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DJ Sam Smith supporting the race against blood cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer marks its 1st year in style

Saturday 6th August will go down in Race Against Blood Cancer history, as we marked our first year anniversary in style with a day and night to remember.

If someone had said we would have done over 40 donor drives and signed up over 2100 people onto the donor register a year prior, we wouldn’t have believed it.

One full year has passed since a group of young people came together and showed the amazing things that could happen when you unite cultures, passions, ideas and plain old positive work! A number of key partnerships with other charities, businesses and celebrities were formed in these twelve months and will make the next 12 months even more exciting.

To mark the occasion, the team entered 18 triathletes into the AJ Bell London triathlon, raising over £6400 in the process and, wanting to do things differently to most other charities, we put on a party headlined by UK Garage legends Norris Da Boss Windross & MC Creed.

Held at Vice’s newest venue, Kamio – Red Gallery the night was full of anticipation. Not without its challenges, with both Old Street and Shoreditch High street stations closed for the weekend and the Shoreditch area much quieter than normal, we were not deterred.

Upon entry we set up a ping pong table, adult Jenga, photo booth area and offered a free drink, courtesy of our sponsor – Pistonhead Lager, to get the crowd going.

The night kicked off with great live performances from Jacob Makes Music and the excellent Chase Emery Davies. Stepping onto the decks we then had Sam Smith, DJ Rogue, DJ Longers, Kruel Intentions and a headline set by Norris Da Boss Windross and MC Creed with a live PA from Rose Windross. The night finally ended with Mister L to wind things up at the end of the night.

The event was definitely a diverse and eclectic mix of personalities and cultures. We marked the year off with a fitting event that celebrated the charity and we look forward to another great year of success.

We would like to send a massive thank you to

Kamio/ Vice
Bounce
Pistonhead
Jacob Makes Music
Chase Emery Davies
Megan Impey
The Famous Company
Sam Smith
DJ Rogue
DJ Longers
Kruel Intentions
Norris Da Boss Windross
MC Creed
Rose Windross
Mister L
Ontrax TV

and a massive thank you to Tinkphotography for all of their hard work on the night.

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Swim, ride, run – The team smashed it all!

On weekend of 6th August, a team of 18 committed triathletes completed the AJ Bell London Triathlon for Race Against Blood Cancer to raise money for the charity and its ongoing efforts to help save lives.

Known to be the world’s largest triathlon attracting over 13,000 participants and 30,000 spectators, the AJ Bell Triathlon never disappoints. And 2016 was no exception.

With most of the team completing a triathlon for the first time, nerves were high as the London sun started to rise and heat started to soar. But team Race Against Blood Cancer stayed strong!

Offering many different formats and distances, team Race Against Blood Cancer saw various waves of fundraisers depart throughout the day. Despite the heat, everyone dug deep, remained hydrated and completed the respective events and disciplines in a great time, with a smile on their faces, and pride in their hearts.

Race Against Blood Cancer is immensely proud of the great team effort that went into this event. Despite the hard work, sweat and tears, the team managed to raise over £6,000 to help give every blood cancer patient an equal chance of finding a suitable match.

Thank you to all those taking part in the event as well as the spectators who went to cheer the team on. You were all amazing!

We look forward to being back next year. If you would like to get involved for the 2017 event, please get in touch with ben.westwood@raceagainstbloodcancer.com. Our 18 triathletes were exemplary, let’s aim for a team of 40 for 2017!

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Norris Da Boss Windross & MC Creed lead the party line up

The final line up for Race Against Blood Cancer’s 1st Anniversary party was confirmed on the weekend. 

With performances ranging from amazing house, UK Garage and Hip Hop DJs as well as live singers, the 6th August promises to be unforgettable, with Norris Da Boss Windross & MC Creed as the main headline at Kamio, Red Gallery, Shoreditch.

Tickets are selling out fast. If you haven’t already, do so now for just £10 https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/thefutureisnow

Buy your tickets and get read for a crazy night filled with positive energy and great people.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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A few climbs, dramas, and many laughs later, the 3 Peaks Challenge is complete

Ben Westwood, a dedicated fundraiser from Race Against Blood Cancer joined forces with Birmingham Children’s Hospital fundraisers to take on, and smash, the 3 Peaks Challenge in 24h.

On Saturday 16th July at 6AM, the team set out from Shropshire on the arduous challenge of climbing the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales in 24 hours, covering an estimated 44 km, with a total ascent of 9800 feet and not to mention the 1109 miles that were covered by the support crew in the mini bus.

