This week I have been super busy learning a new technique in one of the labs down at the hospital, so I haven’t been able to post this as early as I wanted to. But anyway, I wanted to write a little bit more about the funding help that I’ve had to get to where I am now.
If you’ve read my ‘How did I get here?’ post, then you’ll know that my PhD is funded by a local charity called Hope Against Cancer. Hope Against Cancer was established in 2003 by Allison Wilson CBE (a cancer sufferer herself) and funds cutting-edge cancer research and clinical trials in Leicestershire and Rutland. Donations to the charity have funded over 60 research projects in partnership with the university and hospitals with projects looking at a whole range of cancers like colorectal, leukaemia, lymphoma, lung, breast and pancreatic. If you think about it, that’s a pretty significant amount of research in just the space of 15 years, considering that these sorts of projects can take around 3-4 years to complete.
Hope have managed to raise over £5 million since the charity started and has helped Leicester become a Cancer Research Centre of Excellence with their dedicated clinical trials facility based at the hospital. And what I think is particularly nice about the charity (and what makes it stands out from other much bigger charities) is that all donations it receives go straight to improving the lives of cancer patients in the local area. It’s also really nice that they are so keen in helping young scientists like me get trained up to become experts in the field. Allowing us to develop our own research skills and get involved with public engagement activities whilst feeling that sense of helping the wider community. Without them I wouldn’t be able to fund a PhD myself and I certainly wouldn’t be here… period!
Working with Hope Against Cancer have definitely made me aware that donating to smaller charities can really help make a massive difference to lives in your community in a short space of time – something that larger charities struggle to achieve. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stop donating to large charities, but I do hope my post has maybe made you consider learning a little bit more about the charities in your area, what they do and how they can make a positive difference in your community. After all, we donate to charities to help make a difference… and even better if you get to see first-hand the help that you have given to those in your area, right?
If you want to read about the different projects that Hope Against Cancer funds then you can pop over to the website here: http://hopeagainstcancer.org.uk/research/. Or if you would like to get involved with fundraisers and donate then follow this link: http://hopeagainstcancer.org.uk/donate/.