Welcome to our September 2017 newsletter, and to the start of more regular newsletters! There is so much you may not know about if you are not on Facebook or frequent website visitors. September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month so what better time to kick off our new newsletters!
What's been happening lately?
Our annual cycle on 1st July was a huge success - with two very different routes for our mountain and road bikers, and kitted out in their Endura gear, everyone enjoyed a challenging but fun cycle, finishing off with a family fun day at Blacketyside Farm and a delicious BBQ provided by O’Connell’s.
Special mention goes to the two supporters who cycled 76 miles on a tandem dressed as M&Ms, and we were honoured to have Oliver’s consultant from Edinburgh Sick Kids, Dr Mark Brougham, taking part once again.
We were delighted to be back at the Craigtoun Park Charity Day, and invited along to the Dalgety Bay bike festival on 19th August to host a bake sale. We have also had regular dates raising funds and awareness at Matalan Glenrothes over the summer.
We were very honoured to have one of the editors and reporters from the Courier run the Edinburgh Half Marathon for LoveOliver in May, inspired by the many articles they have written about the charity over the years.
Our sweetie team are kept busy with the growing popularity of our personalised sweetie cones and homemade tablet as party and wedding favours.
Along with many other events, fundraising efforts and generous donations over the weeks, months and years, over £430 000 has been raised for LoveOliver since we started out in 2011. Heartfelt thanks to everyone involved.
A few things we're proud of
LoveOliver was recognised as a “Point of Light” in the UK by the Prime Minister towards the end of last year, and this year has won the Inspirational Volunteer of the Year award at the Fife Voluntary Action awards in June, and for a second time the Fundraiser of the Year at the Kingdom FM Awards in August.
LoveOliver is delighted to have new charity partnerships with Matalan Glenrothes and The Waiting Room in Morningside.
The vital research fund
We are delighted to say that our first student, Matthew Selby, has completed and passed his PhD, and we were very honoured to receive a copy of his thesis. He has dedicated his work to Oliver and acknowledges the valued contribution of LoveOliver.
Our second 4 year PhD student, Kushali Patel, started at Newcastle University earlier this year, and we look forward to telling you more about her, and her research, in our next newsletter.
LoveOliver is fully funding this second PhD at a cost of £140 000.
The Invaluable Practical Support we provide…
LoveOliver began by just supporting the oncology families at Edinburgh Sick Kids and as the charity has grown we have expanded this vital support to Glasgow and more recently Aberdeen too - this covers all of Scotland which is fantastic. Every family in Scotland with a newly diagnosed child with cancer receives a supermarket voucher from LoveOliver, as well as access to financial grants when needed, and on request from their CLIC social worker.
We work closely with the social workers at the three hospitals to ensure LoveOliver’s money is going to where it is most needed. Every day in the UK there are 11 new cases of childhood cancer diagnosed, and this works out around 150 new cases each year in Scotland.
As well as supermarket vouchers and financial grants, we are also pleased to continue to provide teenage gift packs to the oncology ward at Edinburgh Sick Kids and various other entertainment and therapy supplies for the benefit of the whole ward. Earlier this year we donated £1000 worth of specialised equipment requested by the oncology therapists.
Things we’re looking forward to…
The Queensferry Crossing - delighted to have 3 families raising money and awareness for LoveOliver having been given places to walk across the new bridge during the first weekend in September.
Charity night with live music at The Waiting Room in Morningside on 9th September
Quiz night at The Waiting Room in Morningside on 10th September
Disney Karaoke at O’Connell’s on 15th September
Polwarth Preloved Sale is in aid of LoveOliver on 30th September
New to You Sale at 191 St Clair Street on 18th November
Festive Fundraiser at Blacketyside Farm on 1st December
Fun Run in Glenrothes on 2nd December
Want to get involved? Here is how…..
Volunteer your time - we have a private volunteer page on Facebook which you can request to be added to, or we can let you know of volunteering opportunities by email, text or phone if you let us know your availability
Challenge yourself - take part in a sponsored event - we have paper sponsor forms we can send you, and we also have our online fundraising facility with BT MyDonate.
Donate - donations are always welcome whether one off or on a more regular basis. We have our online donation page with BT MyDonate, the charity bank details are 10004198 and 83 24 24, or we can give you details of how to pay by cheque on request.
Donate any new/nearly new toys, books, games, clothes, accessories for babies or children to our New to You sales….get in touch to arrange collection or drop off.
Donate any unwanted gifts for us to use as raffle prizes
If you are on Facebook please ‘like’ our page, and ‘like’ and share our posts as much as possible - it really does help us to reach more people.
Love for Oliver love from Oliver…
It’s always encouraging for the LoveOliver team and supporters to hear about and see the impact LoveOliver is having, so here are a couple of recent thank yous we have received….
Heather, one of the CLIC Sargent Social Workers at RHSC Edinburgh, said…
"Today again I got to see the difference that LoveOliver makes to children with cancer and their families...I got to deliver a gift bag and see it bring a smile to faces, brightening up those difficult days when treatment feels tough and long...I saw how a supermarket voucher is appreciated by parents as they worry about how they will cope with the additional costs that accompany a cancer diagnosis...and I saw the relief that a grant can bring - a cheque given for a specific need, that helps alleviate some of the financial pressure parents can face as they try to support their child through the most difficult of times.
I'm in a privileged position to see the difference your support makes..and I love that we get to work in partnership with you!
Thank you LoveOliver, and LoveOliver supporters, for all that you do. For many families their child's cancer journey would be even more difficult without your support!….And I not only love what you do...I love how you make partnership working so easy..when we approach LoveOliver requesting support for a family you respond quickly, generously, sensitively, flexibly...and so the list could go on. I love that you choose to work so closely with us even when it means we sometimes get to see more of how your help lights up faces and is appreciated more than you do! LoveOliver, you're an amazing team!”
And this lovely thank you came from Finn’s mum. Finn recently relapsed and is back on treatment.
"This is a bit belated, but I wanted to say a huge thank you for the lovely goodie bag you sent my son, Finn recently. In his own words "it's like they'd known me all my life"!! Here's a pic of him in his new PJs, reading his Universe book and using the extendable back scratcher! Thank you so much for brightening his time in hospital with such incredibly well chosen gifts! x”
Thank you for all your support!
Love Andy, Jennifer and all at LoveOliver