Up and down the country, there are thousands of people doing good deeds every day, and we decided to celebrate the great work that charities undergo with a regular feature on Tuesdays, to tie-in with #CharityTuesday on social media. This week, we caught up with Lynne Shipton from Chemogiftbags to find out more...
Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
We are based in Woodley, Reading. Chemogiftbags supports people with Breast Cancer, undergoing chemo and in the Thames Valley.
How do you support people?
We provide care packages called Chemogiftbags for before/during and after chemo. We also provide a support group on Facebook for BC patients in the Thames Valley.
How did the charity come to be founded?
Founded because the question was asked what can I do to help prepare myself for chemo. When diagnosed with cancer it's a daunting and can be a very isolating time. A list was written of suggestions the list went to a shopping list, a shopping list, to a shopping bag and a shopping bag to Chemogiftbags. That's how we started and that's how we came up with the name. Chemogiftbags is about Chemo- it's a gift- and it's delivered in a bag. I had been diagnosed and wanted to do something to “give back” so I decided to offer this service. It's about letting cancer patients know that complete strangers care. If we can bring a smile to a person's face by offering a Chemogiftbag then that's our job done. We were founded in October 2015 and and became a registered charity in July 2016. We are an award winning charity from Against Breast Cancer for Organisation Champion.
How many people do you have working at the charity?
Our charity is run completely by 6 volunteers including trustees and have the help from our hubby's and partners and friends when they are available.
How can people support you?
Supporting us we have donations from the public and small businesses, we invite corporates to help or donate to Chemogiftbags. We have an Amazon Wish List www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/1YFU049769IOF, items are delivered straight to Chemogiftbags.
We have been awarded various small grants from organisations.
Finn Hair Salons are… drop off point for blankets and all donations for Chemogiftbags.
Hand Made Craft Company…. Drop off point for blankets and all donations for Chemogiftbags.
We can be found on our webpage www.chemogiftbags.org and you can txt to donate CBAG15 Txt Amt and give amt to 70070. Or Sponsor a Chemogiftbag for other cancers and people out of the Thames Valley area.
We also accept foreign currency which we can convert into £pound sterling.
Also www.mydonate.bt.com to donate or organise an event for Chemogiftbags.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Challenges we faced, negativity really, people saying it would not work, but you will always have people opposing what you do. When people complain the best thing to do is rise above it. We have met so many different people from different walks of life, but always remember you're doing what you do for a reason. We focus on the lovely people who understand what we are doing and why we are doing and as our strap line says “From People Who Care” and you do care.
Do you have any events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
Our next charity event can be found at …Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/133077800847841/, Twitter @ChemogiftbagsUK or Instagram Chemogiftbags1168095
Chemogiftbags Afternoon Tea & live Entertainment.
Coronation Hall. RG5 4JB.
21st July -5pm parking available.
£15.00 per person advanced tickets only.
Available from …..
OR for online payment
www.mydonate.bt.com and then message us.
Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
Advice for other charities, if you are just starting to look into founding a charity our advice would be research, research and then when you think you have enough advice research some more. Is there anyone in your area, region etc doing what you are going to offer? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, there are many charities and organisations that will give you free advice. What's more make sure you have a great team behind you that will back you up and volunteer. You have to be able to multitask. When people give you negatives and say it won’t work, prove them wrong and turn it into a positive, believe in what you are doing. Take small steps and don’t run before you can walk, and plan. Network and bring as much awareness as possible. Most of all it is hard work, remember why you started to do what you do and keep yourself grounded, but if you love what you do it can also be so much fun and rewarding.