Newsletter Sept 2009


Welcome to the September edition of the Impact Young Heroes newsletter from

In each monthly edition you can read about forthcoming and past Young Heroes events, up to date news and real life stories, plus much more.

Firstly like many others around the globe I was so saddened to hear about the passing of Patrick Swayze after a 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer.  The Hollywood actor peacefully passed away on Monday 14th September surrounded by his family.  Swayze had bravely fought the disease in the public eye, continuing to work despite cancer treatment and his significant weight loss. Personally I will never forget him in two of my favourite movies Dirty Dancing and Ghost.

August and September have been really busy for Young Heroes with a number of fundraising events taking place and preparation for the next season’s respite breaks.

As part of the fundraising team I have great admiration for the people who pledge to raise money for the charity in one way or another, be it bungee jumps, coffee mornings, cake sales or even taking on 100 rounds of kickboxing like Andy and James Olsen did last week.

On a personal level I had wanted to do something of my own to raise money, so last month I decided to do a tandem sky dive which will be taking place this weekend on 26th September.  You can read all about it in this month’s newsletter as well as why Young Heroes’ accounts manager Nicola Mullen and Steven Wright will be leaping 15,000ft out of a plane too.

Newly appointed volunteer and young hero Katie Brooman has become a columnist for the makeabigdifference newsletter with the very first Katie’s Corner in which this month you can read part one of her Lanzarote diaries.

We catch up with one of the first young heroes Liz Brown to hear all about life since her respite break 2 years ago and 18 year old Chris Taylor who enjoyed his break with Impact Maintenance Team.  You can read about Alex Albiston, an amazing young man from Rotherham who has defied all odds by undergoing intensive treatment for Osteosarcoma whilst continuing his A-Level studies and gaining a place at Cambridge University.  Alex is the first young hero of the season to visit Lanzarote.  Prepare to be amazed by his story below….

Until next month, enjoy!
Kim Tetlaw


Alex Albiston –

Young Hero beats cancer and gains place at Cambridge

Our first young hero to benefit from a respite break this month is an extraordinary young man named Alex Albiston from Rotherham.  He is just 18 years old and has achieved more in his years than most of us will ever in a lifetime.

The former Sheffield Wednesday under-16s player is off to Cambridge University after gaining five A grades at A-level, in spite of battling bone cancer throughout his studies.

Alex was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma last July and doctors warned him he would have to abandon his studies for months of life-saving treatment.  Courageously the 18-year-old ignored their advice and juggled his studies with intensive chemotherapy and surgery, even taking exams while on a drip in hospital.

Alex was treated at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield and Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to remove his tumour.

His commitment to studying and his determination to beat the disease paid off as he scooped five grade A passes and gained his place at Cambridge University.

Alex is now in remission and is preparing to take a degree in Spanish and Russian just 19 months after being diagnosed with the cancer.

Follow the link below and be inspired by Alex’s story……..–despite-doctors-calls-abandon-A-levels.html

Young Heroes Update

Liz Brown and her family had a Young Heroes respite break back in June 2007.  They were one of the first families to visit the villa and the break came at a time when Liz was recovering from treatment for Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Here Liz tells us about life 2 years on and shares her thoughts about their respite break, returning to work, a long awaited honeymoon and the future.

“Since going to Lanzarote my life has changed considerably. When we headed out to Lanzarote we thought that it would be our last family holiday, we had the most amazing time out there and it gave us the much needed chilled family time we had been missing. We didn’t worry about me falling ill over there as the support from Bev and Rob was fantastic.

The last couple of years have been pretty full on with hospital treatments, I have had several radiotherapy sessions to try to give me more time and last year after a biopsy we found that my cancer was in fact two cancers but one of them was very treatable. I started 6 months of chemotherapy last July and it was a great success, my condition is now stable, a very different diagnosis than that of two years ago. I have even returned to work in April of this year. Although I only work part time now I get a great sense of achievement in being able to lead a reasonably normal life with some limitations.

The improvement in my health has meant that my daughter Lily is more happy and settled and enjoys spending more time with a less tired and poorly Mum and my husband, Greg, whose job takes him away for several days, can go to work without worrying something will happen at home.

Going to Lanzarote gave me the confidence that I needed to find, to know that just because I am away from home doesn’t mean I may fall ill. In June of this year my husband and I finally got a honeymoon after being married for 8 years! We got the go ahead from the Doctors to go to Egypt for a week. We had an amazing time and one that we won’t forget in a hurry. I also managed to take Lily down to London to see the Queens house (Buckingham palace), although it was a very tiring day, it was great and something I couldn’t have considered until very recently.

The future is still very much unknown but we take every day as it comes and enjoy family time as much as possible.

We thank Young Heroes for all that they do; they provide an amazing and much needed opportunity!”


