The generosity from the greeting card community has helped The Light Fund, our industrywide registered charity to have a record year, raising over £325,000. This impressive sum is to be put to good use, helping to fund much needed work with 45 different charities.
The diversity of charity projects that can now go ahead as a result of The Light Fund include much needed equipment for disabled children, research into dementia, the building of a sand dam in Kenya to provide drinking water, incubators for premature babies, a support line for blood cancer sufferers, support for those with mental health issues and even a cow and chickens for an African orphanage.
The monies, which have been raised from raffles at The Retas, The Henries, The Greats as well as Max Publishing’s other awards events, plus other fundraising initiatives – not least a mega bike ride from Bristol to Dublin has resulted in the charity raising more this year than in any year since its inception in 2004, when it was started by PG’s Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder and some other like-minded folk from the industry.
Ian Hyder, joint md of Max Publishing commented: “It is truly wonderful that through The Light Fund we can change the lives of thousands of people all over the world, less fortunate than ourselves – and all because of the collective generosity of those in our industry.”
In addition to a commitment made to funding projects for The Light Fund’s ‘protected’ charities (Maggie’s, New Life, Orchid Trust and Young Minds), submissions were invited from all registered charities for specific projects to help men, women or children. Over 300 charities submitted projects (many of whom have a connection to someone in the greeting card trade).
The Light Fund Committee members then individually voted for which of these projects they would most like to see funded. The charities who will see projects being funded in 2019 as a result of The Light Fund’s 2018 activities are as follows (with a fuller description of the projects underneath):
Addenbrooke’s Children’s Charity, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support, Alzheimer’s Society, Ark-T Centre, Bliss, Bloodwise, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Bowel Cancer UK, The Brain Tumour Charity, Breast Cancer Haven, Cancer Support UK, Caudwell Children, Children with Cancer UK, The Children’s Trust, Down’s Syndrome Association, Excellent Development, Francis House Children’s Hospice, Haven House Children’s Hospice, The Kusasa Project, The Listening Place, Look Good Feel Better, The Lowde Music Trust, Maggie’s, Mind, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Multiple Sclerosis UK, New Life, Orchid Cancer Appeal, Pancreatic Cancer UK, Papyrus, Ray of Sunshine Children’s Charity, Reuben’s Retreat, St. Dorcas Orphanage, Samaritans of Portsmouth and East Hampshire, The Sick Children’s Trust, Tommy’s, Young Minds, War Child and Whizz-Kidz.
In addition, The Light Fund has also made donations to another four charities over the course of the year. These are the
Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust – £5,000
To fund the renovation of a family room, benefiting people with relatives at Addenbrooke’s (Cambridge hospital) due to serious accidents.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Support – £4,800
To fund an education programme for family careers that enables them to understand the condition and how to support the person living with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society – £5,000
To fund a research project into the diagnosis of dementia.
Back Up – To fund wheelchair skills training and telephone support services for children with spinal cord injuries.
Ark-T Centre – £4,500
To fund a six month artist-led training programme to teach young people living with disabilities the fundamentals of art and design. The designs produced will be turned into merchandise to be sold locally.
Back Up – £2,258
To fund the charity’s School Inclusion project. Childrenwho are paralysed face barriers to equal participation at school. Children describe buildings that are not wheelchair accessible, feeling excluded in PE, and isolation during school trips due to inaccessible venues and transport. Disabled children are twice as likely to be bullied. By listening to children, families and schools, advocating for children in meetings, and giving assemblies promoting understanding and respect, improved results are achieved in all the above areas.
Bliss – £5,000
To fund a new podcast and printed resources on family-centred care to help parents with premature/sick babies on a neonatal unit understand how they can get involved in care, helping them feel empowered and confident to care for their baby.
Bloodwise – £5,000
To fund the Support Line for everyone affected by blood cancer, including patients and their loved ones.
Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice – £4,317.60
To fund the Sibling Support Service offering support to poorly children’s brothers and sisters.
Bowel Cancer UK – £5,000
To fund the information resources during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to help improve early diagnosis.
The Brain Tumour Charity – £5,000
To fund Lego Scanners, a pioneering new initiative, designed to help ease the stress and anxiety of a child faced with an MRI scan.
Breast Cancer Haven – £5,000
To support the London Welcome Days for 2019 which provide visitors and their supporters with information, guidance and practical tools to help them cope with their diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer Support UK – £5,000
To fund Kids’ Kits that are bursting with items that provide joy and happiness during a child’s cancer treatment process.
Caudwell Children – £5,000
For the provision of car seats and specialised car harnesses for disabled children.
Children with Cancer UK – £5,000
Wilms’ tumour is a cancer of the kidney, mostly affecting children under five. This will fund a year’s worth materials for a laboratory research project.
