Each day over the 12 days of Christmas we celebrate supporters and activities from 2021, and look forward to working together in 2022 so that support can be there for more brain tumour patients and their loved ones.
Day 1 - Christmas Day
On the first day of Christmas we shared a message of hope, and a song inspired by the conviction at the heart of our charity, that 'Together we are stronger'.
Five years ago Phil discovered he had a brain tumour and was given a likely 15 months to live. This year he was able to celebrate another Christmas with his family.
It was during one of our Zoom support meetings that Phil's love of music and many years of composing songs was revealed. As a result he decided to write a song for Brain Tumour Support and for others going through their own challenges after a brain tumour diagnosis.
You can read Phil's story and hear the whole song here.
Day 2 - Boxing Day
For Boxing Day, the 2nd day of Christmas, we were delighted to give three people a sparkly surprise! Everyone who sparkled for us or took part in a fundraiser for this year's Sparkle Up Your Day campaign was entered into our special Sparkle Draw, and the lucky winners were: Heather Taylor-Nicholson, Paul Croker, Lauren Mapperson.
It was also a huge thank you to all the companies, schools, groups and individuals who supported our October campaign.
Our beautiful Sparkle Stars are still available to buy here, either as a treat to yourself or as a thank you for someone who has brought some sparkle into your life, with an optional online dedication. Each purchase also donates a vital gift of support to help more families affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.
This is Archie and his Christmas raffle which raised a wonderful £283. Organised by Ashley Down Juniors Rugby Club it was in memory of his dad, Jamie, who died three years ago when Archie was just nine.
Archie's mum Sammie explained: "Brain Tumour Support have supported our family from when Jamie was diagnosed with a brain tumour, during grueling treatment, and then when he sadly passed away. The care, kindness and support they gave us has enabled us to try and continue as a family, and they are still there for us today. The help they provide for families like ours is monumental." Read more about their story here.
We're so grateful for the support shown by everyone at Ashley Down RC, helping to ensure support goes on to other families like Archie's.
A big thank you for some more fantastic Christmas fundraising from our very committed supporters in Cornwall and Devon who together raised almost £1,500. Special thanks to: Ellen Yates and Jeanette Hackwell for organising the virtual Christmas Quiz, with 21 teams on zoom, sharing much friendship and laughter, and also raising £80.
Linda Johns, whose cake making skills really shone with her Christmas cake prize draw which raised an amazing £194.
Di Talling for her online Christmas raffle - with 37 prizes very generously donated by both individuals and businesses, she raised an incredible £1,206.
The energy, enthusiasm and generosity of these fundraisers shows so well the fun and friendship that comes out of our regional support networks.
Louise Pinchin and her son Bailey took on an emotional challenge this year in memory of Louise's dad, who sadly lost his life to a brain tumour.
In March they started their virtual John O’ Groats to Land's End walk, a total of 874 miles. They aiming to complete their challenge over 12 months and raise £150. In fact they achieved their goal in 32 weeks and were delighted to actually finish at Land's End.
Louise said, "To say I feel incredibly emotional is an understatement! I’m so pleased we got to finish the walk for real and cross that finish line in Lands End. It was a huge challenge but I’m so pleased we did it for this wonderful cause." They also smashed their fundraising target, raising a fantastic £800!
Could you set yourself a fundraising challenge for the coming year?
This was a thank you to the Exeter Chiefs Foundation for choosing Brain Tumour Support as one of their charities for the 2021-22 season. We're so grateful for this opportunity which helps us raise awareness and provides vital funds.
It's also well deserved thanks to our wonderful local volunteers who have given their time on some chilly days to be there for bucket collections!
Our heartfelt thanks go to all the companies and organisations that have supported us throughout the year - partnerships that make a huge difference to our work.
Day 7 - New Year's Eve
On the last day of 2021 we cheered two 'Champion' fundraisers in particular, who hit incredible targets during the year and continue to support our work with such commitment.
Robin Mark Schols runs....and runs.... encourages others to run too (up hills in helmets!)....then runs some more!
Ellen Yates crochets...crochets....encourages others to craft too...then crochets some more!
...And they both have further plans for the year ahead...
Enormous thanks to Robin and Ellen, and to all our fundraisers who are so vital to our work.
And if you have a passion for something that might turn into champion fundraising for 2022, do contact us, we would love to hear from you!
Day 8 - New Year's Day
For New Year we celebrated small actions which can make a big difference with our thanks to:
- Everyone who nominated us for Ecclesiastical's 12 Days of Giving helped us win a £1,000 award.
- Everyone who elected us as their charity to support when shopping at their local Co-op contributed to the £987 donation we received.
- And everyone who has chosen Brain Tumour Support as their charity on Amazon Smile is continuing to help with every purchase made.
The small things in life really do add up and there are lots of easy ways to help which could make a big difference in 2022!
On Day 9 we highlighted support and local volunteers.
Our online Support Sessions run throughout the year, including regional groups led by wonderful local volunteers. Connecting with others and sharing experiences with people who understand is so valuable. They also often bring laughter and lasting friendships, and can really turn life around for some.
Enormous thanks to our support volunteers - their care and commitment is simply awesome!
See our Support Sessions page for the groups and sessions that are coming up.
This was a warm memory of summer and a story that shows how #TogetherWeAreStronger.
Life changed suddenly for Jenny in May 2021 when she was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma brain tumour. She had previously been fit and healthy, a regular wild water swimmer, so she has had a lot to adjust to over the past eight months in facing two surgeries, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Jenny has also felt the value of support and being connected to others who understand what she's going through. And she's seen the kindness of friends with Kerry, through her business The Hat Shop, organising a wonderful sunny summer fundraiser to show her support. Read more of Jenny's story here.
In 2021, 79 of our wonderful supporters kindly set up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook for us, and the generosity of their friends' donations raised over £18,000 - enough to provide a year of continued specialist support to more than 45 families. So a huge thank you to all who contributed.
Support really matters - and your support can make a real difference.
To close #12DaysofChristmas, a special memory of April 2021 when our Superheroes for Support hit the streets to raise funds, as well as lots of smiles along the way.
But it was also a thank you to everyone who has supported us in any way throughout the past year.
You are all superheroes to us!
....Oh, and our Superhero for Support 5K challenge will be back in April this year, so get your cape ready!