Thanks to raffles at The Henries, The Retas, donations from those in the card trade as well as from other fundraising events, The Light Fund industry charity has raised over £152,000 this year, which is now to be put to very good use to fund 32 different charity projects in 2020.
Included in this amount is almost £4,000 that was donated by Belly Button Designs as a result of a sale of its Christmas cards.
“It is incredible that in such difficult and challenging times, that the huge effort and generosity from those in the industry, we have been able to raise so much money that means we are able to support so many worthwhile charity projects,” commented Trevor Jones, chairman of The Light Fund. “This year’s fundraising has seen people rowing, swimming, running, quizzing, treasure hunting, sample selling and raffle ticket buying. Every single penny will go to help people less fortunate than ourselves,” he added.
The charities who are to see their projects funded are: The Lowde Music Trust, Maggie’s West London, New Life, Orchid Cancer Appeal, The Brain Tumour Charity, Motor Neurone Disease Association, MIND, The Children’s Trust, Children with Cancer UK, Francis House Children’s Hospice, Acorns Children’s Hospice, Look Good Feel Better, Together for Short Lives, Dogs for Good, MS-UK, Amputation Foundation, Read for Good, World Child Cancer UK, Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children, Samaritans of Portsmouth and East Hampshire, London Wheelchair Rugby Club, Music for All, Berkshire MS Therapy Centre, Bowel Cancer UK, Happy Days Children’s Charity, Breast Cancer Now, Douglas Bader Foundation, Samaritans Chelmsford & Mid Essex branch, Cherry Trees, Women and Children, First UK, Bliss and Action for M.E. (The details of the specific projects are listed below).
Those in the card trade were urged to encourage registered charities to submit projects (costing around £5,000 each) that they would like to be considered for funding. The Light Fund Committee members, which include PG’s Jakki Brown and Ian Hyder, then voted individually for the ten projects they would most like to see funded. These votes were then correlated and verified with the projects receiving the highest number of votes going ahead.
The committee met recently at which it was announced which 32 charity projects are to be funded by The Light Fund with this year’s monies.
“Since we started The Light Fund in 2004 we have now raised £1.6million and have funded projects with over 120 different charities, with a full calendar of events being firmed up for 2020 and beyond, reaching that £2 million is in our sights!” commented David Scott, treasurer of The Light Fund.
Here are full details of the projects The Light Fund will pay for with the monies raised from this year’s fundraising efforts:
Orchid Cancer Appeal – £5,000
The grant will help Orchid to raise vital awareness of testicular, penile and prostate cancers among men and their loved ones in 2020. Activities will include: • Delivering three Male Cancer Awareness Roadshows in target locations where the charity can make a difference i.e. Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds • Carrying out a new national survey into men’s understanding of male cancers • A social media campaign encouraging men to learn about these cancers.
The Lowde Music Trust – £5,000
The Lowde Music Trust has been involved with Radio Lollipop for nearly 10 years and prior to The Light Fund donation was running a trial project with iPads providing kids in hospital with the ability to make music, listen to Music, and take part in social activities. The money donated to date by The Light Fund has been directly and exclusively invested into this Radio Lollipop programme entitled ‘Tablets make it better’ which is aimed to build on this important project by increasing the reach and coverage through the provision of new iPads, and new music-based Radio Lollipop Apps. This further grant will enable the charity to widen and extend the project’s reach to other children’s hospitals across 2020.
Maggie’s West London – £5,000
The monies will fund women’s groups in 2020, supporting people diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or indeed any other diagnosis. Specifically the funding covers the Early and Secondary Breast Cancer Support Groups, the Young Women with Ovarian Cancer Support Group, its ‘Headwrappers’ group for women with hair loss, the ‘Skin and Nails’ workshops, as well as ‘Look Good Feel Better’ sessions, all helping women diagnosed with cancer to work through the various challenges they will encounter.
