Welcome to this special Easter edition of the makeabigdifference newsletter.
Firstly I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Jade Goody especially her 2 young sons, Bobby and Freddie.
I had followed Jade’s progress from her diagnosis back in August 2008 and was deeply saddened to hear the news of her death on Mothers Day.
Jade’s brave, and very public battle with cervical cancer received such widespread media attention and has encouraged thousands of women to seek advice about symptoms and screening.
In this months newsletter you can read Jade’s full story, following her whirlwind journey from poverty to celebrity stardom.
Over the last couple of months, the support and commitment shown to Young Heroes has been overwhelming with individuals from all over the UK pledging to raise funds for our charity through bungee jumping, sponsored walks and remembrance donations.
Please keep up the good work everyone and help continue to raise awareness and funds for Young Heroes. There are so many young people up and down the country who could benefit from the services the charity provide whether it be accommodation, respite breaks, great days out or general support.
On behalf of myself and everyone at Young Heroes, we wish you a very Happy Easter!
Note from the editor: Jade Goody
I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Jade Goody. She was an amazing woman who has battled her disease with such strength, dignity, and passion and by making her cancer battle public she has left a lasting legacy and a vastly increased awareness of cervical cancer. Rest in Peace.
On behalf of myself and team at Young Heroes our heart-felt thoughts go to Jade’s family at this very sad time.
Jade Goody rose to fame in 2002 as a love-her-or-hate-her contestant on Big Brother, but unlike so many other reality TV stars who tend to sink into obscurity, Jade managed to capture our hearts and stay in the public eye. We watched her journey from being a debt-ridden dental nurse from Bermondsey to her life as a multi-millionaire with her own TV series, perfume, exercise videos and autobiography.
Jade Cerisa Lorraine Goody was born June 5, 1981 in tough Bermondsey, South London. Her father Andrew Goody abandoned the family when Jade was just two and became a habitual criminal who served several prison sentences. He died from a heroin overdose in 2005.
Her mother Jackiey Budden, who also had a well-documented struggle with drugs, lost the use of an arm and an eye in a motorcycle accident which led to 5 year old Jade becoming Jackiey’s carer. Jade spent part of her childhood in foster care due to her mother’s often aggressive behaviour whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Despite the lack of a solid education, Jade left school and became a dental nurse before taking the decision that would change her life; The Big Brother auditions.
(It was also around this time that Jade had a scare over the cervical cancer which was to later claim her life. A smear test had shown abnormal cells but after undergoing laser treatment, she was given the all-clear)
Jade first burst onto our screens in 2002 on the hit reality TV show Big Brother. The 20 year old shocked the nation with her outrageous antics and brash personality.
She came fourth in the show but went on to dwarf Big Brother 3 winner Kate Lawler in terms of press coverage, wealth and fame.
After leaving the house Jade reportedly amassed a fortune of several million pounds from the release of her own fragrances, autobiographies and fitness DVD’s. She was a perennial fixture in celeb and glossy magazines, not to mention countless appearances on TV programmes including her own shows.
In 2007 Jade hit the headlines once again when she was embroiled in a racism and bullying row whilst appearing on Celebrity Big Brother which instantly lost the star TV and book deals and left her reputation in tatters. In a desperate bid to make peace Jade appeared on India’s own version of Big Brother in August 2008.
Jade’s time in the house was tragically cut short. Concerns about her health had been sparked by a series of mystery collapses. 2 days after entering the house she was called to the dairy room to take a personal call from her agent back the in the UK followed by a call from her doctor.
Given the all-clear for ovarian cancer back in 2004 and bowel cancer in 2006, this time the news was bad.
Jade learned, tearfully and publicly, that the result of a recent biopsy was cervical cancer.
The mum of 2 was immediately rushed back to the UK and underwent a hysterectomy to remove her womb.
Doctors had hoped surgery would stem the disease however further cancerous cells were detected in the sac around her abdominal organs and she faced a grueling 9 week course of chemotherapy. Already going through early menopause (as a result of the hysterectomy), radio and chemotherapy Jade continued to let the cameras roll and composed herself with such dignity and bravery even though she was scared.
