Catriona Taylor
Posted by
Catriona Taylor

2014 Highlights: Across the regions

Catriona Taylor
Posted by
Catriona Taylor
19 Dec 2014

It's been a wonderful year of fundraising and support across the regions! Our regional team across England and Wales wanted to share some of our highlights from 2014.

Wow, what a year it has been! We’ve had supporters getting their bake on, dinners and dancing, people fundraising with their colleagues, and pupils supporting us in their school, to name just a few. Existing and new supporters joined us at our Connect events held across the regions, and our Small Change BIG Impact campaign grew from 2 days of activities in 2013 to a week long campaign this year.

Our voluntary Branches and Fundraising Groups, along with many fundraisers, volunteers and supporters, have helped make 2014 a special year of fun, varied and humbling support to beat blood cancer. There’s too many to list them all, but we wanted to share a few highlights from our England and Wales regional team with you here:

North - Catriona

This year our supporters have tirelessly fundraised for us, organising their own events and volunteering with us. Our Small Change BIG Impact campaign grew from last year, and the amount raised doubled from 2013 – amazing!

There was a great range of Walks and Bikeathons taking place and back in June I attended the Wirral Bikeathon; the largest regional Bikeathon and where organisers, the Wirral & Merseyside Branch, had their biggest entry numbers yet, with sponsorship and other fundraising at over £61,000. I also joined the North Northumberland Fundraising Group and over 200 walkers at the Holy Island Forget Me Not Walk in September; a truly beautiful setting (picture below).

2014 saw the Grimsby & District Branch of the charity reach £1 million fundraising since they founded in 1962. An incredible achievement and it was lovely to join them at their Shopping Extravaganza event in October to celebrate with them. I also joined the James Milner Foundation for a pitch side cheque presentation at a Manchester City game for their latest donation of £20,000, and was delighted to attend their annual Winter charity ball, with their 2014 event having a What Happens In Vegas theme.

A particular highlight was being part of the charity's team at the Bupa Great North Run post-race marquee. A truly inspiring day, where despite running over 13 miles, our Unstoppable fundraisers greet you with a great smile, and it’s hard to forget the buzz of a tent full of people all united to beat blood cancer.

Midlands - Emma

It has been a great year in the Midlands with many new people finding us and lots of events, bake sales, and other exciting activities from all our committed supporters.  We had a really successful Small Change BIG Impact, lots of amazing Branch events, runs, walks and Bikeathons as well as two of our Branches celebrating reaching an amazing £50,000 and £1 million – huge congratulations to Winterton & District and Lutterworth Branches.

The highlight of this year was attending an event organised by a new supporter Lewis Coleman (pictured below). Lewis had a big vision that he wanted to raise money for our charity by beating the 100 people x 100m swimming relay. He went about much of the preparation himself, bringing Speedo International on board to sponsor the event, getting the agreement of 100 world class swimmers who would take part, organising and selling tickets at Ponds forge in Sheffield and raising awareness of our work by taking part in many interviews about his event and work.

The event raised £20,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and the team smashed the world record and make history. Read more about the special day here.

For me what was special is that Lewis like so many of our supporters decided that one person can make a difference and put so much time and energy into his work.  For me Lewis is one example of so many that I have the privilege of working with in the region.

South East - Caitlin

It’s been a busy and varied year of brilliant support across the region. Here’s a particular highlight from this year.

Now in its third year running Laugh for Leukaemia returned bigger and better than ever. This was the first time I’d attended the event and it met my high expectations, and more. Gracing the stage this year we had the hilarious Daniel Kitson as MC, event co-founder Nick Mohammed and sketch group Sheeps, who both received four star reviews for their recent Edinburgh Festival shows. Topping the bill we had everyone's favourite Geordie comedian, BAFTA nominee Sarah Millican (pictured below). All the acts were outstanding and we're so grateful to them all for giving their time for free. Read more here.

Another huge thank you to organisers Steph Moore and Nick Mohammed for putting on the show year on year. Over the years they’ve raised an incredible £18,000. I can’t wait for 2015’s event going by how brilliant this year’s was!

South West - Stuart

There’s been some terrific support throughout the area, and the below are a couple of highlights from this year.

On the 10 February, Barnaby Eaton-Jones reformed his successful 10-piece Blues Brothers tribute show for a one-off gig. The concert was held at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham and the evening raised £2,525. Barnaby organised the concert in tribute of his late father Raymond Jones who sadly passed away March 2013.

On 15 November, Barbara Jones organised 17 ladies (pictured below) to pull a 8 tonne truck through the centre of Gloucester. There was great publicity and interest in the challenge and over £1,600 was raised! Barbara has previously done a tandem skydive and she’s preparing for her dinner and dance event taking place next March. You can read more about Barbara’s fundraising and support in her blog here.

Wales - Rachael

There have been many highlights in Wales, including Hairflair raising £640.01 during our Small Change BIG Impact campaign by holding a cake sale, Cwmann Choir presenting us with £2,824 raised in memory of their Chair, Mr J A Roderick, and Bron Afon Bikers who cycled from North to South Wales, raising £1,400.

Also in 2014, a team from corporate supporter A Space in the City (pictured below) climbed Snowdon as one of their many activities to raise money for us this year. They have raised £3118.75!

Mandy & Bruce Womack, long term fundraisers of the charity, held their final Gwent Vintage & Specialist Car Rally, which raised nearly £82,000 – incredible! Over the last 34 years Mandy and Bruce and a great team of supporters have raised over £1 million for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, and you can read more about this year’s event here

Thanks to all our supporters across the regions for making 2014 such a special year. We couldn't do it without you and we’re really looking forward to what 2015 brings!

You can also read the Scotland region’s highlights blog here.



Wow what a year! - so lovely to see all the photos together. Thanks to everyone for making 2014 an amazing fundraising year. :-)


A truly wonderful effort from all at llr for making these events possible, and to those who gave up their time to help out.

I went to the laugh for leukaemia event in London and it was an outstanding event, and as ever Caitlin and her team did a brilliant job in organising the volunteers. The quality of the comedians was exceptional and like Caitlin, I look forward to the 2015 event, but instead of watching it, I'm gonna put my name down as a volunteer.

Keep 'em coming llr. They really do make a difference.



What an incredible year of fundraising from across the regions! Absolutely fantastic effort by everyone concerned. Well done!

Here's to another unstoppable year in 2015!


Couldn't agree more Rich! When I first started reading your comment though I thought you were putting yourself down to be one of the comedians for this year's Laugh for Leukaemia!