New Life – £5,000
New Life provides much needed equipment for Special Care Baby Units to help in the survival of sick and premature babies. The charity supplies vital pieces of equipment that the NHS or hospitals cannot always fund. It makes a massive difference to many tiny lives. The funding will provide another hot cot, this time for Winchester Hospital in Hampshire who are desperate for this new equipment.
The Brain Tumour Charity – £5,000
To fund I’M STILL ME, which is a series of webpages with downloadable content to allow teachers to support a child or young person’s journey in school following a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment. This will include factual information about brain tumours; guidance on how best to communicate with the family; how to support peers to understand their friend’s diagnosis; how to make the child still feel a part of the classroom when they are away for treatment or recovery; and how to help a child share their story with their friends.
Motor Neurone Disease Association – £5,000
A diagnosis of MND is devastating. Understandably, attention turns to the person with MND, but the impact on children and young people can be immense as family life is turned upside down. Last year, thanks to funding from The Light Fund, events were piloted for children and young people to provide an opportunity for children to make memories, make friendships with others in the same situation and realise that they are not alone. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and in 2020 the charity will build on the success of these pilots by running four further family days for children and young people to help bring a bit of light into what can be very dark times.
MIND – £5,000
Almost 850,000 children in the UK have a diagnosable mental health problem, but the support available is limited and oversubscribed, with only 25% of children and young people able to access help. Helping to address these issue is Mind’s flagship ‘Whole School Approach’ project. The grant from The Light Fund will directly support 300 people, whilst more widely reaching over 30,000 people in 2019/20.
The Children’s Trust – £5,500
To purchase three Ropox Vision Therapy Tables, as they are absolutely vital to help children engage with rehabilitation after a brain injury. They are a crucial piece of equipment in helping children re-learn the skills that they may have lost. The therapy tables are standalone pieces of furniture that will be used by multiple children throughout the day and are completely flexible so can be adapted to each child’s individual needs.
Children with Cancer UK – £5,000
More than 4,500 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. That’s 12 children every day. Children with Cancer UK provides crucial financial assistance to these families through a provision of welfare grants. The funding will provide crucial financial assistance to approximately 20 families across the UK in their time of great need.
Francis House Children’s Hospice – £6,715
To fund a new oven to replace the current one in Francis House (in Didsbury, Manchester) which needs replacing. The current model has been in near constant use since the hospice opened in 1991 and can no longer keep up with the demands of what is needed. We believe we provide a “home from home” experience at Francis House. As the kitchen is the heart of the home, the hospice’s kitchen and dining area is a special place for families and care team. Being able to provide enough hot meals to meet the needs of our families and children is vital.
Acorns Children’s Hospice – £5,100
The hospice’s specialist short breaks offer nurse-led clinical care for babies, children and young people with highly complex, palliative care needs, providing day care for a few hours or a longer period of days/weeks as required. Most short breaks are delivered in the hospice, but can also be provided within a family’s home. Each child has a personal care plan that is tailored to their individual medical, emotional, cultural, religious and spiritual needs, which is delivered by an experienced and qualified multi-disciplinary team of professionals. The funding will pay for six children to have short breaks, at £850 per child, per short break.
Look Good Feel Better – £5,000
Look Good Feel Better ‘Confidence Workshops’ are currently run in 135 locations across the UK. The charity works in close partnership with local NHS Trust hospitals, private hospitals, cancer care centres, hospices and cancer support networks to provide a tailored service for each location. Each workshop lasts approximately two hours, during which time attendees are taken through a 12 step programme by one of its 2,600 beauty and grooming trained Volunteers. The funding will enable the charity to run a location for a full year. Each location holds monthly workshops, seeing between 10 and 12 people at each one, thus allowing The Light Fund’s monies to support approximately 144 at that location.
Together for Short Lives – £3,450
Families who have cared for a seriously ill child often end up living in poverty due to the high cost of caring for their child. With one or both parents giving up their careers in order to care full-time for their child, families often end up living solely off benefits. From the grant from The Light Fund, this would be directly distributed to 10 bereaved families as grants as well as contributing to the project’s running costs.
