Our fundraising heroes | Sarcoma UK

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Our fundraising heroes

Sarcoma UK has benefitted from the generosity of so many dedicated fundraisers who have gone the extra mile to undertake all sorts of personal challenges in support of our work. We couldn’t be more grateful to them. Here’s a snapshot of what just some of them have been up to over the last decade.

Natalie Ellender

Natalie Ellender knows how to host a Great British Picnic in style. She has been fundraising for Sarcoma UK since 2018, in support and memory of her friend Lisa Pidgeon, who died in 2019. Over the years Natalie has raised over £10,000 through triathlons, bake sales and virtual challenges. As a Great British Picnic Champion, her incredible enthusiasm was tested in the face of the pandemic as events were cancelled. Fast-forward to July 2021 and the much-awaited extravaganza finally went ahead at Sandall Park, Doncaster, raising a fantastic £5,000. There were rides, stalls and even a mini Crufts-style dog show! We are so grateful to Natalie and Lisa’s family and friends for their support.

James ReadJames Read

James is a marathon veteran with a difference. His wife Sarah was diagnosed with sarcoma a few weeks after their honeymoon in 2015. She died in 2018, three years after her diagnosis, and James has been doing everything he can to raise awareness of sarcoma as well as fundraise for Sarcoma UK. In 2016 he ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in a giant golf ball costume to highlight sarcoma to GPs in the On the Ball awareness campaign and is still running in that outfit. His multiple runs and fundraising challenges have raised a total of £60,414.74 through Fortis in Arduis Group Fund.

The Analyst

Ten years of an incredible partnership is another very important reason to mark 2021. Thanks to a commitment from London independent equity firm The Analyst, a valuable relationship has flourished between its team and Sarcoma UK. While the business has donated more than £890,000 to date, their support has gone well beyond fundraising and awareness. The relationship is the legacy of Jonny Scriven, diagnosed with advanced sarcoma while the Analyst was being established by Managing Partner and Founder Mark Hiley. Mark and his colleague Neil Madden raised more than £5,824 by running the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2021.

Team Gaz

Team Gaz took the nation by storm in June 2021 when they successfully completed their challenge to cycle from one end of the country to another. The inspiration of Gareth (Gaz) Emmerson was more than enough to keep those wheels spinning tirelessly from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Gaz was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2014. His cancer is terminal. Friends, family and his fiancé, Zoe, joined him in the 1,000-mile challenge – followed by their wedding just a few days afterwards. An incredible fundraising total of more than £116,223 for Sarcoma UK is set to make a big difference to our work alongside the awareness achieved through this venture. Gaz was delighted to be named as Fundraiser of the Year for the London Region in the prestigious Pride of Britain awards.

20 for 20

A challenge like no other. In the midst of the pandemic, fundraising needed to look a little different. Sarcoma UK supporters threw their hearts into 20 for 20, a unique challenge which brought together 20 charities behind rare and less common cancers. This community approach came from a desire to overcome the challenges of Covid-19 which had stopped so many fundraising events and to create something positive for everyone to join in. Supporters could pick anything they liked based on the number 20; 20 challenges for 20 days in autumn 2020. Baking, swimming, or arts and crafts – nothing was off the agenda. The campaign was a finalist in the Third Sector Awards for Charity Partnership of the Year and was back for 2021.

Alongside our many wonderful supporters who take on their own challenges big and small are our regular donors. These unsung heroes continue to change lives though their important contributions which enable us to plan for the future.

Thank you to all of you.

Glyn Wilmshurst

Former Chair of Trustees at Sarcoma UK, Glyn Wilmshurst and wife Katy celebrated their 25-year wedding anniversary with a difference – by aiming high. The intrepid couple climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, despite the 5,895 summit being the snowiest in 15 years and raised £4,735.

Richard Dunwoody

Former champion jockey Richard Dunwoody trekked the length of Japan – 2,000 miles – with a 20kg rucksack in 2017. He chose to fundraise and raise awareness for Sarcoma UK as his nephew George, then 21, had sarcoma. George, who had represented Great Britain at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2014, had been diagnosed with paratesticular embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. Richard’s amazing journey – the equivalent of a marathon a day for three months – raised more than £46,708.

Carey Lander and Camera Obscura

Carey Lander was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her leg in 2011. That didn’t stop her travelling and playing keyboard with the Scottish indie pop outfit Camera Obscura. The Glasgow musician was determined to do all she could to raise funds and awareness for Sarcoma UK. Before her death in 2015, Carey’s Campaign had surpassed all expectations beyond her £50,000 target and become the single biggest campaign in the charity’s history. The fundraising continued in her memory, and now stands at just under £168,000 after worldwide support. Carey was given a posthumous Special Recognition Award at the Justgiving awards in 2016 which was accepted by her mum Eileen. Carey changed the sarcoma landscape significantly and was a groundbreaking supporter.

The Wainwright Bagger

The very first fundraising event of the new charity in 2011 involved not just a determined climbing team, but a dog. The Wainwright Bagger involved scaling seven named Wainwrights in the Lake District and the formidable Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. Their wet and windy weekend set the fundraising bar high by raising over £7,000. What an amazing start to Sarcoma UK’s fundraising adventures.

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