Louise Dawson
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Meet volunteer Nicole Harris #volunteersweek

Louise Dawson
Posted by
01 Jun 2016

Q&A with the Chair of our Bromsgrove & District Branch (Nicole is on the far left) #volunteersweek

1)    Could you tell us about how you first became involved with Bloodwise?

In 1988, there was an advert published in the local paper requesting people to start a Branch for Bloodwise (then Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research).  My son had just been diagnosed with leukaemia and I went to the meeting with 17 people.  I became deputy chairman and the year after became chairman and have remained in the role ever since

2)    Can you tell us a little bit about the Branch and any projects you are working on?

Our Branch is very active and we will organise anything from sporting events to quizzes to concerts.  Our main event is the Bromsgrove 10k and 5k Fun Run which happened four weeks ago on 8 May. So far, we have raised over £20,000 from the day with more to come in.  We are now working on our Forget Me Not Walk which is taking place this weekend on 5 June. We usually have about 100 people taking part and raise about £9000 from the day. Anyone is welcome to attend and can enter on the day.  Our Branch has raised over £928,000 so far and are aiming to reach one million in 30 years - only two years to go!

3)    What's been your most memorable moment during your time with Bloodwise?

Probably any fun run I have organised as it is such a big event with so many things to think about! It’s quite hard work to organise, but it is also very heart-warming to see some of the same people running in recent years, who also ran in the very first fun run in 1989 which I organised just six weeks after my son died from leukaemia.  

4)    What drives you to continue volunteering for Bloodwise?

Seeing such huge progress and success in the development of treatments for blood cancer which makes all the work we do worthwhile. My son was probably the last child who died from leukaemia in the town. I also love the relationship and support from the locals - I don’t think I could ever stop what I do as they expect a run and walk each year!

5)    What advice would you give anyone wishing to start their own Bloodwise fundraising group?

You need a lot of friends, patience and not be afraid of getting stuck in! Having a group of you working together, all carrying out a different roles makes things a lot easier. I work full time and in the run up to the fun run, it does take up a lot of my spare time, but it’s so rewarding. I would suggest you try organising a few different activities which will appeal to different people and use social media and also local press to promote your activities. You also need an understanding husband....

Find out more about volunteering for Bloodwise >

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