Letter of Thanks from Welsh Government
Fraser Bears donated to BTG Hospitals
Meet our new Treasurer
Award Nominee - Charity of the Year 2019
Up coming events - Comedy & Curry Night
Letter of Thanks from Welsh Government
In September the Believe Choir received a letter of thanks from Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director NHS Wales on behalf of Welsh Government, for performing Calon Lan at the Organ Donation Wales Hub Exhibition Launch! He said "The Choir's performance was a moving tribute to organ donors and gave the exhibition a strong and emotive atmosphere, helping to convey the sensitivity of the subject. The exhibition offered the chance to showcase the British Transplant Games in Newport and maximise publicity around organ donation. You will be pleased to hear that the exhibition was well attended over the week it was open, resulting in increased organ donation register sign ups and many beneficial conversations. Thank you for your support and good luck for your future performances".
The Believe Choir will be performing at various destinations across Cardiff over the Christmas period, so watch our social media posts for more information and dates!
Fraser Bears donated to BTG Hospitals
Following the hugely successful Fraser Bear donations by Believe at the Children's Track and Field Event at the British Transplant Games in July, we decided to donate a Fraser Bear to all the hospital teams that took part. A number of bears have hence gone forth to hospitals across the UK and we look forward to receiving photos of them settling into their new homes soon. Look out for these in the Winter Edition Newsletter.
A huge well done to Eisha Basra and her Dad, Kam, for completing the challenging 'Wolf Run' in Warwickshire on 8th September! Wow, what an achievement!
They raised a fantastic £696 for this event for Believe, and this is the first of many events that Eisha wants to do to raise money for our organ donation charity, as it means so much to her personally.
She stated "at a very young age a good friend of ours, Gavin Giles became very ill and was diagnosed with deteriorating kidneys, eventually needing a kidney transplant. After spending many months searching for a suitable donor, they were sadly advised no suitable donors were found. As luck would have it, Gavin's brother in-in-law saved the day testing positive as a suitable donor. Since then, Gavin has dedicated all his free time to raising awareness of organ donation so increasing the chances for other people to live fuller and longer lives."
Eisha encourages people to donate some money towards this charity using her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eishaandkams
London Marathon 2020
We are delighted to announce that we have our first London Marathon competitor, Ryan Brett, who upon gaining a place in the Virgin Money Marathon next year has chosen Believe as his charity of choice! We hope you will join us in supporting Ryan every step of the way, including a team on the side-line to cheer him on! He'll need all the encouragement we can give him, especially as he has chosen to do it wearing the Fraser Bear Mascot!
Ryan had a kidney transplant in March 2015 which his friend donated to him, and from then on he tries to promote healthy living and life after transplant mainly through running, and he has completed numerous marathons/ultras. Ryan describes himself as 'loving a challenge' and he tends to celebrate his kidney anniversary by doing something in honour of it. Some of his previous achievements has been climbing Kilimanjaro and skydiving. This year he competed at the World Transplant Games and won 5 Golds and got a World Record. His motto is "believe then achieve". Best of luck Ryan!
Here he is at the World Transplant Games in Newcastle this year after winning the 5k road race.
Like Eisha, Kam and Ryan, you too could raise money for Believe. There are many ways you can do this and anyone can do it. You could take part in a local community event, or if you don't fancy that, why not set yourself your own challenge? A sponsored swim, or a cycle to work challenge? Or perhaps a bake sale, a pub quiz or a winter walk? For a fundraising pack please email Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet our new Trustee
Meet our new Trustee and Treasurer, Mike Weir. Mike's youngest son, Harry, was diagnosed with a Chronic Kidney Condition at the age 3. At 5 his kidneys failed and he started dialysis, which Mike and his family opted to manage themselves at home. In March this year Mike was very grateful to be given the opportunity to donate one of his Kidney’s through a pooled scheme, in order for Harry to receive his life-saving transplant.
Through this very personal journey Mike has developed an excellent knowledge of kidney disease, the workings of the NHS and organ donation. He has since become a strong advocate for organ donation and written articles for various charities and thanks to Believe done some media work for Organ Donation Wales. He also provides education, advice and support to others through social media.
Welcome to the Believe Team, Mike!
Cardiff Mela by Ricky Hellyar, Believe Trustee and Lecturer at Cardiff University
In September, I attended the Cardiff Mela event in Cardiff Bay, along with some of the nursing student volunteers from Cardiff University. This event celebrates the diversity of cultures within Cardiff and South Wales with its main roots in South Asian culture.
The aim of the day was to engage with a variety of people from different backgrounds and, as well as spread the word about Believe's work, listen to the views of people from diverse communities.
It is understood that attitudes towards organ donation, amongst the Black and Asian population, are becoming more positive however there still is an urgent shortage of donors from Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) communities.
Cardiff Mela gave us a chance to listen to a range of perspectives.
One of our student volunteers, Georgia, said “At Mela we were given the opportunity to speak to a range of people from different cultures. We were able to listen to their perspectives about organ donation and find out what organ donation meant to them. Some people were still unaware of the changes in Wales and we were able to provide individuals and families information. This will help support their decisions”.
The event helped us, not only to engage with BAME communities, but provided feedback which will help us with current and future projects.
Current Projects by Mike Stephens, Believe Trustee and Transplant Surgeon
One of our main objectives as a charity is to improve education on organ donation and we are working on two particularly exciting projects in this area at the moment. The first is providing a structured education programme in Welsh schools, working in partnership with organ donation professionals from NHS Blood and Transplant (who look after organ donation in the UK) and students from Cardiff University. It involves going in to schools and providing the education sessions for children of a variety of ages. The early feedback has been extremely positive.
The second project is aimed at improving awareness and engagement from our Welsh BAME communities. We are in the process of translating our award winning Believe animation into a variety of languages (in addition to the English and Welsh versions currently available), and are working with BAME community leaders to promote and educate on organ donation. This has the potential to make important differences for patients waiting for life saving transplants and we are very excited about this opportunity! Here is our Founder and Chair, Anna-Louise Bates meeting Miss Sobia Iqbal from Fitzalan High School in Cardiff, to discuss ways to work together on this project with pupils, parents and staff in their school.
In honour of Organ Donation Week in September, Anna-Louise was invited to SCS (Smoke Control Systems) in Cardiff to deliver a talk on organ donation as part of their monthly Wellbeing at Work initiative. It was such a pleasure to meet Becky and all the lovely team in their workplace and spread the word about sharing your wishes with your loved ones. Not only did the team make some very generous donations whilst we were there but they also brought two tables at the upcoming Comedy and Curry Night on 17th October! We are so excited that they will be joining us for what is going to be a really fun night!
If your organisation would like to have a Believe presentation at your workplace, please get in touch with Nikki at email@example.com
Nomination for Charity of the Year
We are excited to announce that we have been shortlisted for a 'Charity of the Year' Award at the Introbiz Expo on the 14th November, for our extensive contribution to raising awareness for an incredible cause. We'll keep you posted on how we get on!
The highly anticipated Comedy and Curry Night is only a few days away and what a night it will be! Doors open at 7pm in the Ninian Lounge, with a disco until midnight. We have some fantastic prizes up for grabs in our raffle too! See you there!