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Starting a volunteer charity group: Action mid-Kent fundraising committee

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Action Medical Research is a leading UK children's medical research charity, funding over 75 research projects across the UK. Children depend on Action and we depend on on our volunteers, supporting us to help us find the next medical breakthrough.

We have lots of groups across the UK. There may be one in your town or village.  If there isn’t, you can either join the nearest one to you or you can set up your own.

Emma Goodman set up the mid-Kent Committee for Action Medical Research just over two years ago. This is what she says...

"I had fundraised previously for a local hospice where my mum spent her final days. This involved taking on some organised walking events and setting up my own events. My sister and I did 100 miles in 100 days including running, cycling and finally walking from my Mum's home to the hospice, around 20km.

Then a friend of mine, Paula Ray who is Community Fundraising Manager for children's charity Action Medical Research in the London and South East region, said she was looking for volunteers to start a committee locally. I said yes and have set up the mid-Kent Committee! I'm an active, 'can do' kind of person and thought it would be a good opportunity to meet new people, as well as do something worthwhile for a good cause.

It is very rewarding and good fun!

I am a Personal Trainer and Exercise Specialist in Women’s Health so meet many mums during my daily work. I'm also a mum myself, with two children aged six and ten, so I have a great deal of compassion for the work that the charity does.

I like the fact that through the work we do in our group we are helping to fund research which can help save and change children’s lives.

The mid-Kent Committee for Action Medical Research was set up just over two years ago, in February 2015. We have meetings every four to six weeks and organise three to four events across the year, so there is planning and emails in between.

On average, I maybe give around one hour a week.

I have co-organised two Kent Ladies' Lunches with a third coming up later in 2017. 2015's was hosted by Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley, a long-term supporter of Action. Last year's lunch, at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, was hosted by Go West's Richard Drummie and Peter Cox and raised £20,000 for the charity.

We ran a family picnic last year and plan another family event this year. There was also a virtual run whereby anyone could take part in a 5K run, walk, jog or skip at a time and place that suited them. They then sent in evidence that they did it and got rewarded with a medal in the post. This was great fun as it didn’t restrict people to a particular event and the whole family could take part. It raised over £500 and we hope to make it bigger and better in the future.

This year, I'm also hoping to volunteer on some of the Action bike rides - Davina's Big Sussex Ride in June and the Castle Ride 100 in May.

There are now 12 core volunteer members of the Committee, who come to the monthly meetings and get involved with the events.

We also have other independent volunteers who help out from event to event, depending on their preference and what time capacity they have.

The events have been successful in raising money for the charity and it has been great seeing people having a good time whilst supporting such a very worthwhile cause. The Ladies’ Lunch is great fun and it's exciting for those attending to have a Friday afternoon with drinks and entertainment. But it also has a serious side. We show the charity video and it's amazing how many of us know someone with a child affected by a condition that Action funds research into. Everyone leaves the event having learned something and wanting to know more.

It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve got, or how busy you are, there is generally always something you can do within a team to make these events a success and raise lots of money.

We are very friendly and there is a social side too.

New volunteers are always welcome. If you're interested in volunteering, or want to get involved and are not sure how, come along to one of our meetings - with no pressure to come to others - to see first-hand what it's all about. Or get in touch about helping with one of our events. We'll be delighted to hear from you."

 

Join in. Have fun. Make a difference. Volunteer today!

We have lots of groups across the UK. There may be one in your town or village.  If there isn’t, you can either join the nearest one to you or you can set up your own using our bumper pack of resources.

Many of our volunteers, however, are independent supporters and volunteers who help at individual events. You choose what suits you.

Register your interest in volunteering for Action and we'll arrange a chat.