It is a privilege to be the Director of Fundraising for Bowel Cancer UK. I am fortunate enough to work with a brilliant team of talented and motivated individuals, all of whom are determined to have an impact on the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.
Even though someone in the UK loses their life to bowel cancer every 30 minutes, it is often surprisingly difficult to raise funds to support our work. Far too many people still don’t know about or act on the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer which is why the work funded by the Suzy Spirit Award to support our health promotion and training team is so important.
Despite the increasing challenges faced by fundraising teams in the UK today, I am always amazed by the incredible generosity and commitment from the inspirational people and fantastic organisations that choose to donate money and time to help us.
The Suzy Spirit Award is a prime example of this. As a charity, we don’t get any government support and rely almost entirely on donations to continue our work. The regular and consistent support we receive as a result of the Suzy Spirit Award is critical because it enables us to plan ahead. More importantly, to have a chance to be part of remembering and celebrating Suzy’s life in such an innovative and special way is a real honour for Bowel Cancer UK and we always look forward to what has now become a regular fixture in our annual organisational calendar.
The fundraising team are always striving to ensure that we are sharing as much information as possible with our fundraisers so that they know how they are making a difference to the lives of people affected by bowel cancer. It is the people who dedicate themselves to helping us and who we are able to help as a result of that support that drives our decision-making and priorities – both as a team and a charity.
Whilst it’s not always easy to come up with the ‘next big thing in charity fundraising’, we do make sure we provide a broad range of ways for people to get involved and support us. Whether someone wants to jump out of a plane, bake a cake, cycle from London to Paris or vote for us as their charity of the year partner, the fundraising team will cater to every request and challenge – however large or small.
Additionally, for me it is vital that every one in the fundraising team knows that they have the support and backing of every other team member. As a team we will always muck in if there is a problem or a need to pool resources and thinking to find to a solution to any issue or discuss opportunities that may arise.
The fundraising team also work very closely with other teams across the charity to make sure that what we do enables them to continue their work to help more people affected by bowel cancer. As the UK’s leading dedicated bowel cancer research charity, our mission is clear. We want to stop bowel cancer. For good. Which represents a very exciting opportunity as we focus on developing our medical & clinical research programme in 2016 and beyond.