Pontyclun & District Macmillan Fundraising Group
Who would have thought that when a germ of an idea brought three ladies together in Pontyclun that Macmillan Cancer Support would benefit to the tune of almost a quarter of a million pounds.
That first meeting was in 2013 and the target was to raise £1000 but the first banking was just £5! However, big trees from little acorns grow. Gradually more people joined the group and the iconic green Macmillan t-shirts became a familiar sight, at any event in the community, where there was an opportunity to raise funds for this much needed charity.
Most people are unaware that the charity we now know as Macmillan Cancer Support was founded by just one man. Douglas Macmillan was one of seven children in a family of Quakers and in 1911 he was devastated as he watched his father die of cancer. He recognised that there were three things that could make things better for people suffering from cancer. These were information; someone knowledgeable to talk to; and a special place for care. With a £10 gift he had from his father he set about persuading friends and colleagues to support him and in spite of 2 world wars he persevered and consequently we have a charity that still works above and beyond his vision. Today Macmillan provides information on a vast range of topics from the disease itself to matters of finance; there are now thousands of Macmillan Nurses and other clinical staff, with up to date knowledge of cancer, available to talk through options with patients; and Macmillan supports hospices and dedicated hospital units where patients living with cancer get the specialist care they need.
All of this comes with an enormous price tag and as Macmillan receives no Government funding it relies on volunteers and supporters in order to carry out this essential work. The Pontyclun and District Macmillan Fundraising Group has stepped up to the challenge of fundraising in many imaginative ways and always with the amazing support of our local community. Let’s have a look at just some of the fundraisers.
We love our collection boxes
Placed in many of our local shops/ businesses these have raised in excess of £34k …amazing! We do bucket collecting with attitude!
Our first bucket collection in M&S gave us £412.81. We joined the Macmiillan/M&S partnership throughout September 2019 and collected an astounding £7100.50p.
Macmillan’s flagship annual event is The Big Coffee Morning and we do it in style.
Ours is more than a BCM – it includes therapists who give their time free of charge and local stall holders who offer a brilliant selection of merchandise. Then of course there’s the
cakes…. everything from freshly baked Welsh cakes to our famous custard slices. No
surprise then that our BCMs have raised £15,544.p. Wonderful.
The Llantrisant Walk
The group reintroduced this family friendly walk and the 3 walks organised to date have made an incredible £38,130.57p for Macmillan Cancer Support. The Weatherman Walking attracted walkers to our first 2 events and the Leisure Centre made bouncy castles available for everyone to enjoy the after-walk party.
Two annual events that have been arranged by the group are The Mammoth Quiz and our much acclaimed Summer Lunches. These have added so much more to our total and involve yet more factions of our community.
We’ve organised Variety Nights, Curry Nights, Big Nights In, Car Boot Sales etc. It’s been our privilege to support others in their fundraising at ukulele festivals, barn dances, musical coffee mornings and so many other events. We could not do what we do without the amazing support of our community.
Macmillan Cancer Support has recognised our achievements and no less than 3 awards have come our way. Our youngest (by far) supporter was named as The Young Macmillan Champion for Wales in 2016 and again in 2018. One of our members who has become the vice chair of the Wales Volunteer Forum was given The Douglas Macmillan Award in 2017 and to top it all the group was presented with the Fundraising Group/Committee Award in 2018.
We decided in 2017 to target our fundraising towards the building of the new Y Bwthyn in the grounds of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Macmillan Cancer Support put just over £5million into this project and we are delighted to see that it is now operational.
Although our main remit is fundraising we also make every effort to raise awareness of the wide range of services offered by Macmillan Throughout 2019 we were able to spend time in the foyer of the RGH talking to patients, visitors and staff and often helping them get in touch with the specific Macmillan service for their need.
Macmillan supports and listens to us as volunteers. As a result we have been able to influence the way in which the charity has changed its stance on cold callers, and the way in which it enables young people, given the appropriate support, to engage with all aspects of volunteering.
Although still relatively new kids on the block The Pontyclun and District Macmillan Fundraising Group is making a difference to the lives of people living with cancer in our community. There is no doubt that before COVID-19 we were on target to reach our current goal of £250,000. So where are we now?
FRUSTRATED………………………… FRUSTRATED……………………… FRUSTRATED
Following government guidelines the members of our group are currently unable to carry on with our normal fundraising activities.
Macmillan will lose millions of pounds this year and at a time when more and more people are living with cancer in our community. People have told us that they’d be happy to donate the money that they would have spent at some of our events or popped into our collection boxes but are unsure of how to do this.
Please use this link and give what you can- we have never needed your support more than we do now.
We hope you have enjoyed this brief run through our history and thank you so much for your support. We could still reach our target for 2020 but only with your help.