The Light Fund Raises £325K Which Helps 45 Charities 

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.

Above: The Light Fund is able to pay for another two incubators via New Life this year.
Above: The Light Fund is able to pay for another two incubators via New Life this year.

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.

Above: The Light Fund committee members and supporters gathered to hear which projects are to be funded.
Above: The Light Fund committee members and supporters gathered to hear which projects are to be funded.

In addition, The Light Fund has also made donations to another four charities over the course of the year. These are the Haemochromatosis Society, Macmillan, St Clare Hospice and Ty Hafan,

Addenbrooke’s Children’s Charity – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.

Bliss – 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 – to fund the Support Line for everyone affected by blood cancer, including patients and their loved ones.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice – to fund the Sibling Support Service offering  support to poorly children’s brothers and sisters.

Bowel Cancer UK – To fund the information resources during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to help improve early diagnosis.

The Brain Tumour Charity – 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 – 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 – To fund Kids’ Kits that are bursting with items that provide joy and happiness during a child’s cancer treatment process.

Caudwell Children – For the provision of car seats and specialised car harnesses for disabled children.

Children with Cancer UK – 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 – 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 – To fund FA-accredited Coachability, a specifically modified football coaching course for adults with Down’s Syndrome who want to gain their FA Level 1 coaching qualification.

Excellent Development – 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 – 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 – to provide medical equipment to aid with children’s breathing in each of the bedrooms.

The Kusasa Project – To expand the extra-curricular programme in a Franschoek Township Early Learning Centre, plus provide literacy classes after school hours, extra tuition in mathematics, one-on-one counseling, sports and cultural activities.

The Listening Place – 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 – 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 – 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 – for a special project connected to helping women suffering from cancer.

Mind – 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 – to fund support sessions for up to 40 children affected by MND to help build their emotional resilience.

Multiple Sclerosis UK – To fund a Functional Electrical Stimulus bike.

New Life – to supply two ‘hot cots’, one to a hospital in Plymouth and the other to one in Wales.

Orchid Cancer Appeal – 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 – to provide all the laboratory equipment and materials to enable PhD student Sigrid Fey for one year of her research.

Papyrus – 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 – 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 – To fund a programme of counselling sessions and well-being therapies to support families through the heartbreak of child bereavement.

St. Dorcas Orphanage – 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 – 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 – 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 – To fund a Planning for Pregnancy tool to encourage women to improve their health before pregnancy.

Young Minds – To fund a Helpline adviser and two volunteers for the next two years, providing frontline support for children with mental health issues.

War Child – KATI is a ground-breaking youth initiative that promotes entrepreneurship in Northern Uganda, where 70% of young people under 32 are out of work. This will support 895 young entrepreneurs through training, business development support and mentoring.

Whizz-Kidz – To cover the cost of a powered wheelchair for one of the highest priority disabled children in the UK.


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