My blog post today is actually to tell you about a wonderful charity, Sophies Appeal, to ask you to please have a read and to pass a link to anyone you know who may be able to help.
I have been on the committee for Sophies Appeal for about 18 months, I first found out about it when I attended a fashion show that they held to raise funds and awareness of the charity. At the fashion show Sophies mum Lin talked about her beautiful daughter Sophie who very sadly passed away from Wilms Disease which is a cancer of the kidney - she was just 6 years old. I still find it so hard to even type this. As a mother of 3 healthy children I feel so blessed and I simply cannot imagine the pain and complete devastation of losing your child. Listening to Lin changed so many things for me, from that moment I wanted to do anything I could to be a part of the charity and help with the wonderful work they do.
We have lots of events throughout the year from quiz nights to race nights, pamper evenings to summer fetes. At Christmas we have The Giving Tree where local children and the community donate presents which we then take to Winchester and Southampton Hospitals and give them to the poorly children on the wards there.
We are always open to new ideas for raising money so if you have any please let me know!
The next big event is the annual Sophies Appeal Summer Ball on 2nd July which is our main fundraiser for the year and we are desperately in need of prizes for the raffle and auction prizes. If you or anyone you know could donate to the appeal it would be very gratefully received, if you could offer a service that we could auction (in the past we have auctioned holidays, experience days, photography sessions, sports and music memorabilia etc) or if you are a business owner who could donate some raffle prizes this really would help us to sell tickets and raise the funds need to do more good work.
The charity was actually started by Sophie in 2003 after she was diagnosed with the disease and has been carried on by her parents Mike and Lin Barringer. Lin and Mike have become great friends of mine and I totally admire them for their strength to continually push the charity forward despite how hard it must be for them both. They really are genuinely dedicated people who have taken the worst thing that can happen to a parent and turned it into something good.
The aims are today as they were then; to raise funds to support the social, emotional and educational welfare of sick children and their families or carers whilst being treated either in hospital or the community.
The achievements of the charity so far for a small local charity are just outstanding
Over £1/4 million has been raised to help sick children and their families
Sophie’s Place - a dedicated children’s assessment area which was funded by Sophies Appeal, helping up to 400 children every single month and providing them with a more relaxed child friendly atmosphere whilst in hospital
Sophies Appeal are a valued partner of Beyond the Moon - we sponsor dream holidays for terminally ill children and their families
Funding of research into future treatments for childhood cancers. The research at Southampton Hospital has made ground breaking discoveries and has been published worldwide
Sponsorship of New Forest holidays for sick children and their families through Hannah’s Holiday Home
And the next aim is to transform the rest of the children's ward, to make it just as special as Sophies Place. A comfortable place for children of all ages from babies to teenagers and also for their parents with Sophies Magic Wand Appeal.
Thank you so much for reading and I am sure you will agree that this really is a very worthy cause, if you can help please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Sophies Appeal website www.sophiesappeal.org