 and tickets bought on the day £24.50/£19.50/£80.

Other events planned for this year include a Wag and Walk in Westminster Park, Chester, on Saturday 16 May, a Ladies Fashion Show and Shopping Night at Cuddington and Sandiway Village Hall, near Northwich, on Saturday 30 May, and a Wine Tasting Evening at Chester Beer and Wine on Saturday 6 June.

To find out more about these and the other events taking place this year, please click here to visit the NMC website.

Scaling new heights with fundraising challenge

Abseil towerOn Sunday 1st March, Severn Hospice will be hosting a 100ft abseil from the top of the monument at Hawkstone Park Follies in Shropshire.

Those looking to kick start the year with an exhilarating challenge will have to climb 150 steps to get to the top before abseiling down the side of the popular tourist attraction.

Sarah Maythorne, fundraising events manager at Severn Hospice, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer our wonderful supporters such a fantastic challenge for the new year. Hawkstone Follies is such a beautiful setting for our first fundraising event of 2015.

“We would like to thank Hawkstone Park for allowing us to use their grounds free of charge so more of the money we raise through sponsorship will help support the loving care we provide across Shropshire and Mid Wales.”

Registration for the abseil is £10 and each person taking part will be asked to raise as much sponsorship as possible. The event is open to everyone over the age of 16 and anyone under the age of 18 must get permission from a responsible adult who will accompany them on the day. Given the nature of the event, weight restrictions also apply.

For more information or to register on-line please click here. Alternatively please call the Severn Hospice appeals team on 01952 221351.

Golfer to help dementia charity


Oliver Walmsley

A professional golfer is raising money for dementia research by donating cash for every birdie he plays in 2014.
Oliver Walmsley, 20, from Leicester, was inspired to help Alzheimer’s Research UK after seeing two of his grandparents battle with the condition.

He hopes to increase the amount he raises by persuading others to sponsor his challenge.

Oliver, who plays at Cosby Golf Club, is in his second year as a professional and is due to play in around 30 tournaments in the UK and overseas in 2014. His season kicks off with two tournaments in Morocco in March.

Oliver plans to donate £1 for every birdie he makes, and is asking others to match his donations with sponsorship.

His parents also plan to raise money through events at their Leicester restaurant, Chef Patron.

Oliver explained: “My granddad passed away with Alzheimer’s six years ago, and then two years ago my nan was diagnosed with the disease, so I know how devastating its effects can be.

“I wanted to do something to support dementia research, but instead of cycling or running, I thought I would use what I do for a living to raise money.

“I usually average four or five birdies per round in each tournament, and I’ll donate £1 for each one – but if I can get even 10 people to pledge to sponsor me for the same amount, then I can raise much more.

“Everyone has been really supportive of the idea so I hope lots of people with sponsor me, and I want to get the word out to as many people as I can.

“This is a really important cause for my family, and we want to do as much as we can to help the dementia research experts.”

Miranda Johnson, head of corporate and community partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This such a creative fundraising challenge, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Oliver for harnessing the power of his golf skills to support our work.

“Every £20 he raises will be enough to pay for another hour of pioneering research, bringing new treatments, preventions and improved diagnosis for dementia ever closer.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people living with dementia in the UK, including nearly 7,000 in Leicestershire, and research is crucial to make a difference to people’s lives.

“We rely on our wonderful supporters to be able to fund our research, and we hope the efforts of people like Oliver will inspire others to take up a fundraising challenge too.”

To sponsor Oliver, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OllieWalmsley.

Action For Kids welcomes donation from Sainsbury’s Muswell Hill

Disabled children and young people’s charity, Action For Kids, based in Hornsey, North London, is to receive a cheque for £3,700 from Sainsbury’s Muswell Hill following a busy year of fundraising for the charity.

Over the past year, employees at the Sainsbury’s store have undertaken a wide range of activities to support the charity. Employees have taken part in the Finsbury Park run, organised a Jubilee Party, and held in-store collections and raffles to raise vital funds for Action For Kids.

Some of the supermarket’s staff have volunteered with Action For Kids, giving the employees a wealth of useful experience and, in addition, the charity, which offers a work placement scheme, has seen a number of young people gain valuable work experience at the store.

Speaking about the donation from Sainsbury’s, Tracey Lloyd, director of fundraising at Action For Kids said: “We are so grateful to the staff and customers of Sainsbury’s for all their help. We rely on the generosity of local businesses and their customers to provide essential support to young disabled people and we cannot thank them enough.”

Action For Kids helps children and young people with physical and learning disabilities find greater levels of independence and opportunity through the provision of appropriate aid and support. The charity provides a supportive, accessible environment where students can not only gain valuable experience but also be of real help in the running of the charity.

To find out more about Action For Kids and its work, visit www.actionforkids.org.

Vegan wins North Pole marathon

A vegan amateur athlete battled temperatures of -28C to win the women’s race in the North Pole Marathon.

Fiona Oakes, 43, from Asheldham, in Essex, broke the course record for women by 44 minutes, completing the race in 4 hours 53 minutes, despite conditions described as the worst in the marathon’s eight-year history.

She ran the northernmost marathon on earth to raise money for the Vegan Society and to support the 400 animals she personally cares for every day at her Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary.

Fiona was beaten by only two male runners and the second placed woman was 55 minutes behind Fiona’s time.

On her Facebook page after the race Fiona wrote: “Back in Spitsbergen. Job done! It is so cold and brutal in the Arctic I cannot explain. Marathon + Arctic conditions = TOUGH!”

She added: “I knew it was going to be bad but just how bad I couldn’t possibly have prepared for. Not just the consequences of running at -30 with a wind chill but for half the course through deep snow.

“I haven’t got the longest legs in the world and kept falling it was so deep as when you put your foot on it you didn’t know if it was frozen enough to take your weight.

“On one occasion I sank up to my groin, on another I fell on my hand and now have a suspected fractured thumb.

“Never mind, job done, win in the women’s race, new course record and third overall. Can’t ask for any more.”

Fiona, an honorary patron of the Vegan Society, has competed in more than 26 marathons.

She aims to be the first vegan to run a marathon on all seven continents plus the polar ice cap. In November she will take on the Volcano Marathon in the Atacama Desert the week before tackling the Antarctic Marathon, all in aid of the same charities.

Vegan Society chief executive officer, Jasmijn de Boo, said: “I believe that Fiona is a true inspiration to anyone, including runners, women, vegans and non-vegans, and above all, humanity. She shows what the values of dedication, commitment, discipline and staying cheerful in the face of hardship really mean.”

To sponsor Fiona in aid of the Vegan Society visit http://www.justgiving.com/The-Vegan-Society or to help Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary go to http://www.fionaoakes.com/northpolemarathon.html.