Starting off at the bottom of Ben Nevis at 5PM, they had around 5 hours to complete the ascent before heading back down to the van and make their way to peak number two. The weather was not on their side. Winds blowing a gale, heavy rain pouring down and forecast throughout definitely was a challenge. Temperatures also dropped -7 C at the summit on this mid-July date. It seemed like anything but a nice summer’s afternoon for a stroll! Enduring horizontal rain coming at them from all angles and temperatures that seemed to drop with every footstep taken, Ben Nevis was by far their longest and most difficult challenge in the competition due to the conditions.

Despite the negatives, they did come home with a few notable moments which included helping pull up a fellow hiker from a fall half way down a steep bank as she held on for dear life before a few members of the team ran to the rescue. Or, on the way down witnessing one of the mountain rescue team’s quads going off track down a gully with the driver needing to jump off! But, despite the dramas, the team made it in just over 5 hours.

Ben Nevis done, they quickly pushed on through the night with a 6 hour drive to Scafell Pike where dry weather and slightly warmer temperatures awaited them. Scafell Pike was checked off and climbed in just over 3 hours. Besides the very sore legs, serious cramps creeping in and the painfully slow bacon butty van at the bottom that they had to pay a visit to, the trek definitely included less drama.

The team’s third and final peak was Mount Snowden in Wales and was probably the easiest of the three. Wales didn’t disappoint as the sun shun bright and the temperatures a delight. Ditching the hiking boots and donning the trainers, shorts and T-shirts, the team completed the peak in just under 3 hours before doubling it in at a canter over the finish line.

The 3 Peak Challenge in 24 hours was completed!

Massive thanks to the entire team and all the individuals that sponsored and supported us throughout the event. It’s not too late to give generously. Follow the link – https://www.gofundme.com/24ksmqc

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We are 1! Join the celebration on 6th August in Shoreditch

A year has passed since we became an official charity. And what a year it has been with so many smiles, stories and achievements. And we would love to celebrate with you.

On 6th August, we will be celebrating our first anniversary at Red Gallery in Shoreditch. It promises to be an amazing night with loads of great acts, amazing people and cool vibes.

With a diverse night of entertainment ranging from live music featuring rock, pop and soul, great acts like Norris ‘Da Boss’ Windross & MC Creed and some of London’s best funky house, RnB, hip-hop and UK garage DJs we’re expecting a sell-out.

Early bird tickets are currently on sale and going quickly so make sure you get your ticket soon https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/thefutureisnow and come and enjoy an amazing night full of surprises.

We will also be giving all of those of you who have not yet signed up as a donor the opportunity to do so as we continue to look for a match for Tommy.

We look forward to seeing you and all your friends and family there for an unforgettable celebration!

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Making our mark at the Caribbean Culture Festival

Colourful. Fun. Informative. Educational. And Positive – these are the adjectives that describe the Carribbean Culture Festival that Race Against Blood Cancer attended on 3rd July.

 

Thanks to a few connections and good words on the work that we have done so far, we were kindly invited to join the celebrations at Millennium Hotel on Gloucester Road and run a donor drive as part of the Match4Tommy campaign.

 

The drive was a roaring success and allowed us to go home fuelled with smiles, love and energy as we managed to sign up 70 new donors to the register, what more with no prior advertising. But thanks to the captive audience, brilliant event organisers and the microphone that we were given to go on stage and talk about our work, our vision and why signing up was so important, we were able to win everyone’s hearts.

 

As a family friendly environment, a number of people came up to us and mentioned how they felt the Match4Tommy appeal was so important and that it was one of the contributing factors as to why they signed up.

 

As part of the event, Race Against Blood Cancer was surrounded by great performances, brilliant food and amazing people.

 

We can’t wait to take part in the event again next year and would like to say a massive thank you to Natasha, Eon and everyone else who helped make the day possible and supported us throughout.

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Inspiring young people to fight the cause at the National Citizen Service

Race Against Blood Cancer joins the government backed NCS programme which helps provide students with valuable skills for life.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is an experience that any 15 to 18 year-old doesn’t want to miss! And with more than 200,000 young people signed up every year, Race Against Blood Cancer and the team were eager to play their part.

So, on Tuesday 5th July, Joe Bates and Alex Morrison traveled to Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands to deliver the first of a four days’ worth of workshops to those enrolled on to the programme.

Giving young people the chance to embark on exhilarating challenges, make a mark and build skills for work and life, this hugely valuable initiative sees young people across the country effectively volunteer their summer to develop a social action project which can have a positive impact on their community.

