Fundraising for a cure

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Many thanks to all of you who have followed, supported and participated in our activities over the last year and are planning ahead for next year. 2017 has been a momentous year for PLANETS for many reasons:

 

  • We have seen the implementation of our intra-operative electron beam radiotherapy (IORT) program in Southampton delivering world-class, combined surgical and radiotherapy treatments to patients with advanced cancers from across our central South coast region.
  • It has been our most successful year for fundraising as we approach £200,000 for the year.
  • We have recently broadened our charitable support base to include patients with forms of cancer involving other abdominal organs (including bowel, stomach and gullet cancer) as they have so much in common with the cancer patients that we are already helping and working with.
  • Finally, we are proud to announce that we have also become independent, stand-alone charity. Previously PLANETS was a fund within Southampton Hospital Charity. This served a fantastic purpose during the early years of our development as it reduced some of our costs and avoided some of the administrative burden. However as we have grown, it has become clear that we need to be independent in order to fund raise effectively across the region and support patients and projects outside of Southampton. Whilst it is inevitable that a large proportion of our fundraising will still be directed towards initiatives in the regional specialist cancer centre at University Hospital Southampton, being an independent charity will give us better flexibility to support projects in other hospitals around the region. Our trustees for the charity are Neil Pearce (chairman), Brian Stedman, Tori Caine, Emily Dolan, Tim Underwood, Alex Mirnezami and Ruth Willrich. I am immensely grateful to my fellow trustees for taking on this massive responsibility, in addition to their many other commitments, however together with the invaluable support of Layla Stephen and Jo Green I am sure that we will all make a great success of this.

 

As PLANETS grows from strength to strength we have many things to look forward to in 2018; more patient support groups and conferences as well as a ball in Bournemouth, a golf day at The Isle of Purbeck course in Dorset, charity dinners, cycle events and more. Furthermore, we are also starting to plan events for 2019, so keep an eye out for the PLANETS event planner on our new look website which is currently a work in progress that we are excited to share with you later this month!

 

Our fundraising target for 2018 is £250,000. This is a daunting target, but one that we believe we have to reach in order to support the many projects that we have lined up. As we have done as part of Southampton Hospital Charity we will aim to keep our administration costs below 10% to ensure that we all get the best value from the money that we raise. Inevitably this means that we will continue to rely heavily on volunteers. At present we do not have any salaried members of staff, although in the longer term we will probably need to review this as the charity continues to grow. Which brings me on to thank you’s.

 

Layla and Jo; where do I even start! Yet again your selfless commitment to PLANETS has been inspirational and I think we all know that without the pair of you we could never have achieved a fraction of this year’s many successes.

 

Craig, Colin and Debra from Regal Homes who together organised and staged this year’s most successful, newsworthy and memorable event as we raised over £46,000 on our Scrap to the Future Car Rally challenge from Southampton to Loch Lomond. All of us who took part have unforgettable memories of the crazy capers from this riotous event which would have withstood comparison with anything produced by Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear crew!

 

Steph Shepherd, who seems to have mobilised most of Swanage in her efforts to fund raise for us. Individually she is both our most successful fundraiser of the year and our most overtly bonkers team member. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for the cash and for being you!

 

Leanne Baldry and The Pompey Massive Committee. Thank you for the tireless fundraising efforts that you have instigated across Portsmouth, we really appreciate the immense commitment that these many projects and events must have taken to reach this massive fundraising total.

 

As ever I cannot possibly individually thank everyone who has participated in fundraising events as there are literally thousands of you who have supported us in so many different ways. But here are just a few of you whom I would like to mention so that everyone can get a flavour of this year’s special events:

 

Marian Weston for raising over £4000 on her Great Wall of China walk, Cathi Holgate for raising over £1000 at a coffee and Prosecco evening, Amanda Bragg-Mollison, Tori Caine, Samantha Newborough and the Braishfield crew for putting together the Carnival Ball in November which raised over £18,000, Simon Hughes and family for donating the incredible Shamu as an auction prize yet again, John Pugh for the Alsace cycle challenge, Becky Keith for raising £300 from a coffee morning, Christopher and Sarah Saunders-Davies for letting us use their beautiful gardens for a patient day, Richard Gray and all of our Great South and Southampton Half Marathon runners.  Nick Walker, Stuart Wayman, Rob Packham, Venice Beach, Martin Kennaugh and David Meaning for their individual fundraising and incredible generosity, Pete Plowman and his cycling group for supporting us throughout 2017, Alannah Smigielska-Phillips for a coffee morning and auction which raised over £2000, Emma Murgatroyd for skydiving for PLANETS, Alistair Francis and his hockey team, the London Academicals, who raised over £2500 in memory of his Dad, Jonathan. Paul Cherrie and Solid Steel for providing the amazing steelband at the Carnival Ball and for putting on a fundraising gig beforehand to cover their costs. Digital Storm for bending over backwards to help us with the new website and providing us with a fantastic discount. Finally, Jane Rawlins for our brilliantly eye-catching, event design work and marketing literature which she has done for next to nothing and often at the 11th hour!

 

Looking back over the year it is staggering and awe-inspiring to see what collectively you have done and for me to see how this is being channelled into new treatments that are directly saving lives, patient support initiatives which change the lives of those with cancer and research projects which may one day help us find new treatments such as immunotherapy for current and future patients. So, thank you.

 

Here’s to 2018 and all who are a part of the PLANETS family, we couldn’t do it without you!

 

Neil Pearce

How the money raised is spent

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