Big Love Fund
The end of 2022 is fast approaching and like many people, I find myself reflecting on the year gone by as well as the year to come.
2022 has been an incredibly busy one for the team at Solving Kids’ Cancer UK. This year we launched our 2022 – 2027 organisational strategy, presenting our aims and objectives under three key pillars of focus: research, support and awareness. We have made great strides already towards achieving the ambitious objectives we set for ourselves under each pillar of our work.
We began the year with hope as the impact of the pandemic on our families lessened and life began to acclimatise to the new normal post-pandemic. We strengthened our capacity to deliver our bold new strategy by forging new partnerships to deliver our most ambitious research grant call yet through the ACTION consortium, and joined the European ALADDIN project, a new multi-stakeholder educational programme for current and future clinical experts on drug discovery for childhood cancers. We hosted our biggest fundraising event to date through the Royal Parks half marathon and facilitated a cross-party MP Roundtable calling for a UK-led vaccine trial. We also ended the year with a bang, hosting our first in-person Christmas Carol Concert for three years and were joined by members of the EastEnders cast.
We launched new initiatives to support more families, including the Care and Connect Bags, made possible through the kind and generous support of the Sumo Group and other corporate partners so that every child diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the UK can receive a hug in a bag, with goods and treats to support and sustain them and their family during hospital stays. And we also introduced the Big Love Fund, inspired by the story of Luke Wiltshire. This fund was originally set up to enable special wishes for any child or young person diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the UK, and is what I want to talk about in this Blog.
The Big Love Fund was always meant to be a fund to support children and young people with those special wishes; inspired by an incredible young man who in the face of a terminal diagnosis of neuroblastoma, wanted to ensure that the charity was able to continue to support other children and young people like him into the future by helping make their dreams come true. Then the cost-of-living crisis hit – and it hit hard.
Families with a child receiving cancer treatment already have this heavy burden to bear and are now being faced with so many more challenges; increasing costs are having an impact on their ability to travel to hospital, to heat their homes to keep their child warm, and even to pay for their weekly shopping. They are having to make the most impossible of choices. And they are coming to us for help, through the Big Love Fund. Not for help with special wishes, but for help with the most basic of needs - buying food, and even nappies.
Despite intense efforts by our fundraising team, we are struggling to raise the income we need to support these families when they need us the most. We recognise that this is because the cost-of-living crisis has hit the majority of us – we are all faced with increasing costs and are having to make some tough choices. We completely understand this. But for those of you who are still able to help and support those who need it the most, my ask to you is to consider supporting Solving Kids’ Cancer UK through our Big Love Fund. So that these families are not forced to make impossible choices between heating their homes or travelling for treatment.
Each grant award of £250 to a family can and does make a difference. Our children are often in treatment for cancer for over 18 months at a time. Family life is turned absolutely upside down, often meaning that a parent has to give up work to care for the child whilst they receive often intensive, toxic and painful treatment. £250 can support with a heating bill for a month, can pay for travel for cancer treatment for a month, and pay for the additional food required when staying away from home.
You can support our Big Love Fund in a number of ways. You can make a direct one-off donation today, using the link below. You can consider becoming a regular giver and contribute a monthly amount of your choice. Or you could fundraise on our behalf - through taking part in a challenge event, nominating our charity to your employer as a Charity of the Year, or through a Facebook Birthday fundraiser. There are lots of other opportunities to support us and, if you'd like more information, please email us.
This holiday season, a time for giving, please consider giving to the Big Love Fund, and help us to support more families with a child facing cancer this Christmas. They need our help now more than ever.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past and to those who continue to do so despite the challenges. I am wishing you all a very peaceful and happy holiday season. Let’s begin 2023 with hope for a brighter year ahead.