Cancer counselling charity We Hear You is planning a series of virtual fundraising events after facing losing 70 per cent of its usual community income as a result of the pandemic.
All face-to-face events were cancelled from March onwards, having a devastating impact on volunteer recruitment and, most importantly, preventing the charity reaching those who were not aware of its free services.
The charity has been able, however, to continue providing some counselling services online.
Gemma Wilkes, Fundraising and Communications Manager, said: “All of our adult and older children’s services were immediately transferred to online or phone counselling. For younger children we initially provided phone support to their parents or carers.
“We have resumed counselling for younger children in some locations and hope to expand on this, we have also re started our schools work in partnership with the local schools where we have a service.
“It has become apparent that the need for our services will only increase as the effects of COVID19 have been widely felt across cancer services. As treatments and appointment have been cancelled or delayed the anxiety surrounding this is on the increase. With all of this in mind we felt it was vital to our clients and supporters to look for alternative ways of fundraising and engagement.”
She said the charity had worked tirelessly over the last six months to move some of its fundraising online.
“We have converted events to virtual events, held online raffles and connected with our supporters and volunteers through various platforms. As we approach Christmas we have made a conscious effort to put on a variety of virtual events that we hope will appeal to our supporters,” said Gemma.
The charity’s virtual fundraising in the coming weeks and months includes:
Balloon racing on October 31 – a virtual balloon race taking place over seven days and based on real weather conditions etc. Balloons cost £3 each and can be tracked online during the race. The race will involve lots of other individuals and charities and the organisers also provide a prize for the winners. There will also be a small prize for the first WHY balloon across the line. Virtual balloons are available online here: http://ecoracing.co/user/page/660
Auction online from November 1-8 – the charity is currently looking for prizes to auction, while the auction will be run online here: https://www.32auctions.com/login
Christmas Fair online on November 28 – all the traders links will be on a page on the charity’s website where people can buy from. There is also be a Facebook page to showcase traders in the lead up and during the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/330536941516472?active_tab=about
Virtual Christmas tree – the virtual Christmas tree will be in lieu of the memory tree and people can make a small donation to have a light on the tree. There will also have a visual virtual option for people to donate in lieu of Christmas cards/gifts
Santa Dash on December 13 – this will be a virtual event so people can run any distance, anytime on December 13 or any other date that suits them! Registration can be found at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/virtual-santa-dash-2020-tickets-122052936619 with various options to include a suit or opt to wear your own festive finest. All registrations will receive a medal.