We did it! Smart Teachers raises £1,063.12 for Melanoma UK during Sun Awareness Week, May 9th – 13th 2016.
After losing my father to melanoma three years ago, this was a cause very close to my heart. Not only did I want to help raise money for the nurses that cared for my dad throughout his illness, I also wanted to inform people about the dangers of the sun here in the UK, where (despite the gloomy skies) skin cancer is the most common form of preventable cancer.
It quickly became apparent this was an issue that resonated with lots of people across the company, including our very own Paula Sinclair (Smart consultant and founding partner), who unbeknownst to many of us is a survivor of malignant melanoma herself. With our Aussie counterparts all chanting Slip-Slop-Slap, we had all the fighting spirit we needed for a fun-filled week of fundraising.
From the first day of Sun Awareness Week, support was strong. After kicking off the week with a Sun Awareness Trivia Crossword to test people’s skin cancer knowledge, Laura and I held a Smart Juice Bar, nearly burning out the motor of the Nutribullet as we blended up a smoothie storm for the whole office. Thirsty work!
Later in the week we hosted a building-wide Bake Sale and were thrilled to welcome so many of our Salisbury House neighbours who stopped by to pick up a sweet treat and show their support.
Congratulations to our Best Baker winners Melissa Worman, Bianca Venmans and Kgale Wilson (featuring Simon Glynn), whose secret baking skills won them Slip Slop Slap prize packs kindly donated by our friends at Topdeck. A big shout out must also go to Xenia’s Cake Creations and Chelle Belle’s Cakes for so generously answering our fundraising SOS.
Other fundraisers throughout the week included the silent auction of a Luxury Barbershop Service donated by Murdock London and a stunning original painting by Nikole Lowe of Good Times Tattoo. Thanks also to Animal, Bold Management, and Street Coffee for their kind donations.
Dan Stuart was the lucky winner of this Giant Jar of Smarties with his guess of 1,212 smarties (just 39 more than the actual count of 1,173). Dan couldn’t quite handle all 1,173 smarties himself, but we understand this little lady Isla has been making a pretty good dent in them.
The pinnacle of the week’s charitable activities was the Friday pie-throwing, in which five esteemed team leaders (including Smart’s UK manager and birthday girl, Michelle Tyrrell) had a plate of yoghurt hurled at their faces, at the hand of the highest bidder. A picture speaks a thousand words…
As the week progressed, spirits got higher and determination grew fiercer as we edged closer to our goal of raising £1,000 for Melanoma UK. Donations poured in from all around the world, as did the messages of support, including this touching comment from our friend Sarah at Space & Solutions:
‘As someone who has had malignant melanoma and survived I think that any support for other people going through this is wonderful! Well done Smart Teachers – I applaud you all!!!’
The most powerful result of Sun Awareness Week for me was having a few different people come up to me to say they’d made an appointment to get suspicious moles checked. Having personally experienced the devastation that melanoma can cause, leaving moles you’re unsure about just isn’t worth the risk.
I want to say a massive thank you to everyone here at Smart Teachers who has supported the Sun Awareness initiative and participated so enthusiastically in all fundraising events.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to our Just Giving page and helped us raise £901.87 + £161.25 Gift Aid (a grand total of £1,063.12). This money will go towards funding vital melanoma research and providing more nurses and support to melanoma patients and their families.
The biggest thank you must go to my colleague and co-conspirator Laura Clementson, who played a pivotal role in supporting my idea and making Sun Awareness Week happen. This lady is amazing, and I couldn’t have it without her.