Friday, 18 June 2010

Campaign's House of Lords awards reception

Oakwood School receiving Campaign's 'School of the Year' award from Baroness Fookes

Apologies that it has all gone a bit quiet in this blog. The last few weeks have been very inwardly focused on business planning, budgeting, risk assessments and other vital but not very bloggable stuff.

Last night was our annual reception at the House of Lords very graciously hosted by our very first patron, Baroness Fookes. For once the sun shone and our guests were able to go out onto the terrace and enjoy the wonderful view over the River Thames. The event runs like clockwork: as a charity that made its name with events, we have a well-honed plan and crisp teamwork from all staff. All I have to do is make the speech and walk around and talk to people.

It enables us to bring the people who raise the money together with the scientists whose research they are funding. It is important for the scientists to hear their stories so that they are not too distant from the process, and judging from the many excited comments I had from people who had spoken to the scientist whose research they are supporting – our scientists did us proud.

There are awards for the top research team of the year and a number of fundraising and volunteer awards. It is always very difficult to decide these as everyone there has a story to tell and many have gone to great lengths to raise money. Lots of tears and hugs as well. See the list of award winners here.

There was some anxiety from the scientific community about the Charity Research Support Fund which I have written about in the past. Fundraisers were also concerned that we might be forced to support less research if this support is not sustained.

I was also able to share with everyone our delight in achieving The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2010 (number 91) and achieving a 2 Star Status in Best Companies Accreditation 2010. More importantly we were third on the list where staff were asked if they felt they made a difference.

As I said to everyone there, “I am in no doubt that the main reason we all feel that we make a difference is because of all of you. You are our inspiration and our motivation whether it is because we know that we are supporting the best scientists to do the best research or because of all the people who help us raise the money. You can be confident that we are spending the money you have worked so hard to raise most effectively to improve diagnosis, treatment and survival.”

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