Fundraising update June 2011

June 1, 2011

We have a team of fundraisers past and present, many of whom we have never met or spoken to, who dedicate a huge amount of time and dedication into raising money for the Fund. All too often – and sadly – this follows the loss of a loved one to mesothelioma. We are immensely grateful to you all. Here is a small selection.

Karen Wright

Karen Wright has raised an amazing £32,000 since she lost her father Derek Hoult, aged just 64, in November 2001.  He had been exposed to asbestos in the course of his work. Her most recent fund-raising event, a charity music night at Birmingham City Football Club, generated a staggering £2,200.

Exhibition and painting sale

An art exhibition and sale of paintings organised by the Dalmeny Art Group at the Priory Church in Queensferry was a celebration of the life, achievements and talent of Bob Cleland, who died of mesothelioma in 2009. Attended by his wife Moira, his children, grandchildren, neighbours and friends, the event also raised £1,126.14 for the Fund.

Surrounded by her children and grandchildren, Moira Cleland presents a cheque to Fund trustee Vanessa Bridge

West Midlands pitches in

A donation of £2,000 was made to the Fund by Asbestos Support West Midlands following last year’s Action Mesothelioma Day. Touchingly, some families holding memorial services for loved ones who died from mesothelioma donated monies to the AMD appeal instead of sending flowers.

Thank you to everyone at Asbestos Support West Midlands, and to all the asbestos support groups throughout the UK who help raise awareness of the disease, and who support vital research into mesothelioma. Your work is appreciated by us at the Fund and by many, many others affected by asbestos.

When Claire Heath’s father was diagnosed with mesothelioma, she wanted to do something positive, and started planning a 25 mile bike ride with four friends to raise money specifically for mesothelioma research.

Well she did it! A team of nine riders – the youngest of them just five years old – all completed their targets; the very youngest joined in for ten miles and the older children completed 20 of the 25 mile route. Claire and the team had a lovely day, were blessed with good weather, and raised over £1,850.

A wonderful achievement – thank you to all involved.

Team Claire Heath at the start of the bike ride

In memory of Stuart Smith

Jane Moore organised a fundraising event in memory of Stuart Smith, and as a result donated £2,012.50 to the Fund. Family and friends were involved, as our photo shows; the day included an auction of promises, a BBQ, family activities and a band in the evening.

Remembering Shirley

A loyal supporter of the Fund for many years, Shirley Burr passed away unexpectedly on December 23rd last year, a few days after sending us a card and £100 donation. Shirley’s family asked for her funeral collection and any donations to be sent to the Fund, for which we are very grateful.

Thank you Stuart Seaman

Stuart Seaman took on a huge challenge – here’s a taste of what 
he did to raise funds for us, in his own words:

“Why run a triple marathon in three days, and why for mesothelioma? Well, I took up (or more accurately resumed) running over ten years ago, largely with motivation from the late Steve Lee, a colleague, friend and lifelong runner. Steve of course subsequently developed mesothelioma and is well-known to the June Hancock charity for his fundraising heroics.

“The trouble that the Mamil (‘middle-aged man in lycra’) faces is that as age advances, speed decreases. Meanwhile, endurance increases but wisdom does not, so when the 10km race becomes small beer, the half-marathon beckons, then the full marathon, and then… deranged ultra-endurance events… like the Atlantic Coast Challenge, 80 miles or so of Cornwall’s wild and – ahem – undulating coastal path. And if I’m going to do something stupid, why not balance that against something sensible like raising funds for mesothelioma?

“I completed the course (many didn’t), I was not last, and I got in before nightfall – job done! The weather was not kind and the conditions were really tough. Day three was a nightmare and took me over nine and a half hours – a 28-mile obstacle course with ankle-deep rivers, knee-deep swamps, huge boulders, stony slopes, sand dunes.

“The pasty at Land’s End was, as we say in Cornwall, “ansum,” dispatched quickly and humanely.”

Stuart raised over £700 for the June Hancock Fund, saying afterwards, ”Here’s hoping that it brings a cure for mesothelioma a little bit nearer.”

We could not agree more. Thank you Stuart, and to all who took part and donated their time and money.

Thanks, Hants

Hampshire Asbestos Support & Awareness Group (HASAG) was formed in 2006 by Lynne Squibb and Diane Salisbury after their father Dave Salisbury died of mesothelioma following his exposure to asbestos in the railway industry.

The group, which has raised around £35,000 since its inception, provides advice and support to sufferers of asbestos-related diseases, including coffee mornings and fundraising events. It provides a free and confidential service to victims of asbestos related diseases and their families across the south of the UK.

HASAG continues to support the June Hancock fund, with a recent donation of £7,500. Fund trustee Kimberley Stubbs said: “We cannot thank HASAG enough. The group provides a fantastic service for mesothelioma sufferers and their families and carers in Hampshire. Their help is tireless and invaluable to many – thank you on behalf of everyone affected by asbestos disease.”

For more information, see http://hasag.co.uk/

Fund profits from Pickerings

A generous donation of £5,000 was presented to Fund trustee Kate Hill (inset, right) by Carolann Hepworth (left). Carolann is a Manchester-based partner of solicitors John Pickering and Partners, who specialise in industrial and personal injury claims. The firm also has offices in Liverpool and Halifax, and each year donates a percentage of their profits to charity.

Russell Weston

In April 2010, Kevin and Janet Weston saw their son Russell complete a marathon race. Within months, Kevin had died from mesothelioma just two years after being diagnosed.

This April, Russell completed the same event in a personal best time of three hours and 20 minutes, supported by family and friends. They raised over £1,000 for the Fund.

The Weston family fundraising effort doesn’t stop there; as we went to press, Russell’s brother Daniel and his friends were planning to do the London to Brighton bike ride, also in aid of the Fund.