Jan Beattie has been chair of The Lavender Touch charity for a decade. Here, she tells why its work is so important for people living with cancer.
“As many people are aware, The Lavender Touch celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. At a significant point in the charity’s development, it is hard not to reflect on things over the years.
“When we first started, we needed to raise £5,000 to meet the service demand. Since 2003, there has been increased recognition of the benefits of the support we provide for people living in the Borders who have cancer.
“We now need to raise around £35,000 every year to continue to help people living locally.
“Raising money does take time and hard work, and I am in the fortunate position to see at first hand the positive impact it can have for people with cancer and their families.
“Many people who raise funds do not; they do it simply to help others, often for people they don’t even know.
“There have been many fun events, like birthday parties where guests have been asked for donations rather than gifts, music nights in the local pub, even a lavender hen do!
“Some people donate money in memory of loved ones and these events often have a theme connected with the relationship; for example a golf competition, selling cross stitch patterns or pots of jam. So to all those who have raised money for The Lavender Touch, whether by having fun, learning in the process or in achieving a personal goal, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you on behalf of the committee and those with cancer who have benefitted from your generosity over the past 10 years.”
“If anyone would like to help, further details and ideas of the charity’s 10-year Challenge are at www.lavendertouch.co.uk
“The Lavender Touch is also appealing to anyone who might be interested in being added onto a database of volunteer helpers, which is currently being compiled.
“The charity only has a small committee, which at times is stretched to the limit with full-time jobs, whilst still trying desperately to fundraise.
“Committee members would love to attend every single event which takes place on the charity’s behalf, but this is physically impossible, as the workload just to run the charity and service is increasing all the time.
“If anyone would be interested in volunteering, offering services of any kind depending on their own particular interests, talents or personal reasons, The Lavender Touch would love to hear from you – email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Include a rough idea how you could or would like to assist when needed. The committee consists of people from a variety of backgrounds, including NHS therapists, physiotherapists, a photographer, a printer, a business officer, and catering and sales people to name just a few.
“Many of these skills are given with no cost to the charity. This allows for financial savings, allowing most fundraising monies to go to patient care and this is why the charity wants to boost its volunteers database.”