Dogs for Good – £5,362
The Light Fund’s support will help create an assistance dog partnership which will improve the quality of life for a physically disabled child on the charity’s waiting list. The physical disabilities affecting beneficiaries include cerebral palsy, duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. A grant will help fund the ‘partnership training’ which enables a disabled person to work effectively with their dog and is the final stage of creating an assistance dog partnership.
MS-UK – £5,000
The charity’s research has shown that one of the biggest unmet needs for people affected by MS at the moment a lack of human connection – they are lonely and isolated. What stands in their way and there is no one simple solution for everyone. The Light Fund Will Fund a project that will include national publication of the charity’s loneliness and isolation report, a year-long social media campaign reducing the stigma associated with feeling lonely to encourage people to reach out; collaboration to increase people’s understanding of true accessibility so more people can live life fully; and increased peer support so people no longer feel alone.
Amputation Foundation – £5,200
The Light Fund will provide the monies to purchase two electric assist hybrid bikes, which will be used for a fundraising event in May 2020 which will see Amputation Foundation founder members Andy Reid (triple amputee injured in Afghanistan in 2009) and Stephen Cruse (double amputee injured in a major road traffic accident in Australia 2008) cycle 400 miles over five days, aiming to raise £25,000 to be shared between Amputation Foundation and ABF (Army Benevolent Fund). The bikes will remain property of Amputation Foundation and will be used to improve the fitness and activity levels of amputees on an ongoing basis and also be used for more fundraising events for the Amputation Foundation.
Read for Good – £5,000
To support the charity’s book and storytelling project in UK children’s hospitals in the year ahead.
World Child Cancer UK – £4,920
To construct a playground at Mbingo Hospital in Cameroon to enable young patients to play in fresh air, to connect with other children, and to enjoy improved wellbeing, which is especially vital for children battling conditions such as cancer. Mbingo Hospital is one of three main treatment centres for childhood cancer in Cameroon with which the charity has partnered with since 2011 to improve the quality of its services. The grant could be doubled through match-finding from the UK government’s Department for International Development during the charity’s appeal which runs until 20/01/2020. (DFID’s matched funds would go towards helping children with cancer in Nepal).
Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children – £4,675
The majority of applications the charity receives are from families in emergency situations – whose child’s safety is at risk or whose medical condition is in danger of rapidly deteriorating without the equipment they need. Through its Emergency Equipment Loan service, launched in 2011, the charity provides specialist beds, buggies, seating and other essential items on loan to families anywhere in the UK within just 72 hours. The Light Fund’s grant will fund a specialist bed to add to its suite of loan equipment
Samaritans of Portsmouth and East Hampshire – £2,000
The charity’s London Road facilities (in Portsmouth) are in need of repair and the charity has a programme of work over the next few years. The monies from The Light Fund fund the replacement of our central heating boiler and some enhancements to the central heating system.
London Wheelchair Rugby Club – £4,150
Wheelchair Rugby is the fastest, most physically intense and action-packed Paralympic sport you’ll ever watch apparently! Because of the regular high-impact collision spare wheelchair tyres are high on the charity’s list of priorities each year, as they regularly need replacing. Another priority is player accessories, which consists of: strapping to keep players in the wheelchairs, extra thick rubber gloves with anti-slip palms, glove tape to secure them to the wrist, arm protectors and handball glue to assist with ball handling due to often impaired gripping ability. All these essential items are needed each year for the amazing men and women members to continue to play a sport they love, to train and compete, and to develop their skills, and for some, the opportunity to be selected for the Great Britain squad, and compete with the best in the world!
Music for All – £5,000
Music making is a life enhancing and life changing activity that should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. Sadly, far too many people are not able to afford musical instruments or lessons to develop their talent. The grant will enable the charity to support 20 deserving children who do not have access to instruments or lessons. We are inundated with applications from children (especially) who simply want to learn to play and make music but are disadvantaged either physically, socially or financially.
