Our supporter, Sophie, tells us what it was like to get her whole school involved in a fundraising event dedicated to the memory of her mum.

Thursday 1 December 2016      Community blog
Sophie and her friends

Sophie with her friends on the day of the Colour Run

Earlier this year, 17-year-old Sophie decided to embark upon her first ever fundraising initiative for a cause she is incredibly passionate about. While many first-time fundraisers choose to ‘start small’, Sophie wanted to get her whole school involved in not just one but two different fundraising activities!

Sophie had an amazing time planning the event, but what really motivated her was a desire to honour the legacy that her beloved mother left behind. Her mum, who had been a passionate supporter of Breast Cancer Now for year, sadly passed away last year following her courageous five year battle with breast cancer.

Sophie told us, “It felt only right, that when I started fundraising, it should be for this amazing charity.”

Colour and fun

So on 1 July 2016, students from Jo Richardson Community School took part in an Easter egg hunt followed by a colour fun run. For those who haven’t heard of a colour fun run, it is traditionally a non-competitive running event where the runners have excessive amounts of colourful dry paint thrown at them. It’s exactly what the name says – fun and very colourful!

Sophie tells us, “I chose to do the colour run as my mum was a very colourful person, and a lot of fun. She would have really enjoyed it.”

On the day of her big event, Sophie’s dad, her 11-year-old sister, and other members of her family came down to watch the festivities and pay tribute to the vibrancy and fun of their mother, wife and friend.

A whole school of support

Jo Richardson Community School has been an amazing and encouraging support to Sophie and even gave the entire school, over a thousand people, the afternoon off so that they could participate in the fundraising event. Even some of the teachers got involved, with Sophie’s form tutor helping out and one of the teachers acting as photographer on the day.

According to Sophie, her favourite part of the day was when she looked around during the event and thought, “I created this.” Everyone was smiling and having a good time – there was colour everywhere, people were dancing, taking pictures and hugging one another. “It wasn’t just me that felt good, I think everyone did. They all knew that they were not just having a good time, but also doing something amazing for the charity. I really want to continue fundraising as it is such a great legacy for my mum.”

Sophie has been involved in organising smaller events in school since she was younger, but this is the first time she has been the lead organiser. She says, “It was really, really fun and has made me re-think what I might do in the future. I am in the process of applying for university, and am now looking at Events Management with a special interest in fundraising. I’m hoping to go to university in Hertfordshire. I visited two weeks ago and I could just really see myself there. The application process is hard, but I have written a lot about my event in my personal statement, which has made it a bit easier!”

The colour fun run was a huge success, raising an incredible £3,195 in total. One thing that particularly struck Sophie was the generosity of the students and teachers at her school: “Everyone is so generous at my school, one kid brought in £300! He had asked all his family and they all donated. It was so sweet.”

The £1,000 Challenge

Sophie and her friends are already thinking up new and exciting fundraising ideas for the coming year – but have decided to wait until after the pressure of the university application process has eased off!

Sophie has now signed up as one of Breast Cancer Now’s £1,000 challengers, with plans to see her mum’s name on the wall at our research centre in London.

We want to say a massive thank you to Sophie for being so brave and creative. Sophie is one of the many amazing fundraisers who make our breast cancer research possible, and who bring us closer to our goal that by 2050, every person who develops breast cancer will live.

Get involved

If you've got an exciting idea for a fundraising event, we'd love to hear about it! Let us know what you've got planned using our online form.

And if you'd like to join Sophie and our other challengers, find out more about the £1,000 challenge here.