After Jason's wife died in 2015, he's done all he can to raise money in her memory. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he's had to adapt his strategies and think outside the box a bit.
My wife's oncologist recommended Breast Cancer Now
My late wife, Lucy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and subsequently passed away in 2015 aged just 33. It was her who started the fundraising when we sold a few Breast Cancer Now wristbands in our local pub. Our aim was to raise £1,000, and we did that in the first weekend.
Following Lucy’s passing, we continued raising money in her name, and Legacy4Lucy was born. To date, in seven years, we have raised £240,000 and the next stop is a quarter of a million!
Our reason for choosing this charity was simple: when Lucy asked her oncologist who was the best organisation to raise money for, he had no hesitation in recommending Breast Cancer Now. He told us, ‘They are pioneering, as they seek to research a cure for this illness which affects over 55,000 women in the UK each year, killing 11,000’.
Fundraising is a team effort
We have raised the money in a number of ways - and I say 'we' as it’s a team effort, and Legacy4Lucy is only as good as the people who kindly donate to our cause.
In a normal world, we hold sporting dinners, quiz nights, charity bag packs, sponsored running events, cake sales, and so on, but now COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, we have to adapt our fundraising accordingly. However, our focus has not wavered.
Now we have had to refrain from close contact and group gatherings, we had to get our charity thinking caps on. This year we are keen to break through the £250,000 barrier so had to come up with new ideas. After a brainstorming session, we have now taken to doing online quiz nights, social media raffles and auctions, and also online charity merchandise sales via the Wolves Former Players podcast that I present.
People love our online quizzes
Our online quizzes have been particularly successful. We charge a minimum donation of £3 to enter, and we use Zoom to host the quiz and the platform Kwizzbit so that people can use their device to answer the questions. This has enabled a fun yet smooth process, and has raised around £100 per quiz (as people usually donate more). They are tadvertised on social media via Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and are giving people welcome relief during lockdown - plus they get very competitive!
This has meant that, although things are done differently, we remain ‘current’ during the circumstances by utilising the services of Zoom and other similar platforms. Moving forward, we hope it will leave us better placed, as we can continue this type of fundraising as well as reverting back to traditionally successful methods when the pandemic clears.
There's never a 'wrong time' to fundraise
The fundraising is now part of my life. We have raised funds each and every month since we began in 2013.
If anybody out there is considering raising money, I would say now is a great time to do so. Breast Cancer Now, like many charities, is suffering as a result of COVID-19 - but their work continues and many men and women in the UK are relying on their help, research and support.
The trick is to think outside the box in order to make a difference. Whilst many people aren’t fundraising at present, as they feel it’s the ‘wrong time’ I look at it the other way and see it as an opportunity to provide a ‘feel good’ situation in unprecedented times - and, most importantly, by continuing to help others.
For ideas on how you can continue to fundraise during these challenging times, check out our fundraising at home page.