A Look at Mother’s Day Charity and Fundraising Events

Charity Fundraising for Mother’s day

For many people, mums are the heart and soul of a family, but sometimes we forget to say thank you for all the amazing things they do. With Mother’s Day approaching, we spoke to a number of charities holding events or campaigns that celebrate mums.

Action Cancer

Action Cancer is Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity. It provides a variety of services such as digital breast screening, therapy services, M.O.T health checks and health promotion programmes. They don’t receive any government funding for the work they do, so all funding

Local participants preparing for the Action Cancer walk

Local participants preparing for the Action Cancer walk

comes from donations from the public.

Action Cancer’s Fundraising Events Officer, Arlene Creighton, is organising their Mother’s Day walk this year.

“The Mother’s Day walk is an annual event we hold in honour of mothers in the beautiful Hillsborough Forest park grounds. People take part in memory of lost mothers, with their children, as a celebration of beating cancer or just to enjoy a lovely walk whilst fundraising for a great cause. It’s 1.5 miles long and fairly gentle, so is suitable for everyone no matter their age and fitness level. Buggies are welcome too!

“At the end, every participant receives a goody bag provided by SuperValu  and mid-morning tea, coffee, scones and other treats, so it makes for a lovely day. For people who’ve lost someone close to them, it can be a very comforting event where you can meet other people in similar circumstances.

“There’s no fundraising target, but we encourage all participants to raise at least £80, which covers the cost of one free breast screening for women aged 40-49 and over 70 years. These particular age ranges are not covered by the NHS. Donations also go towards our other services such as the Big Bus, counselling for patients and their family members, health promotion and research.”

Mums Army campaign

Bella Mytton-Mills helps organise the Mums Army campaign with charity Just a Drop, which encourages British mothers to support mothers in developing countries.

“Women and mums have always been at the heart of Just a Drop. In many developing countries, it’s up to the women and children to collect water daily for the family. It falls to them as it is considered a domestic task.

Helen Robertson with Mary during a Just A Drop project visit in Kenya

Helen Robertson with Mary during a Just A Drop project visit in Kenya

“Just a Drop was created by Fiona Jeffery OBE in 1998 when she became a mum and upon hearing that £1 can give a child clean water for 10 years, it resonated with her enough for her to start a charity dedicated to providing clean water to developing countries. Just a Drop has grown hugely since it first began, having now worked in 31 countries and completed 179 projects.

“Mums Army is about calling all the mums and women in the UK to raise awareness and funds for mums globally. It’s about mums supporting mums, women supporting women. Mums Army has a goal of raising as much awareness and money as possible to enable us to reach the maximum amount of mums we can and provide them with access to clean, safe water.

A fundraising event for the Mums Army campaign

A fundraising event for the Mums Army campaign

“This is the first campaign of its kind, calling UK mothers together in support of mothers in developing countries. We know the power of women, especially when united, and so we want to harness that and use it to create positive change! We know how hard it is for mums in the UK to juggle all the different tasks they have daily – adding in a 6km walk to get water is not something we have to consider. We wanted to spread the message of how mums in the UK can help to reduce this daily journey for so many mums.

“The campaign was originally planned to run from Mother’s day 2015-2016, but we’ve received such overwhelming support since the launch that we’ve decided to continue it. The message that Mums Army represents is so important that we want to keep spreading it.

“Our Mother’s Day message is to enjoy the day and make sure you celebrate! Mums are at the heart of our families and that should be cherished.”

Rachel Meyer is a spokesperson for the campaign as she felt it really resonated with her.

“I was keen to join the Mums Army and help other mums struggling to do their best for their children in a very different situation, where finding clean water is a daily struggle. My own son Zak is battling leukaemia, and as his mum, I want nothing more than to keep him and our family well. I can imagine how awful it must be to see your whole family sick because of the water they have to gather. I joined two ‘Jerry can walks’ to raise money for Just a Drop, carrying part filled jerry cans through the streets of Kew and Richmond with other mums. We raised hundreds and learnt just how hard it is to walk with those things!”

Sue Ryder Care

The Keighley BigK 10K run is held annually on Mother’s Day to raise money for Manorlands Hospice. The race itself is the brainchild of John Dennis, a long-time supporter of Sue Ryder.

“My wife died of cancer 12/13 years ago and Sue Ryder were a great support to me and my family, so I’ve been heavily involved with fundraising for them ever since. The BigK run came about in 2008 when the leader of the council and I wanted to organise a fundraising event for Manorlands Hospice. At the time I was involved with Sportkeighley, which promotes sport and physical activity in the town. We were using the BigK symbol to positively signify the town, so we put the two together and came up with the idea of a BigK 10K run.

Runners taking part in a previous Keighley 10K race

Runners taking part in a previous Keighley 10K race

“We wanted to hold it in March to start off the year’s events, and I thought Mother’s Day would be symbolic, as everyone has a mum and many people take part to celebrate their memories. Many people also have mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and so on who are involved with Sue Ryder care at Manorlands, so it’s a way for them to give something back. At the end of the race, we give every mother a red carnation to commemorate finishing. Around the same time we also have a Run For Your Mum campaign, which is aimed at local school children on a smaller section of the course.”

A Spring Run

John particularly loves the Keighley BigK 10K for its pretty and varied course.

“The run links the four major parks in the town with some road running and is a great opportunity for people to visit areas of the town they may not have done before. It’s held in Spring when the flowers are starting to bloom, so it’s especially nice that people get to see the parks looking their best. It’s a mixed race, open to all ages and abilities, runners and walkers alike, and creates a really nice atmosphere. It’s very much community focused, bringing people from the town together. We say it’s like our own version of the London marathon! Everyone gets involved, from local businesses, colleges, Scouts and local athletics clubs to the Sea Cadets and Young Farmers, all offering what support they can.”

Fundraising for a Close Cause

All the money raised from the 10K run goes to Manorlands Hospice in nearby Oxenhope, which is a Sue Ryder care hospice that cares for terminally ill patients like John’s wife.

“The hospice has helped and touched the lives of many people in the community,” John said. “It’s run primarily on fundraising donations and as you can imagine, is very expensive to maintain. Each year we generally raise somewhere between £30,000 and £50,000 from the 10K, which pays to keep the hospital open for about four days, which really puts into perspective how valuable donations are. The hospice has a really strong local identity and people want to support it as best they can.

“I help to organise quite a few sports-based fundraising events for Sue Ryder, like the Bronte Sportive and Bronte Mountain Bike Challenge. Over the years the BigK 10K has become more popular thanks to more media coverage and events like the Tour de France, which has brought an influx of people to the area to cycle. Tourism is really helpful for us – it’s Bronte country so quite popular and the more people from outside the area visit, the more people hear of the events. Visitors are often surprised by how beautiful the countryside is here and regularly come back to enjoy it.”