Chair’s Christmas Thankyou

As we approach Christmas and the New Year I would like to thank you all for your incredible support for myself and the objectives of Topic of Cancer. We have been very busy over the last twelve months with my last ‘formal’ do on the evening of 19th Dec with the Rotary Club of Surbiton – and my first being with the same club on 2nd Jan 2018. In between I have managed a speedy shopping purge but no Christmas card so my apologies for not sending any out to thank you and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Our events list grows and I hope our new team of organisers under Rosemary will help us grab and fill all opportunities. London 10K, Ride London Surrey 100 mile, Thames Path Challenge, Wokingham Fireworks and Purple Ball are our annuals but we have had runners in London and New York Marathons before as well as the Surrey half marathon. Merrist Wood GC supported us for the 2nd year but Ascot sadly fell through. TurnFit with Guildford Rotary supported us through their Bikeathon and we are their charity for March 2018 so I hope we can all support them as they support us. The PB was oversold with a waiting list and so we are potentially looking at an even bigger venue for 2018. I was also introduced by Glyn, with Hardev, to the CE of Rutland who own and run Dunsfold Park and airfield who wants to support us next year. There are many other events around we can look to take part in. This year Waitrose made us one of their three charities for the December Green Token scheme so perhaps we can grow that and look to expand our goblet distribution and street collections. Colin Roy regularly appears at the London Hippodrome in Leicester Square, next one on 10th Feb, and wants me to meet the owner with a view to putting on a ToC event there!

We have talked with Rotary clubs, Lions and church groups and had stands at fairs, exhibitions and other events and enjoyed a great year with BBC Surrey/Sussex following my Community Heroes award. The week of My Cancer Story broadcasts led to part being held for posterity on the National Archives and a follow up hour on Easter Sunday afternoon, being repeated on Boxing Day at 6pm. The series was short listed for an ARIA, the broadcasting world’s Oscars, so I travelled to Leeds with the team but we were beaten by coverage of the Manchester bombing. I was also invited to share news headlines on the mid-day programme on 14th Dec so able to get another plug in.

We have gained and lost trustees through the year and do need to look at recruiting suitable replacements to spread the load as we grow. I have also temporarily closed Dorking SG and relocated Bookham SG whilst launching Guildford SG at the TurnFit Studios where Gaynor and her team have also launched ToCFit as a weekly exercise class for people in treatment or recovery. We hope St Luke’s and RSCH consultants will support this venture to benefit their patients. SG members have asked that we rename them as ToCTogether, which fits very well in promoting our causes – research, support and fitness.

There is far more here than I intended but our growth and success has been so exciting and I thank you all for being a part of it.

Next year we are off to a flying start with an invitation to join the Surbiton Rotary meeting regarding our Bladder Cancer appeal and a few weeks later at Shepperton Rotary after our presentation by Hardev and myself. The District Governor has challenged the local clubs to raise funds for this project. We are also the charity of choice for Surrey Business Expo in June. I have been invited by HRH The Prince of Wales to a Reception at Buckingham Palace on 31st Jan, which is a great start to the year.

Thank you all again for your support and hard work through 2017 and I wish you a merry and relaxed Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


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