The Children’s Trust – £5,000
To fund a dedicated section of a new walkway incorporating a variety of sensory pleasures at the Tadworth hospital for sick children.
Down’s Syndrome Association – £5,000
To fund a six-week DSActive summer camp in Merton for people with Down’s syndrome aged 5+ years who live in the area or surrounding boroughs (Sutton, Croydon, Kingston, Wandsworth). The summer camp will contain full days of activities, such as athletics, tennis, football, boccia/bocce, cricket etc and the funding will cover staff costs, coaches costs, venue hire, equipment and marketing.
Excellent Development – £5,000
To supply all of the cement and tools needed to build a typical sand dam in an area South East Kenya which will mean women and girls will avoid spending six hours each day walking long distances to fetch water.
Francis House Children’s Hospice – £5,000
To kit out The Snoezelen multi-sensory environment which provides stimulation for the children including touch, side, sound and smell.
Haven House Children’s Hospice – £4,572
To provide much needed equipment to aid with the children’s needs. These include a Chester Chest (which teaches staff how to feed children intravenously), an intravenous therapy pump (for parenteral feeding and infusions) and nebuliser equipment (a static and two portable devices to use to aid children’s breathing).
The Kusasa Project – £5,000
To provide a therapeutic interventions programme (speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychologist, audiologist, clinic visits) for the at-risk children, plus provide literacy classes after school hours, extra tuition in mathematics, one-on-one counselling, sports and cultural activities.
The Listening Place – £4,860
To enable TLP to open an extra day a week (meaning seven day a week coverage) to anyone feeling suicidal over 18.
Look Good Feel Better – £5,000
To provide uplifting workshops for a year to patients who have lost their confidence due to the physical side effects of their cancer treatment.
The Lowde Music Trust – £10,000
To provide children in hospital with electronic tablets and apps on which they can play music, create music, arrange music and share their results.
Maggie’s – £10,000
To covers the annual costs of four women’s cancer support groups at the Maggie’s West London Centre: (i) Breast Cancer, (ii) Ovarian Cancer, (iii) Young Women and (iv) Talking Heads which deals with issues around hair loss. In addition, it will also cover the cost of Where Now? – an evening course that supports people moving on from treatment and trying to return to a ‘normal’ life.
Mind – £5,000
To fund an arts-based project to help 40-50 people live with and recover from, at times, debilitating mental health problems.
Motor Neurone Disease Association – £5,000
To fund support sessions for up to 40 children affected by MND to help build their emotional resilience.
Multiple Sclerosis UK – £5,000
To fund a Functional Electrical Stimulus bike.
New Life – £10,000
To supply two ‘hot cots’, one to a hospital in Plymouth and the other to one in Wales.
Orchid Cancer Appeal – £10,000
to fund Male Cancer Awareness Roadshows in Carlisle, Preston, Bolton, Sunderland, Scarborough and Grimsby to raise awareness of testicular, penile and prostate cancers.
Pancreatic Cancer UK – £5,000
To provide all the laboratory equipment and materials to enable PhD student Sigrid Fey for one year of her research.
Papyrus – £4,860
To deliver nine three-hour ‘Identifying & Talking about Suicide’ courses across South Wales during 2019, reaching over 270 people.
Ray of Sunshine Children’s Charity – £5,000
Many seriously ill children endure lengthy stays in hospital. This will fund five hospital activity days, invoving arts & crafts, entertainers, VR goggles with magical experiences like roller-coaster rides and swimming with dolphins.
Reuben’s Retreat – £4,875
To fund a programme of counselling sessions and well-being therapies to support families through the heartbreak of child bereavement.
St. Dorcas Orphanage – £3,076
To pay for a cow and batch of chickens for the Kenya-based orphanage to help provide the children with a balanced diet.
Samaritans of Portsmouth and East Hampshire – £4,700
To provide workshops to over 1,000 local school children (13-15 years) offering them guidance on how to support a friend going through a difficult emotional time. Plus, to provide in-house training for new and existing volunteers.
The Sick Children’s Trust – £5,000
To fund a month’s running costs of Guilford Street House, a ‘Home from Home’ that provides accommodation and support for parents of seriously ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Tommy’s – £5,000
To fund a Planning for Pregnancy tool to encourage women to improve their health before pregnancy.
Young Minds – £100,000
To fund a Helpline adviser and two volunteers for the next two years, providing frontline support for children with mental health issues.
War Child – £5,000
VoiceMore is a ground-breaking youth initiative that empowers children and young people affected by armed conflict where 70% of young people under 32 are out of work. This will train a group of South Sudanese refugees and Ugandan young people from host communities to become young advocates to stand up for the rights of orphans who are often neglected, abused and not in school.
Whizz-Kidz – £5,000
To cover the cost of a powered wheelchair for one of the highest priority disabled children in the UK.