Joe and Alex delivered four workshops throughout the day to 80 participants. The workshops raised awareness of different types of blood cancer, treatments available and the need for more donors on the registry – especially people from an ethnic minority and mixed heritage background.

On the day the groups were also taught how to carry out a donor drive, with the hope that many of the young volunteers will run their own donor drives over the summer to support Race Against Blood Cancer’s aim of registering another 3,000 potential lifesaving donors before Christmas.

Alex Morrison, the charities Community Engagement lead said “it was a fantastic day and we spoke with some really motivated and enthusiastic young people.  They were a credit to the staff and we really hope that they can now go away and help us reach our targets.  We will certainly help them in any way we can and I’m excited to deliver more workshops over the coming months”.

Jemma Knight, NCS Coach was equally as pleased with how well the students embraced the day “The young people were really inspired from the workshop, they found the talk interesting and some of the group have already set their sights on running a Donor drive as their social action project. We had a young girl within the group who suffers from a blood condition herself, and she said she felt encouraged throughout and really enjoyed the session”.

If you feel that you or someone you know would like to organise or attend a Race Against Blood Cancer workshop, please contact us at info@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

Joe & Alex preparing for the workshop The RABC team in action Enjoying the workshop Swabfaces at the NCS Workshop Post Workshop Picture


Alex Morrison talking to the Huffington Post

Support us by voting for Alex Morrison at the National Diversity Awards

To all our supporters, we need your vote before 20th June.

Our beloved Community Engagement Lead, Alex Morrison, has been nominated as ‘Positive Role Model’ for the 2016 National Diversity Awards and needs your help to win.

https://nominate.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/Nominate/Endorse/29767?name=alex+morrison

Alex has been a driving force behind the charity since day one and has travelled around the country to raise awareness for blood cancer. In our first 12 months, he has helped us register over 2000 new donors and he was recently informed that our efforts have led to find our first of what we are confident will be many matches that will save the lives of blood cancer patients in need of a living saving bone marrow or stem cell match.

To give Alex some much deserved recognition for all his efforts and even more importantly, help get Race Against Blood Cancer more visibility at this increasingly influential event, we need you to take just two minutes out of your day to vote for Alex. It’s important that you do this in the next few days as voting closes on June 20th.

Every vote counts! Thanks for your support and stay posted for some hopefully positive news soon.


Ram John Holder & Alex Morrison at the Guyana festival

Running across the country for May Bank Holiday

The May Bank holiday weekend was a crazy time for our engagement team as they completed two donor drives within 24 hours and 155 mi apart!

The marathon started on Sunday evening as the team headed to Myyst nightclub in Birmingham to join eager clubbers to raise awareness of the charity.

In our white t-shirts amidst the dressed up crowds, our team definitely stood out! Response was really great though as clubbers happily interacted with us, despite having been queuing in the cold for ages. They also managed to register just under 50 new donors, the majority of which from ethnic backgrounds, making it a very successful event.

The team wrapped up just before 2 AM and drove back down to London for a few hours’ sleep but were back up and running before they knew it as they headed to the Guyana Folk Festival in Croydon.

The tiredness quickly subsided as the music and carnival feel took over and the team started interacting with the festive crowds. With live music, performance, awards, extremely good food and various stalls, it was a great event to celebrate life and get people to sign up as new potential donors. After a brief speech on stage, Alex even ran into Ram John Holder, Porkpie from Desmond’s, backstage which confirmed that it was a great day.

This was a last minute drive and the response we got was great. While dancing and festivities made it hard to register many donors, we did manage to get 26 new registers.  The team will also be back for the Guyanese tea party in July where, now that we are known, we expect to see great engagement and a lot more fun to come!

Alex Morrison & Ram John Holder at the Guyana Festival
Alex Morrison & Ram John Holder at the Guyana Festival
Singers and dancing at the Guyana Festival
Singers and dancing at the Guyana Festival
Presentations, speakers and animation at the Guyana Festival
Presentations, speakers and animation at the Guyana Festival
Music entertained the crowds at the festival
Music entertained the crowds at the festival

Tommy Simpson

Campaigning for Tommy & Rilind at Capital Xtra Radio (VIDEO)

Earlier this year, we headed to Capital Xtra Radio to support the #match4tommy and #match4rilind campaigns. We also got to interview Tommy and Rilind’s mums who keep fighting the battle for their sons everyday.

Watch some of the footage and help spread the word for these amazing little boys who are both still waiting for suitable donors.

 

 

 


What can I do to help? You can help save a life in 1 of 4 ways - find out more
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