From being the guests of honour at Speaker's House to bespoke Bloodwise candles and heading up this year's Winter Appeal it's safe to say that it's been a fantastic first year for the Ambassador programme. Here are a few of our highlights of all your incredible achievements so far:
1. Record breaking Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Thanks to all your support we had our most successful ever Blood Cancer Awareness Month on social media and in the press. Your blogs, patient videos and Facebook Live interviews helped us reach more than 3 million people on Facebook alone while your willingness to appear on radio/TV at very short notice also helped us more than double our amount of press coverage on last year.
A huge thank you to all your efforts in helping make Blood Cancer Awareness Month such a success and to everyone that took the time to complete our Blood Cancer Awareness Month survey. You provided some really useful feedback and which we'll be looking to incorporate in to our plans for next year in which we want to get you even more involved.
If you have any ideas or would like to be part of our Awareness Month Ambassador committee please don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Toby Peach's performance at the Criterion
Back in October Toby Peach brought his show 'The Eulogy of Toby Peach' to London's Criterion theatre for a special performance to an audience of more than 300 people - his largest to date.
The show was a huge success raising almost £3000 and had an huge impact on the audience and was a real mixture of theatre goers, fundraisers, patients and, of course, Ambassadors. A huge thank you to everyone that came out to support Toby on what was a fantastic evening.
Toby will be touring at a number of venues around the UK in 2017 so do keep an eye on his website to find out when he's at a venue near you.
3. Impact Day
In April you played a pivotal role in our first ever regional Impact Days in London, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Winchester respectively. Having you all there to speak to supporters and support fellow patients was an enormous help and really helped us to bring the days back to patients and their families and the difference our research and the support and information that we offer can make.
Highlights for me were Anna, Sissy, Toby, Derek and Ellie sharing their experiences as our key note speakers and many Ambassadors meeting each other for the first time including Louise, Sam, Wen and Ellie at the Birmingham Impact Day.
We're already working on next year's impact days which again will be in April. To register your interest in helping out please don't hesitate to get in touch with Afia at email@example.com.
4. Speaker's House
For me this was the highlight of the year and was the night I realised just how much of an impact we can really have. It marked the official launch of the Ambassador programme, Paul did a brilliant speech and the whole room was interested in what we had to say.
Those of you that attended were brilliant talking to MPs, consultants, pharmaceuticals and other charities about some of the issues that we face as patients and alongside the establishment of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Blood Cancer you've really helped us to put blood cancer firmly on the political agenda.
5. Pedal Power & Bloodwise Balls
It's been a fantastic 12 months for fundraising too - something which we hadn't even anticipated being part of the programme when we started out at the beginning of the year.
Highlights include Anna Mamwell, Donna Dunn and Samantha Farr's fantastic charity Balls, Aileen Lamb's awesome auction and raffle and Rich Castle, Joe Smale, Mark Noblet and Paul Carless's epic London to Paris adventure.
With talk of a Bloodwise cocktail and Lisa Griffiths setting up her own Team Hugo On The Move challenge the fundraising looks set to continue in 2017 which is absolutely fantastic and has got us thinking about setting a fundraising target for next year that we can work towards as a group. Read our blog on our 2017 plans for more information.
6. Media stardom
From features in Woman and Home magazine and the Daily Mail online to radio interviews and last minute appearances on Channel 5 and BBC News it's been an incredible 12 months for media coverage of blood cancer and the charity.
A huge thank you to each and every one of you that have helped out with one of our media requests this year. The coverage was fantastic and really helped spread our key messages about blood cancer being the third biggest cancer killer and the fifth most common form of cancer in the UK among the general public.
The coverage you generated has also really boosted our standing as a voice for blood cancer patients and the hope is that we will become one of the go to charities for the media in the future.
If you'd like to be considered for press work and haven't yet shared your details please contact Steph or Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Facebook Live
A huge thank you to Katie, Brett, Federica, Newton, Ann and Melodyfor giving up your time and speaking so openly about your experiences and to every one that submitted questions to help ensure that I had plenty of great things to talk about.
The Facebook Live Q&A sessions have been a real success that we really hadn't anticipated when we first trialled them during Blood Cancer Awareness Month. So much so, in fact, that they've become a regular monthly feature which we'll be looking to continue in 2017.
If you want to watch any of the Q&As again you can do so by clicking on one of the links below:
8. Winter Appeal
Melody Berthoud very kindly agreed to be the face of this year's Winter Appeal alongside her son, Andrew, who will be celebrating his first Christmas blood cancer free in four years. Focusing upon Andrew and Melody's journey through childhood ALL, the appeal has been really well received by supporters by providing a human side to the research that we fund which helps people appreciate just how much of a difference their donation can make.
If you haven't already, do check out the Winter Appeal landing page as it's a really fantastic story.
9. Bloodwise posters
You've done an absolutely brilliant job raising awareness in your local areas putting up posters and handing out our patient info and leaflets. We've loved receiving all your photos of your posters and info on display too. Here are a couple of our favourites so far:
1. Dan Holloway
2. Derek Louttit
We cannot stress enough just how important a part of the Ambassador programme this is as it's only by getting our information out there in hospitals, GP surgeries, support groups and beyond that we will be able to reach out to everyone affected by blood cancer and make sure that they get access to the support and information that they need.
Next year we want to make this one of our biggest priorities for the Ambassador programme and we have set the challenge of getting our blood cancer information in every hospital in the UK by 2020!
For more information and to express your interest in helping out do get in touch with Alice by emailing her at email@example.com
10. Christmas with the Stars
No yearly round up would be complete without the mention of Christmas! A huge thank you to all the Ambassadors who came to Christmas with the Stars or helped out at one of the concerts in Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond. It was a marvellous way to cap off what's been a fantastic first year of the Ambassador programme in which we've achieved so much.
Here's to us achieving even more during the course of 2017!
In the meantime have wonderful Christmasses and New Year's - you've earned them and I cannot thank you enough for everything that you've all done in 2016.