You name it – they’ve done it. From rowing, duck-racing and jumping out of planes to the more sedate activities of singing and cake-making, the East Cheshire Hospice community fundraisers are a resourceful bunch.
Raising more than £450,000 every year, groups and individuals from the east Cheshire area are a vital cog in the Hospices’ fundraising engine.
Newly appointed to head up the community fundraising efforts is 21-year-old Lisa Ball who doesn’t under-estimate the power of community support.
“The Hospice has been a big part of the east Cheshire community for nearly 30 years now, caring for those with life-limiting illnesses. Year after year, dozens of groups and individuals give up their spare time to help us continue that work by raising funds – often in quite inventive ways,” says Lisa.
And with £7,500 needed to run the Hospice every day, every penny raised makes a difference by helping east Cheshire patients and their families who use the Hospice services.
“We keep on thinking of new ways to involve our local community,” says Lisa. “And I must say we all enjoyed the great success of this year’s virtual balloon race which was a new online way of fundraising. Attracting more than 650 entries, it was a fun and easy way for people to get involved.”
Along with individual fundraisers, schools and groups also get regularly involved – all usually having fun whilst raising the much-needed cash.
The Hospice now has six fundraising support groups with the latest one, Congleton, starting this year. These networks of local volunteers raise money on a regular basis and also play a vital role in helping to raise awareness of the work of the Hospice in their neighbourhoods.
Also spreading a tuneful message is the Claritas Choir who performed their 10th anniversary concert at the weekend. The choir hold regular fundraising concerts and members come from throughout the local area, many having a strong connection with the Hospice – either members of staff , those who have had relatives in the Hospice or members of the local community who simply want to show their support.
Some groups raising cash for the Hospice often start off with a one-off event and grow into something much bigger. Fast becoming a fundraising highlight is the quiz night run by Hospice volunteer, Alison Brammer. Taking place every quarter, the last quiz in October raised more money than ever before and Alison and her support team are already planning their next one for St. Patrick’s night in 2017.
Community Fundraiser, Lisa, is also on the look-out for great events to become part of with other charities such as next month’s Tatton Yule Yomp – a 10k event which raises money for the Hospice and two other charities. This highly popular event, which is now full for the race on December 11, attracts 1000 runners and is set in the wintry surroundings of Tatton Park.
Also coming up soon is one of the newest community events – the Elf Run. Replacing the Reindeer Run which attracted more than 3000 people last year and which raised £22,000 for the charity, this year’s run is bound to be a favourite with local groups and schools.
Elf hats are now being distributed and groups can pick their own run date and distance.
Any schools or groups wanting to take part should contact the community fundraising team on 01625 433477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“With less than 20% of our running costs covered by the NHS, every single individual or group who takes the time to raise money for us is making all the difference to patients and their families during what can be really difficult times” says Lisa.