Supporting the Norfolk Community: Big C Charity
Big C’s Big Cuppa saw local businesses such as Yellow Brick Mortgages, Financial Advisers Smith and Pinching, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Energy Consultancy Indigo Swan, which has recently named Big C as their Charity of the Year, take a break from home-working and enjoy some time connecting as a team on video calls dedicated to the charity initiative. A team from the UEA, Norwich Rock Choir and many individuals across the county also took part in the event.
Tom Holmes, Events and Engagement Manager at Big C said, “The flavour of our Big Cuppa 2021 was in striking contrast to last year’s event which was held just before news of coronavirus first began to emerge and saw businesses, the hospital and our Big C shops and centres around the county hold in-person Big Cuppa events. This year was different, but just as much fun and a great success with people holding Big Cuppas in the safety of their own homes. A huge thank you to everyone who took part. As well as raising much needed funds for Big C, it was uplifting for everyone to come together for a good cause, during what is such a difficult time for everyone. We hope to raise over £2,000 from the event.”
Supported by the business community
Jaime Lloyd-Jones, Head of Marketing at Indigo Swan said, “We are really excited to support Big C as our charity of the year for 2021 and getting involved in the Big Cuppa seemed like the perfect way to kick start our fundraising. We really enjoyed taking some time out of our morning to get together as a team, take part in a tea and cake inspired quiz and of course enjoying a brew together! We recognise how important it is for everyone’s wellbeing during this tricky time of working at home to make the time to catch up and check in on each other.”
Ashley Ruthven from New Anglia LEP said “My colleagues and I all have people close to us that have suffered with cancer and we know without the support of charities like Big C many of them would have struggled to cope. In the current situation we know those who are currently undergoing treatment are affected even more so with having to shield and take extra precautions. We therefore decided to host a Big Cuppa to raise money for Big C so that they can carry on the amazing work they do in the most difficult of times.”
Smith and Pinching said, “Big C cancer charity is an integral part of the cancer support offered to people in Norfolk and Waveney and Smith & Pinching were keen to join in with the Big Cuppa in February. As a company we have been supporting Big C since it’s early days, after we lost one of our directors to cancer at a very young age in 1984, and we all know of people today who have been affected.”
The Big C story
Big C was founded in the 1970s, when two young men David and Clive, found themselves with cancer and having to travel to London and Cambridge for treatment, often finding this harder than the treatment itself.
They vowed to do something so that local people would have access to the best treatment and support closer to where they live. 40 years on, their vision has become a reality, with over £32 million being raised so far and nearly £3 million raised each year by the local community, creating the largest cancer charity in East Anglia.
From its first small, but important fundraising project providing chemotherapy equipment at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Big C has grown into an impressive organisation which funds specialist life-saving equipment and internationally significant research projects based at the Norwich Research Park. These projects greatly benefit local people and have a global impact on our understanding and treatment of the many types of cancer.
Covering Norfolk and Waveney, the charity has established three Big C centres located at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth, and also a hub at the Louise Hamilton Centre in Gorleston. These centres provide an oasis of specialist emotional and practical support for those with a cancer diagnosis and their loved ones away from a clinical environment.
Adapting services in light of COVID-19
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Big C moved swiftly to transfer all support services online and over the telephone, to ensure ongoing vital support for those facing cancer and their families, in very challenging times. All Big C services are now available in this way including a specialist telephone support line, live chat support, telephone counselling, welfare advice, ‘Ask the Nurse’ support via Big C’s virtual centre, Get Moving fitness coaching programme and physical and mental wellbeing videos.
In addition to this increase in demand for their services, Big C has experienced a sharp drop in income from closure of the shops and cancellation of fundraising events.
Head of Fundraising at Big C, Carole Slaughter said “These are tough times for the charitable sector, and we are very appreciative to everyone who held a virtual Big Cuppa for us this year. Every donation really does make a difference to the work we do in supporting those that need us.”
Big C also has a number of exciting fundraising events planned for the months ahead and would love to hear from any businesses who would like to take part.
During April, the charity has organised an iconic ‘Hadrian’s Wall Virtual Walking Challenge’ in partnership with My Virtual Mission. The event will see participants cover 85 miles on foot from Wallsend in the East to Bowness of Solway in the West. The virtual route traverses along the best known and best-preserved frontier of the Roman Empire, Hadrian’s Wall.