Andy Jackson
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Ambassador Update - June 2017

Andy Jackson
Posted by
30 Jun 2015

School visits, virtual runs, cake tasting and awe-inspiring blogs. Read on to find out more about what you've all been up to in yet another busy month for the Ambassador programme

June was another brilliant month for the Ambassador programme as you stepped up to the challenge yet again, helping us in almost every aspect of our efforts to raise awareness and support patients and their families affected by blood cancer.

Highlights include Charlie Toon's brilliant Faceboook Live, Lisa Griffith's amazing fundraising efforts with Team Hugo and some fantastic blogs about all manner of subjects from the impact on friends and family right through to identity crisis post treatment.

Here's a more detailed look at some of the the things that you've been up to:

1. Girls cast meet and greet

On Thursday 29th Vivien Dagley, Jane Leahy and Katie Moore were the guests of honour at a special meet and greet with the cast of The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre as the show nears the end of it's West End run.

The meet and greet was a great opportunity for the cast to meet patients and find out more about the cause that they've been helping to support so wonderfully during the show's run. 

It was also an opportunity to generate a bit more publicity around the show as it enters the final stretch on the West End. A huge thank you to each and every one of you that has helped out with one of the collections over last 6 months.

2. Charlie Toon's Facebook Live

On Thursday 22nd June Charlie Toon joined us for our latest Facebook live and spoke brilliantly about her experiences of Hodgkin lymphoma. Thankfully there were no hiccups this month and the video has been viewed more than 4,000 times and reached 20,000 people!

The feedback was also extremely positive and watching the interview back what struck me most was just how positive and strong Charlie was throughout treatment - something that was also picked up by a number of those who were watching.

A huge thank ou to Charlie for coming in on her day off to speak to us and being so openly about everything and also to Ellie Philpotts and others that took the time to send in questions ahead of the Q&A for me to ask Charlie. You can watch Charlie's Q&A again here:

Jane Leahy has very kindly agreed to step in to the hot seat for next month's Q&A but we're always on the look out for more willing volunteers.

If you're interested in taking part do drop me an email at and we can look to arrange a time and date that will work for you.

3. Star baker press coverage

Last month we got a couple of brilliant articles in the local press off the back of the patient cake recipes we've been putting together for the Tea with the Girls campaign.

'Budding baker' Samantha Farr appeared in her local newspaper the Express and Star with a fantastic piece that featured her recipe. the Tea with the Girls campaign and, most importantly, her experiences with Hodgkin lymphoma and the importance of research:

Joan Smith's lemon curd cake recipe and story about her experiences with myeloma also caught the eye of the Bury Times. You can read her article here:

To go alongside the press releases, the design team have been made your entries in to recipe cards which will appear on Tea with the Girls pages on the website as inspiration to people considering taking part. Here's Helen Marks Elizabeth sponge recipe as an example:

We're still on the look-out for a few more to add to the mix (apologies for the poor pun) with the press team are particulary keen to get some reipes from some of the male Ambassadors. If you've got a favourite cake and recipe that you'd like to share please don't hesitate to get in touch.  

4. Raising awareness, representing the charity and supporting others

You did another brilliant job of raising awareness, representing the charity and supporting others last month.

First and foremost this was in the form of some more brilliant blogs about your experiences in our patient community many of which we also went on to share on Facebook. A huge thank you Anna Mamwell, Samantha Farr, Anthony Crossley and Louise Smith for their fantastic blogs which powerfully address a lot of really important issues that a number of patients can relate to not least the impact of friends and family and on your own identity which Louise and Anna both write extremely openly about in their blogs.

Special thanks must also go to Natalie White and Carrie Grime for submitting their blogs given that they've got an awful lot on their plates at the moment - Carrie actually put hers together whilst in hospital undergoing her transplant!

I've said this many, many times before but it's no less important now than it was then. These blogs are so, so important for raising awareness and supporting other blood cancer patients and their families.

We're looking to place a much greater emphasis on peer-to-peer support going forwards and the blogs and our wider online community will play a crucial role in this both now and in the future. You can read more about how you can help build the community in my latest community blog.

Community awareness

You've also been fantastic in your efforts to continue raising awareness in your local communities.

Angela Kenney attended her first official event as a Bloodwise Ambassador when manning our stall at a wedding fayre at the Fusilier Museum in Bury while Rich Castle was pleased to find that his posters and info booklets were being put to good use and on display when he went in for his check-up at the Royal Marsden:

The impact of wearing your t-shirts and putting up posters/handing out patient information should never be understimated and is a directly result of your impact as Ann Bromley discovered on a recent trip to her dentist:

Special thanks to Jane Leahy who did a brilliant job at raising awareness at her daughters' school and took the time write a fantastic blog about the day which is well worth a read.

Getting out there and raising awareness of blood cancer, Bloodwise and the support and information that is available remains one of the single most important aspects of the Ambassador programme - you reach out to places and people that we can't.

If you'd like to get more actively involved in helping out with this do get in contact with Alice by dropping her an email at

5. Fabulous fundraising

June was another brilliant month of fundraising.

Following hot off the heels of Charlie Toon's amazing London to Brighton challenge, Paul Carless and Luke Ponsonby kicked us off with star turns in the Blenheim Triathlon

Helen Tait was also busy at the beginning of the month as she played a prominent part in the North Northumberland Fundraising Group's annual Street Party in Berwick upon Tweed which was organised alongside the local Rotary Club. The day was a great success as always and also got a nice write up in the local newspaper:

Meanwhile Gill Murphy and Emma Harrison have got involved with Nancy's Sunflowers campaign. Emma has managed to get 150 kids at her son, Ollie's, school involved while Gill really enjoyed getting her sunflowers planted with her daughter:

Anna Mamwell has also been very busy helping the Grimsby Branch raise more than £9,000 through their annual Bikeathon. She's also planning a Spinathon event so watch this space!

Last and by no means least a huge well done to Lisa Griffiths for organising her hugely successful Virtual Run as part of her on-going efforts to raise funds for Bloodwise. The Virtual Run raised more than £600 in it's first year and she's now moving on to the Newham 10k Run with Team Hugo on Sunday - an event I'm also going to be giving a go to show my support!

6. Other

I'd like to end this month's update by saying a huge congratulations to both Dan Holloway who recently celebrated 4 years since his last treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and to Carrie Grime who last week was released from hospital after her stem cell transplant.

Thank you so, so much for all your messages of support and encouragement along the way - I know that they've been an enormous source of comfort to Carrie who said it made her feel like a bit of a celebrity.