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Every quarter, Yolk's Public Sector and Not-for-profit team nominate a charity person of the quarter for our charity newsletter.
We're thrilled to announce that this quarter's winner is our very own, Richard Coombes. Here's a bit of back story from Richard on his fundraising history and upcoming campaigns.
I experienced a rough time 18 months ago and I forced myself to go around to local charities and offer my help. The first place I was rejected from, although I'm used to a few knockbacks here and there, and I ended up at Cancer Research.
I was willing to do anything, so I worked behind the till which I enjoyed, then I worked in the back, as well as going to supermarkets to shake a bucket, which again hardens you up to being snubbed.
Last May, I was approached by a former colleague to be part of the first Cancer Research committee. He is a forty year cancer survivor and has been a sounding board for me over the last few years. I was happy to get involved not knowing the emotional depths that it would take me to.
We would meet regularly to bandy around ideas and to try and generate concepts that in these hard times would create funds and volunteers. We have been part of supermarket collections and pub quizzes, and in May we arranged a band and curry night with support from the Holiday Inn. Miraculously we raised £975 from the event and considering it took only a week before the event to ignite, it put me through the wringer, especially when I consider how much money we managed to raise in the end.
When you do a street collection people approach you, everyone has a connection with Cancer and you get the opportunities to hear some stories which makes you appreciate your health and what your efforts can do to help others.
In this day and age you have to have outlandish ideas as money is so tight and also society has changed since lockdown, there is less cash and people are more inward looking in my experience. But we have a core of support in relation to attendees and supporters and between the two of us we have some exceptional connections which means we are not afraid to be different and try and appeal to a wide audience.
One of my crazier ideas which takes place in a couple of weeks, fitness permitting, is a 75 mile ultra, something I would only ever consider doing for Charity. It is exploiting my physical and psychological weaknesses, but I also know that it is for charity and every £10 raised equals a test tube which would make cancer a less terrifying word.
People have asked what’s my interest in doing all the fundraising? I think it comes from not having children, I want to make the world better, you see people close to you suffer and just a little bit of time or effort can help one person. It also makes me feel good, volunteering with someone who has been through it or knowing someone who is experiencing cancer keeps you grounded, you also never know when you might need help.
Having a small team makes it difficult to organise events, so I am going to attempt to recruit more people in a few weeks time, it could be harder than the ultra….but I am a big believer in trying, it is better than stopping and I am very grateful for all those who support financially or morally as it can be tough sometimes. But there is always a bigger picture!