"When you know that what you’re fundraising for helps to make tangible impacts, it drives you to do more."
I started fundraising years ago when I first began working in the radiotherapy department at the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. When we transitioned into our new Cancer Centre at Guy’s, in 2016, I wanted to recreate the bake sales and book sales that a colleague used to run in our department.
When I was approached about being a Charity Champion, a member of staff who promotes fundraising at the Trust, it seemed like a great fit. I’ve seen first-hand the great things that come from charitable funding and fundraising, and I was already involved in activities such as emptying collection tins at the Cancer Centre, where I'm based, and paying the money in. I wouldn’t be working in such an innovative building now if it wasn’t for fundraising efforts, Charity funding and donations.
I've taken part in Guy’s Urban Challenge two years in a row. Last year I encouraged 15 of my radiotherapy colleagues to get involved too, and together we managed to raise over £6,000 for Guy’s Cancer. Earlier this year, I held a successful bake sale, raising over £600. I keep trying to beat my own target, and each year I’ve managed to do it, adding at least £50 onto previous amounts raised. One thing I love about it is that you might get patients who are diabetic, for example, so they can't buy a cake but they’ll still donate because they’re appreciative of what you’re doing.
I’ve also helped two colleagues who were running the London Marathon to fundraise for the Trust, held a quiz night to raise money for the Charity and supported a woman to fundraise for Evelina London. When you know that what you’re fundraising for helps to make tangible impacts, it drives you to do more.
For me, it’s not just about fundraising for the larger projects but for the smaller things too, as they can make a monumental difference. Most of what I’ve fundraised for has been channelled into the Cancer Centre. For example, when patients go through chemotherapy, it’s often painful and can cause bad headaches. We raised funds for special headpieces and equipment, placed on a patient’s head and arms, to help relieve the pain of the treatment. Providing resources like this goes a long way and isn’t always something that can be supplied through the NHS.
It's great to see the Trust recognising our efforts and giving something back through the Trust Awards. I think everything about it is fantastic, and the way it’s structured makes it inclusive to all of the staff across the hospitals.
It was especially amazing this year to see how many different groups from the Cancer Centre had been nominated for awards; from myself, to two other colleagues, the transport team and the physiotherapy team.
We’re already looking ahead with more ideas up our sleeves. I’m going to be involved in the present-giving at Christmas with our corporate partner this year, the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard. We’re also planning next year’s Guy’s Urban Challenge and are hoping to get a group of staff from the radiotherapy department, as well as recovered patients who have gone through radiotherapy, to take part in relays.
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