As the end of the year fast approaches we wanted to take the opportunity to update you all on how the last few months have been for LoveOliver. It’s been an incredibly busy, positive and exciting time for the charity with lots happening!
Rewinding to the summer it was a privilege to be Battle Cancer’s chosen charity for their first Scottish event - it was an amazing day and we look forward to teaming up with them again in 2023. We were delighted to be able to commit £100 000 to a three year research project into Rhabdoid Tumours and other rare childhood cancers at Newcastle University in collaboration with The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust. This charity has a special research advisory board and approached LoveOliver to see if we would be interested in funding a project that has met all their requirements and standards - we were delighted to be able to say yes!
It was great to hear that the YPI team representing LoveOliver at Bell Baxter High School managed to secure the £3000 for the charity, and we are encouraged to have several more YPI groups from other schools show an interest in LoveOliver.
The Edinburgh children’s oncology ward’s play specialist Emily took to the skies in early November to do a sponsored skydive for LoveOliver. Emily sees first hand the difference LoveOliver makes to families facing childhood cancer, and she thought it was worth jumping out of a plane for - we think that is pretty special, and we loved being able to go along to support her on the day.
After being one of St Andrew’s University’s three chosen charities during the ups and downs of Covid, we didn’t know what to expect their final total to be - we were amazed, impressed and grateful to find out that they managed to raise an incredible £13,747.84 for LoveOliver alone!
We were also blown away recently to receive an email from the Secretary of Castle Dour Lodge - he said they were giving to local charities to mark their centenary and had been reading up about LoveOliver. As a result they wanted to donate £12,706 to LoveOliver - needless to say we were over the moon and very grateful indeed. It was an honour to welcome the Lodge Master and a few of its members to The LoveOliver Shop for the cheque presentation.
There have been school fayres, individual and group fundraising efforts and business donations - including £1000 from Amazon in Bathgate and £500 from Cameron Bridge Distillery in Leven. There have been several donations from funeral collections for which we are always very humbled and grateful. There have been donations of books, crafts and toys for us to pass onto the wards, and Jennifer has valued the many opportunities to go along to various groups recently to tell them all about LoveOliver - you can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to arrange a presentation to a group you attend.
Knowing first hand what childhood cancer is like and the importance of the support LoveOliver provides, the McLean family held an amazing fundraising day on their own driveway and raised over £1500! Another little one we have got to know at the drop-in cafe, Rose McNeil, told Corstorphine Nursery about the charity and they raised a fabulous £2000!
We continue to provide all our usual services to families facing childhood cancer - including supermarket and Just Eat gift cards, financial grants, digital thermometers and healthy meals for parents during hospital stays, as well as things like Tilly’s Tapes, toys, books, games and therapy supplies.
Thanks to funding awarded by Scotmid, we have been able to employ a cafe co-ordinator for our drop-in cafe at The Howat Hub. Christine Donnachie took on the role in October and is settling in well. It is a real privilege to be part of the Hub and to be able to welcome families in for a coffee, meal and chat during their hospital visits and stays. It really is such an invaluable service to be able to provide.
The LoveOliver Shop continues to thrive. We have an incredibly hard working team making it all possible and we are always so encouraged by the feedback we receive. In the last couple of months we have had more oncology mums join the team too which is really special. We love that the shop is eco friendly, providing a lifeline to parents, grandparents and carers during the cost of living crisis, as well as raising lots of vital awareness and funds for the charity. It is a privilege to be running the Kingdom Centre’s Santa’s Grotto once again, alongside the shop, and with all proceeds coming to the charity.
This Christmas over 40 families are going to wake up knowing they have a luxury Christmas dinner that just needs popped in the oven, or that they have a full freezer to see them through the difficult festive period, thanks to LoveOliver. We love that we can do this for families, as we know ourselves how difficult it can be to find the energy and motivation to prepare meals, especially at this particularly emotional time. We continue to provide weekly orders of meals to parents during treatment as much as we can, and are delighted to now have a freezer on the Glasgow ward as well as Edinburgh, which we keep filled with COOK meals - parents now don’t even have to leave the ward to find meals which is just awesome, and we really believe it is one of the most practical ways we can be supporting families. One parent said - ‘‘I cannot overstate how grateful we are to LoveOliver for what they have done for us. Having that service of cooked meals when you are dealing with the worst time of your life, takes a lot of the unnecessary stress away and provides a genuine lifeline, that is much needed.”
You can be supporting LoveOliver as you shop - please choose us as your charity on Amazon Smile and EasyFundraising, as well as through your Co-op membership where you can support LoveOliver at any of their stores across the UK by selecting LoveOliver on the app.
10K on Hogmanay is back for a third year - walk, run or cycle your way through 10k, either as an individual or group effort - donate £10 if you can - and send us a selfie you are happy for us to share on Facebook! It’s a really fun and meaningful way to end the year and we can’t wait to see how many take part this year!
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters a very Happy Christmas and New Year, and to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your continuing support for LoveOliver.
With love from Andy and Jennifer
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it” John 1v5