When supporters call or click to donate to the Future Fund campaign, it’s Dr Katie Harland’s team at Newcastle University that is waiting on the other end of the line to gratefully process the pledge.
The fund aims to raise £5.5 million to create a state-of-the-art children’s cancer research centre at Newcastle University and despite launching to the public just two weeks ago it is already winning the hearts of fundraisers.
“It never fails to amaze me how generous the Great British public can be when they get behind a good cause,” says Katie who is Senior Development Manager in the University’s Development and Alumni Relations team. “You just have to look at the remarkable Stephen Sutton story to see how willing people are to get involved with a campaign when they are inspired by what it aims to achieve.
“People were very quick to offer their support as soon as we made public our plans to create specialist facilities where new and less toxic children’s cancer treatments could be developed.
United in the fight against cancer
“It’s a tragic fact that every one of us is touched by cancer in some way and I think it’s the universal nature of the disease that makes people unite in the fight against it – especially when it is children we are trying to protect. Though it’s early days, we have already received lots of messages of encouragement and have been made aware of all kinds of exciting things our supporters are planning to help us hit our target.”
The Future Fund is a collaborative project between Newcastle University, North of England Children’s Cancer Research charity and the Newcastle Hospitals’ Great North Children’s Hospital – home to one of the UK’s leading centres for paediatric oncology.
The goal is to raise enough money to establish the Newcastle University Centre for Childhood Cancer where researchers and clinicians will work together to advance and accelerate new treatments to reduce the chronic long-term side effects of current cancer therapies. It will also aim to improve survival rates for children whose cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage and those whose cancer has come back after initial treatments.
Newcastle has already earned itself an international reputation for its research and treatment of cancer and the Future Fund will build on this expertise.
Katie said: “It is incredibly satisfying and rewarding to be working on such an important campaign. The Future Fund and the research centre it establishes will directly save the lives of children and will ensure young cancer survivors have a future to look forward to, rather than facing the heavy burden of long-term side effects.
“It’s incredibly exciting to think that we are seizing the opportunity to use the knowledge and expertise concentrated in Newcastle to have an impact right across the world. Survival rates have increased to 80 percent and that is in large part because of the work carried out in Newcastle and now we are ready to move to the next level by exploring the next generation of treatments and therapies.
“The messages of support we have received via our JustGiving site, Facebook and Twitter are incredibly moving and many come from families who are closely connected to the cause because their own children have been touched by the work of researchers and clinicians in Newcastle. We look forward to working with anyone and everyone who offers their support to make this plan a reality.”
Katie’s top tips for fundraising
Want to get involved with supporting the Future Fund but stuck for inspiration? Here are a few ideas of ways to raise funds.
In the workplace:
- Cake sale or Great British Bake Off style baking challenge
- Clothing ‘swish’ to swap outfits and accessories
- Office sweepstake
- Team boot camp, trek, cycle or sky dive challenge
- Car park car wash
- If you work for a company that would be interested in becoming a corporate supporter of the Future Fund, please get in touch with Katie
- Host a dinner party or Come Dine with me style cooking competition with friends
- Street party, BBQ or garden party
- Garage sale or car boot
- Pamper night
- Getting married, having a birthday or an anniversary? Use your big day to make someone else’s by asking for charity donations instead of gifts
Big night out:
- Charity ball or auction
- Talent show
- Fashion show
- Charity gig
- Pub quiz
- Forfeit your favourite food return for sponsorship
- Dare to look silly – it’s amazing how much people will pay to see others sitting in a bath of beans, shaving their hair or growing a beard
- Take part in a big event such as the NECCR’s Children’s Cancer Run which takes place in May
Katie is always happy to discuss fundraising ideas and can be contacted by phone on 0191 208 7250 or by email: Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org
How to donate
- Via JustGiving
- Call 0191 208 7250
- Text NCFF01 and the amount of your donation to 70070.
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