Early February 2009 Jade was left heartbroken after she was told the disease had now spread to her liver, groin and bowel. Doctors delivered the devastating news – there was nothing more they could do.
Jade, who had been previously given a 40 per cent chance of survival begun treatment to prolong her life as long as possible so she could spend time with her boys Bobby (5) and Freddie (3).
Her dying wish was to spend her final days surrounded by close family and loved ones at home in Upshire, Essex.
Sunday March 22nd 2009 at 3.55am Jade peacefully died in her sleep.
She was surrounded by her husband Jack Tweed, mum Jackiey and close friend Kevin Adams. She was just 27.
Jades brave decision to let the cameras broadcast her final months of life triggered debate over media exploitation but despite been criticised herself Jade was determined to make as much money as she could for her two young sons and to raise awareness of cervical cancer.
She accomplished both, selling magazine rights to her wedding last month, reportedly for more than £1 million, and sparking a noticeable jump in the number of women who went in for cervical screening. She hoped that her public struggle would raise awareness about cervical cancer and inspire young women to be more proactive about their health.
She was fully behind the campaign to get the screening age for cervical cancer lowered from 25 to 20 in England, putting it into line with Scotland and Wales. The Government has now announced it will review the limit.
It was in her last few months that Jade did a series of interviews urging women to get checked by their doctor — firmly believing that if her cancer had been picked up earlier she would have beaten it (Doctors believe she had the disease for at least three years).
Make a big difference this Easter
For a young person living with cancer, their identity is changed by their disease overnight.
At a time in their lives when young people are dreaming bigger dreams, trying out their new-found freedoms and exploring the opportunities that lay ahead, their dreams are put on hold, their freedom is replaced by strict medical regimes and the opportunities they once saw as being possible are overshadowed by the desire to merely survive.
Cancer for a young person is perhaps more devastating than at any other time in life. And yet, there is limited support for teenagers and young adults with cancer.
Not yet adults and no longer children, teenagers are often caught in a void – somewhere between the juvenile décor of a paediatric ward and the stark reality of an adult ward often mixed elderly patients. They fit neatly into neither.
Young children are offered teddy bears and board games, but young people need so much more. They need to feel like their life is still all around them, not taken away from them.
Impact Young Heroes is a registered charity which was set up in order to provide support, advice and accommodation to vulnerable young people living with cancer. We also provide respite breaks, ‘Great days out’ and raise public awareness.
For young people whose illness and treatments have brought much pain, distress and disruption to their lives; a respite break is an opportunity to relax, unwind and have fun, in an environment where they can feel ‘normal’. This then encourages the young people and provides the inspiration to carry on and fulfil their dreams.
The Easter Challenge
For a young person with cancer, time becomes the most precious gift of all and a wonderful and uplifting experience like a respite break often cannot be delayed.
The heartbreaking truth is; that a percentage of the young people Young Heroes currently have on their waiting list, may become too sick to travel and may not get the opportunity for a respite break with their family if we don’t act now.
We work extremely closely with hospitals throughout the country that help us identify the individuals who would most benefit from the unique support we provide.
Currently Young Heroes have a number of young people waiting for respite breaks and it is our intention to raise enough funds to provide respite breaks for at least 60 courageous young people in 2009.
Please give generously and help make a big difference to the lives of these deserving young people.
For further information about how you donate, please visit the makeabigdifference website or contact Sharon Brown on
01142 43 18 50.
Young Heroes has teamed up with justgiving.com, the UK’s leading online fundraising website, so you can donate and raise funds for the charity online. Using justgiving is by far the most efficient way of supporting them by saving costs and admin time.
It’s easy to make a single or monthly donation with a credit or debit card online: All you need to do is go to
Just Giving reclaims Gift Aid automatically and pays your donation directly to Young Heroes at the end of every week, and the site is 100% secure. Justgiving also makes it easy to raise money for the charity: you can create an online fundraising page in minutes to collect donations for any sponsored event or appeal, simply go to
Alternatively Young Heroes can set up a page on your behalf. Please contact John Doran on 01142 43 18 50.
