Tony is a customer at The Farnham Community Group, who alongside many other customers and colleagues across Surrey Choices feel very passionately towards helping our Local Charity of the Year, The Fountain Centre. The Fountain Centre is a charity for cancer patients, their families and carers located in the St Luke’s cancer unit at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.
Speaking to Patrick Allen the Senior Activity Facilitator at The Farnham Community Group, Tony told us why he wanted to take part in a fundraising event and do what he can to help raise money for an incredible charity:
I was thinking for a while what I could do as a way of remembering my mum and dad who both died of cancer. And when I heard about the Homelessness Project Yvonne had done for the homeless and what was done for Red Nose Day, I knew that Patrick would help me. I walk everyday because ten years ago I got diabetes and I was told it’s a good way of helping me control my weight. I walk one and a half miles a day. When walking it came to me of what I could do, I would do a sponsored walk.
It has been really good for me telling other customers as I was able to share my problems of how losing first my mum to cancer which went on for a long time and how I saw her going down hill, and all the caring I had to do for her like making cups of tea and tidying was very distressing for me when she passed away, she was admitted to Phylis Tuckwell and I was so glad of the care they gave her. Afterwards I felt sad for a long time, I was still sad for my mum and it came as a real shock for me when two years later my father died of cancer. I was very close to my parents.
I have really enjoyed myself asking for people to sponsor me in the shops around Farnham, and it has been really nice at how people have listened to me, and have been so kind to me and sponsored me. It’s also been great doing the sponsoring with my other friends at the Farnham Community Group.
Yvonne then said “I was anxious and scared when I first went out to the shops to ask for sponsorship, because I didn’t know how they were going to act towards me, and I was really surprised when they acted so nice to me, it was a real buzz”. Yvonne then went onto say ” when I first started asking people I was a little tongue tied, but soon got used to introducing myself and saying who I was, and telling them about cancer and what I was doing”. She also said “I have become a lot more confident as I know people in society are nice and will treat me well, and in general not be nasty to me”. Yvonne’s confidence has really grown and she has now gone out on her own to get sponsorship and was on a real high when she went out for her first time and came back with £50. She said in a shaky voice through excitement, “you will be shocked, you won’t believe me when I tell you how much I have raised!”
Justin then went on to say “I felt really excited when people gave us money for our sponsored walk. I loved learning how to shake people’s hands and say who I was. People looked at me and listened to what I was saying, and it was great having people take notice of me.”
The groups sponsored walk will be taking place on Tuesday 7 May, and collectively they have raised over £1,290!