This October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and the organisation are calling on anyone interested in volunteering to think pink and play a part in raising vital funds for the charity.
Breast Cancer Research is a national charity based in University Hospital Galway with a small staff team who rely heavily on the support of their dedicated volunteers.
As the organisation does not receive any government funding, volunteers are at the heart of their mission which is to raise funds in support of world-class breast cancer research conducted at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The aim of this research is to find improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, ultimately giving better outcomes for breast cancer patients.
Christine Costelloe, Development Director for the charity spoke of the many innovative ways people have supported the charity this year alone and offers some ideas on fundraising to anyone with a passion for the cause and some creative energy to support the charity particularly throughout the month of October.
“You can get together with your friends to organise a fundraising event, your work mates to have a coffee morning or you can have a ‘pink day’ at your school.” stated Christine.
One innovative fundraising campaign came about earlier this year when a local Galway milliner, Majella Dalton came up with her own idea on how she could raise money for the charity. She created a national online campaign called ‘Hats off to Breast Cancer Research’. This involved her gathering 25 milliners together to donate a hat each for her campaign. For anyone who donates online, they are then entered into a monthly draw where they have a chance to win a unique handmade headpiece.
When speaking about her experience of creating her own fundraising campaign Majella stated “I realised my dream this year…I found a new innovative way of raising money for the charity that was fun and I got to meet great people.”
This experience of fundraising was also echoed by another local Galway volunteer, Caroline Flaherty who has been involved with the charity for a number of years, from being part of social events to assisting at fashion shows and award ceremonies. When summing up her volunteer experience she said “I’ve found that by giving a small bit of time I’ve got a whole lot back and I’ve gained new friendships along the way”.
Christine is open to all ideas from anyone who would like to get involved and stated that there are plenty of fundraising ideas on their website which people can check out. She pointed out that by doing any small bit of volunteering for the charity it can have a huge impact, as it is not only about raising funds but also about encouraging women of all ages to become more breast aware.