Fundraising pages are just like paper sponsorship forms, except they’re online, so you don’t have to traipse around collecting cash and cheques. Simply personalise your page with a photo and message and email the web address to all your friends, family and work colleagues from anywhere in the world. These people can then make a donation using your page.
You can create a fundraising page for absolutely anything. You could get sponsored to run, swim, cycle, get fit, grow a moustache or have your head shaved. The only limit is your imagination. Best of all it’s free of charge!
If you would like further information about Just Giving, you can contact the company directly on 0845 021 2110 or contact Young Heroes John Doran on 01142 43 18 50.
On behalf of myself and Young Heroes we would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Stuart Turner.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.
Stuart tragically lost his life on 20th March 2009 aged just 22.
Young Heroes are eternally grateful to Stuart’s mother, Jayne, for choosing to support our charity and we would like to thank the rest of Stuart’s’ family, friends and all those who have contributed in raising such a fantastic amount of money in such a short period of time through Jayne’s Just Giving page.
Story of Success
Dan Hewitt outside his Impact flat
You may be familiar with 20 year old Dan Hewitt’s story which was originally featured back in January’s newsletter. Dan, who was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukaemia at 16, was the first ‘young hero’ to move into Impacts supported accommodation in Bradford.
Since Young Heroes first began to support him last year, Dan has also benefited from a wonderful respite break in Lanzarote, experienced a great day out in London and received a donated laptop and subscription to the internet for 18 months.
Dan’s story captured the eyes of editors at Bradford’s local newspaper, the Telegraph and Argus who decided to feature his story in their paper and online last month. The article also mentions Young Heroes and the tremendous services and support they provide to young people living with cancer throughout the UK.
A big congratulations to John Doran and Nicola Mullen on the birth of their new baby son, Deacon Thomas Doran, born Saturday 21st March 2009, weighing 6lb 9.5 oz. Deacon is the couples’ first child and was born in Manchester’s Hope Hospital.
On behalf of everyone at Young Heroes, Congratulations on your beautiful new arrival and best wishes xx
Young Heroes youngest ever fundraiser!!!
Deacon Thomas was fundraising for Young Heroes before he was even born when his mum, Finance Officer Nicola Mullen ran a ‘Guess the baby’s weight and DOB’ back in February. The competition raised a fantastic £148 with 2 lucky winners receiving a bottle of champagne and luxury chocolates.
The winners were Donna Binyon of Sunderland and Craig Bullivant of Bradford.
Well Done to you both and a big thank you to all those who took part.
Bungee Jump for Young Heroes
Team ‘Relentless’ Fundraiser Aaron Clark will leap from a famous bridge to raise money for the charity.
Aaron will bungee jump from the iconic Transporter Bridge in Middlesborough on Sunday 12th July which was made famous in the TV programme Auf Wiedersehen Pet.
Aaron has spoken openly about his fear of heights but hopes the 170ft drop will help confront and overcome his anxiety and of course raise as much money as possible for Young Heroes.
He said: “I know it’s ironic with me being so tall (6’5”) but I have a major phobia of heights so deciding to do a bungee jump was way beyond my comfort zone!! Please come along and support me or more importantly get your hand in your pocket and help me raise money for a really good cause”.
Aaron has a target of £10,000 which will allow Young Heroes to take 5 young people with cancer from the North East for a special respite break, at a time when they most need it.
To sponsor Aaron please follow the link below
Coffee mornings are a great British tradition. Large or small, they are the perfect activity for conversing, mingling and raising money for Young Heroes.
Coffee mornings are so easy to organise and you can hold one almost anywhere, for example, your town hall, church, place of work, your home or garden or local social club.
A decent amount of money can be raised through sales of drinks alone however why not take advantage of additional fundraising opportunities, such as selling cakes and biscuits or holding a raffle or competition.
