Supporting Spinal Cord Injury Charities during lockdown
As we ease out of lockdown (hopefully for good this time!), I am looking back at 2020/2021 and reminiscing about some amazing fundraising events which I either took part in or helped to organise that probably would not have happened otherwise.
There is no denying that the last 14 or so months have challenged us as a society (some significantly more than others). I have previously written about the obliterating impact that COVID-19 pandemic has had on so many aspects of our lives. Sadly, I fear that the effect of lockdown is unlikely to stop with the official end of the restrictions and the road to full recovery will take time and effort.
The Spinal Injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp (which I am part of) have been proudly supporting a number of charities who support those living with a spinal cord injury.
COVID-19 had and continues still to have a significant impact on those charities.
As we went into lockdown, we started to think about the different ways in which we could continue to assist those charities. Pre-lockdown, virtually (pun intended as I am conscious I have not used this word in its more traditional sense for over a year!) all of the fundraising initiatives were done in the flesh so to speak. As it was no longer possible to do so, we have really had to put our thinking caps on to find other ways which would galvanise the financial support that was so desperately needed by the charities close to our hearts.
Going through my Twitter feed, I can’t help but notice that by working remotely (and cutting out the commute time) we have certainly gained more time to dedicate to supporting our charity partners – one positive effect of the pandemic for sure! So much so that I have to start with apologies as this short blog can’t truly do justice to all the amazing initiatives that were had and I would far exceed the word count to list them all here!
Instead, the aim of the blog is therefore simply to share the highlights of our fundraising efforts because not only it really feels good to do good (and talk about it!) but I also hope that this may encourage others to organise or take part in virtual fundraising events in the future (I am sure these are here to stay!)
Virtual wine tasting in aid of Horatio’s Garden
As a volunteer for Horatio’s Garden, I was really excited to organise something special in support of this wonderful charity and the idea of having a virtual wine tasting event was very well received. Organising this event was truly a team-work effort and we would not have been able to take on a project like this without the specialist help from Laithwaites Wines, their wonderful wine expert Grant Hedley and his uber-efficient colleague Karo.
The virtual wine tasting event was held in February 2021 and it was such a treat! We were instantly zoomed off into the world of lush vineyards and oak scents, tasting some incredible grape varieties. The wines and the food, so expertly paired by Grant, allowed us to forget about the February doom and gloom.
Importantly, this fund raising event was very popular and, I am pleased to say, oversubscribed within days of going on sale, which resulted in important funds being donated from the ticket sales.
Virtual art exhibition and silent auction of Dustine West’s work in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)
C-19 pandemic has not stopped my colleague, Victoria Oliver, from organising a truly unique art exhibition (virtually of course!) showcasing the work of Dustine West, a wonderful artist who turned to ink drawing as a way of rehabilitation following his spinal cord injury.
Those attending not only had the opportunity to hear from Dustine about some really inspiring stories behind his drawings but also took part in silent auction bidding on Dustine’s art pieces which he generously donated in support of Spinal Injuries Association, the charity who played an important part throughout his rehabilitation.
The event raised over £4,000 for the SIA and was a great success!
Virtual Bingo in aid of Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)
This event was organised by SIA Case Management, UK-wide case management service working solely with adults and children following a spinal cord injury. We loved it so much that we took part not once but twice and involved our little ones as part of their home learning curriculum!
It was another well attended virtual fundraising initiative expertly hosted by Helen Jackson, MD of Bush & Company. We are delighted that it raised substantial funds for the Spinal Injuries Association.
#1millionsteps for Cauda Equina Syndrome Association (CESA)
We also got stepping for CESA, to raise much needed funds and helped turn the spotlight on this life changing spinal condition. Our Victoria Moore has certainly gone the extra mile in this challenge!
Virtual quiz in aid of Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research
Who does not love a good quiz?! Especially, if by taking part you support the research work addressing important health issues for people living with a spinal cord injury.
The research work funded by the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research charity is really pivotal in optimising one’s quality of life after paralysis and we really wanted to get involved. We so enjoyed the first virtual quiz – skilfully put together by Derek Cutler, the charity’s research manager – that we could not resist the temptation of the second quiz at the end of April 2021.
Although surprisingly (ahem!) we have not won, for us it was always about the journey and supporting a charity whose work we value so much.