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 Twitter. This week, we caught up with Martin Lawrence from Eve's Trust to find out more...
Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
We are a Doncaster based charity supporting Cancer patients based within our own Doncaster area.
How do you support people?
We raise funds to be able to donate to serious and terminally ill Cancer patients. So we can grant a wish, answer a dream or do anything that will help the patient and their families smile during such a negative situation.
How did the charity come to be founded?
The charity was founded in July 2011 after my mother, Eve Merton, lost her battle with Cancer earlier that year. My mother was well known in her community as somebody who would help anybody she could. I’d personally been raising money for different charities for the previous 3 years, raising just over £45k. After my mother passed away my co. Founder Clynton convinced me to carry on, but not only carry on, to start our own charity in my mother’s name and help others that are going through the same conditions and ill effects that she did. To use the grief, the hurt and the knowledge of her and our families experience to make somebody else’s a little brighter. This way we would know exactly where the money was going, who it was helping and how. So together we founded The Eve Merton Dreams Trust reg:1147191.
How many people do you have working at the charity?
We have around 20 volunteers, all 100% in their own time.
How can people support you?
People can follow us via Facebook page or Twitter @evestrust. We’re always looking for assistance or support with dreams or events. We like to promote Doncaster people helping Doncaster people, to really get the community involved. Also, if anybody wants to raise funds through one of our events or event one of their own, they can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
We’ve faced a number of challenges along the way. As a charity we started from nothing, no funding, no backing, just a good idea and will to succeed. We started off with small tombola stalls at other people events, Dragon Boat events and anything we could do to raise some money. The early days were a constant challenge to get ourselves into this position. On a personal note, I faced challenges as the emotions were still very raw. Despite my desire to help others going through what I know my mother did, I knew the pain I was seeing in both the patients and their families eyes, the struggle and their desire to fight. A lot of what I was seeing would take me back to my own pain, the challenge was to turn that pain into a positive and use it the work that we do. However to further assist, co. Founder Clynton and his team of Dream Girls deal with the vast majority of the face to face work involved and make the Dreams a reality.
Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
As it stands we don’t have anything organised before Xmas after a busy 2016. In 2017 we have our main annual events such as the Summers Legends vs. Heroes Football Event and the Dragon Boat challenge, as well as potentially Sky Dives and much more.
Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
Advice – I think the only advice I could give to other charities is to never forget how and why you are doing what you are doing. Never forget the individuals and their families, never become too corporate you forget the little things as sometimes the little things can be most important. I also find the effort you put in and the thought you put in to the details can make all the difference. Don’t just make the events about the money you can raise, make them about the fun the fundraisers can have while they are raising money. Make everyone feel involved and be accessible to people that need you, life is hard, make this easy and open.