Once your event is in full swing, you’re well on your way to fundraising success. All that’s left to do is mingle, keep the coffee flowing and remind people about your fundraising cause, Young Heroes!
Someone who is no stranger to holding coffee mornings is Young Heroes’ own Health Support Co-ordinator, Bev Law.
Bev has organised around twenty five coffee mornings for various worthy causes and the last two where in aid of Young Heroes.
She says “Coffee mornings are such a great way of promoting the charity whilst in a relaxed atmosphere amongst friends and neighbours”.
“Its a great opportunity to have a natter with friends, have a coffee and cake with the knowledge that your doing your bit to help young people with cancer. It really is an all round social event and a great way to raise money”
Bev used to raise around £250 per event through sales of teas, coffees, cakes and biscuits and charging entry fees. To maximise funds, she also began running cake stalls, bring and buys and raffles at the coffee mornings.
If you would like further information about holding a coffee morning in aid of Young Heroes please contact Kim Tetlaw or Sharon Brown on 01142 43 18 50.
Charity Ball Update
TICKETS are selling fast but are still available and organisers of the event are urging people to reserve their tickets now to avoid disappointment.
The theme for the night is Mid-Summers Night Soul and will be held at The Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford on the 27th June 2009 and will be a truly unforgettable night of fabulous fundraising and brilliant entertainment.
The event which will offer a perfect opportunity for entertaining your staff, colleagues and clients, and will combine a superb corporate hospitality environment with the all-important task of raising much-needed funds to support young people living with life-threatening illnesses.
The evening consists of a champagne reception, a fabulous 4 course meal, quality entertainment from singing sensation Janet Jaye and dancing throughout the evening. Plus a fundraising auction and raffle with some extremely generous prizes up for grabs.
The event is been sponsored by Heather Irvine Skin and Body Clinic, Bradford. MD Heather Irvine has been supporting Young Heroes for some time now said “I’m so pleased to be able to sponsor an event like this and for such a great cause too. Please buy your tickets now before they sell out and help support young people living with life threatening illnesses”.
Young Heroes are also seeking sponsors for various parts of the event, such as the auction and champagne reception. Any interested businesses or individuals should contact Sharon Brown.
If you know of any companies or indeed you work for a company that would be interested in purchasing tickets for this glitzy event, contact Sharon Brown on 01142 43 18 50
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why not take advantage of the early bird rate?
Discounted tickets can be purchased per table of 10 for just £750. Tickets purchased after the 30th April will be charged at the full rate of £1000 per table.
Individual tickets are also available subject to availability and are priced at a reasonable £75 with the early bird discount, £100 there after.
Book now to ensure that you don’t miss out on this fabulous occasion!
*Attractive sponsorship packages available.
A woman from the picturesque village of Willington, Bedfordshire will embark on a 26-mile walk to raise funds for Young Heroes.
Charlie Massey has pledged to walk from Norfolk to Kings Lynn on Saturday 5th September. Fun loving Charlie will complete the walk in a Miss Whiplash Black PVC Dress, full leather whip and accessories!!
Charlie felt inspired to do the walk after meeting some of Young Heroes out in Lanzarote. She says “Young Heroes is a wonderful Charity and having been fortunate to meet some of them, I can safely say they are amazing people”
Charlie has contacted the local press, TV, Radio and is hoping to attract the attention of BBC1’s One Show. She will even be starting her own blog so people can keep track of how training is going and get in touch with their wishes of support.
She says “Young Heroes is such a fantastic charity. The respite breaks allow the young people to take time out and forget about their illness and simply focus on having a great week, a week where they can have some normality back in their young lives”.
Charlie has created a Just Giving page to allow sponsors to donate direct to Young Heroes. She is hoping to raise a minimum of £2,200 which will provide a young person living with cancer, a luxury respite break for them and their carer.
“Please be generous with your sponsorship” urges Charlie “it really is such a great cause”.
To sponsor Charlie please link on the link below.