Berkshire MS Therapy Centre – £3,750
As MS progresses, weight bearing becomes increasingly difficult and possibly dangerous. The charity has been trying a new ‘unweighing’ machine which allows people to exercise as it holds their weight. This allows people to be supported upright safely in a standing position increasing confidence, core strength and allows people to exercise in new ways. To maximise its benefit it will require the use of a mini treadmill. This will keep some people walking when they are starting to struggle and by reducing the space needed will allow more people to use our gym at the same time. The Light Fund will pay for the treadmill which works in tandem with the unweighing machine.
Bowel Cancer UK – £5,000
To fund the design, printing and distribution costs of the ‘Your Operation’ information booklet for a year. Surgery is the most common treatment and last year the charity sent over 11,500 copies of this vital resource, which includes information on the different types of surgery that may be performed on bowel cancer patients and their possible side effects. There are also useful tips on preparing for a hospital stay and recovering at home.
Happy Days Children’s Charity – £4,458
To provide the following: a respite break for Kayla, aged 7 who has autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD to go to Legoland. A day trip for 120 children aged 7 – 11 with special needs to go to a pantomime. A visiting theatre performance of Cinderella for 78 children and young people aged 11 – 17 with special needs and a residential group activity holiday for 20 children aged 12 – 13 with special needs to go to Norfolk.
Breast Cancer Now – £5,000
Every year, around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK; for every person who receives this life-changing diagnosis, there are families and friends who also experience the fear and uncertainty the disease brings. Our free Helpline provides expert information and a friendly ear to anyone affected by breast cancer. The Light Fund grant will help cover staff training for the year, and a third of our call handling charges.
Douglas Bader Foundation – £4,500
Bader Braves Young Aviator Flying Days, inspired by Sir Douglas, are designed to give amputee and disabled children the wonderful experience of flying in a light aircraft. Disabled children thrive from being stimulated, and just to see the expressions on their faces is evidence enough of the pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction they get from this new experience. The Light Fund grant will fund 15 amputee/disabled children to attend a Young Aviators Day.
Samaritans Chelmsford & Mid Essex branch – £3,690
To cover the training plus one year of support for 15 new volunteers.
Cherry Trees – £3,520
The charity ensures that all of its disabled children participate in as many activities and outings as possible providing them with the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers. We bring entertainers, circus acts and farm animals to Cherry Trees and go on many outings, such as swimming, bowling, the seaside, boat rides, animal sanctuaries, meals out and much more. The Light Fund monies covers six circus visits @ £220, four farm visits, four music visits and six horse sanctuary visits.
Women and Children First UK – £5,000
The charity project supports menstrual hygiene of adolescent girls in Oyam, Uganda. Puberty, including start of menstruation, can be an unsettling process for girls around the world. In Oyam, a poor rural district in Uganda the grant will fund the training of girls to make their own reusable hygienic sanitary pads and provide them with the necessary tools and materials.
Bliss – £5,000
The funds will enable the charity to revise its information for parents or anyone supporting parents who are leaving the neonatal unit with a premature or sick baby. The information currently available to parents is over two years old and it is important that it is revised to eliminate the risk of the information being clinically inaccurate. The grant will support the updating and rewriting of this crucial resource for parents that prepares them for going home. Setting the scene, over 100,000 babies are born in the UK each year needing specialist neonatal care. This is about 1 in 7 of all babies born in the UK.
Action for M.E. – £4,878
M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is a long-term, fluctuating neurological condition. Symptoms include debilitating pain, sleep difficulties, cognitive problems (‘brain fog’) and post-exertional malaise, the body and brain’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy. It affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, including 25,000 children. Support from The Light Fund will ensure adults with M.E., their carers and parents of children with M.E. are able to access key information, learn self-management skills to help them manage the impact of M.E. and make informed decisions about appropriate care and support.
For more information go to www.lightfund.org
Top: As a result of this year’s fundraising, New Life’s £5,000 donation will see a hot bed (incubator) arrive at Winchester hospital.