Young Hero Chris Taylor recently returned from a holiday in Lanzarote after spending a few days with some new found friends from Impact Living, who had arranged a last minute break.  Young Heroes arranged for the 20 year old to join ‘the lads’ on a well deserved break and give him a chance to unwind and have fun.

“Before the holiday I just wanted some space and time to get away from everything and everyone around me, not in a bad way but just some time on my own and chill out.

I was quite nervous about meeting the lads at the airport as anyone would be meeting a bunch of lads who I had no idea who they were or what they was like but after I started talking to them I found that they were all good lads and I could have a laugh with them.

When we arrived in Lanzarote we had some cracking nights out and went for some really nice meals. Iin the bars and clubs we had a good laugh on dance floor.

I stayed in a couple of nights which was a laugh and had a home cooked meal and a few beers.  One day I went fishing with a few of the lads which was funny as we took no bait, totally unprepared. However one of the lads, Simon amazed us all and seemed to just catch the fish with his hands.

John Doran and Steven Wright were a right pair together and they made my holiday to be honest.  They were so funny, they know what I mean.

Some days we stayed in, had few beers and watched either the football or the cricket which was good and other days we chilled out in the sun or just had a laugh in the pool.
On the last night we all went out to a local bar to watch England play we where all pleased with their convincing win.

After the match the lads went there own way and I stayed back and had a poker night with some locals I had got to know.  I ended up winning €60 so had some money on the way back for few bits and bobs.

It was a great break and I’m really glad I went and it cleared my head so much.  Big thanks to all the lads and of course Impact Young Heroes for arranging it”.

Canarian TV interview

Whilst Chris was in Lanzarote, he was interviewed, by Canarian TV for an exclusive programme about Young Heroes which is hoping to aired within the next month.

You can read more about the Canarian TV programme in next month’s newsletter.

Kickboxing Victory

On the 15th September at Bradford Bull’s Grattan Stadium, kickboxing enthusiasts Andy and James Olsen took on 100 gruelling rounds of Kickboxing against some well known faces on the UK’s sporting circuit for Young Heroes fundraising Team Relentless.

The brothers from Whitley Bay had been training tirelessly for the event dedicating most of their evenings to intense and punishing workouts at their club; the Northern Freestyle Karate Association or at home in their garage which they have converted in to a training gym.

Lets get ready to Rum-Bull.

On the day WAKO 7-time World Champion Kerry-Louise Norbury competed against both brothers along with 3 other professional kick boxers, as did Bradford Bulls Hooker Wayne Godwin, Halifax RLFC Prop Frank Watene who both fought impressively, Jonny Presley and Brendon Rawlings of the Keighley Cougars and special thanks to Dewsbury Rams’ winger Gary North who personally raised a significant ammount from sponsorship by sparreing against the brothers, they all did an amazing job.

Down at the ringside, lending his support and cheering the brothers on was Wigan Warriors Rugby League Coach Brian Noble.  James, who has Downs Syndrome, is a huge fan of Brian’s and was overwhelmed by his support on the day.

In the beginning stages of the event, Andy took a knock to his left eye from World Champion Jordan which resulted in a brief break and a lot of ice! But still smiling and laughing about it, Andy was determined to climb back in the ring and carry on the show.

As Andy and James battled their way through opponent after opponent they clocked up an amazing 6 hours of non-stop fighting against 14 different people and bagged their 100 rounds goal.

Both exhausted and relieved to have got thought it, the brothers thanked everyone for their support on the day.  Andy said afterwards “To finish the 100 rounds was such an amazing feeling, I was in floods of tears and absolutely exhausted but it was a fantastic moment for us”. He went on to say “There were times I honestly felt like collapsing with exhaustion but I was determined to get through it so I just tried to remain focused”.

Minutes after the final round had finished, an emotional James was presented with an award (which is said to be more prestigious than a World Title) The WAKO Gold Badge for winning all 25 of his rounds.

Presenting the award was Master Cris Janson-Piers who is Executive Director and President of WAKO GB.  He is also the National Coach Team Selector and Refereeing and Judging Examiner for WAKO.  Cris was ringside throughout the whole event and helped tremendously to make the event as safe and successful as it was.

The event which was brainstormed by the brothers was a great success and for those like me who watched ringside can only imagine that competing in this feat of kickboxing endurance would be like running a marathon while people take it in turns to punch and kick you!

When asked who their toughest and favourite opponents were Andy quickly jumped in “Kerry without a doubt was the hardest.  She was fierce!”  James agreed but said his favourite was “definitely Cris Janson-Piers”.

With Thanks

On behalf of myself and everyone at Young Heroes we would like to say a big thank you to Andy and James for your support and what you have done for the charity and to thank those who turned up and supported the charity event in one way or another.

Andy and James would like to thank everyone who made the event happen “Kerry, Luke, Jordan and Leaf, Cris, the rugby lads, Brian Noble, Aaron Clark and John Doran.  We couldn’t have done it without you all” said Andy.  “We would also like to thank Bradford Bulls supporter Mark Barrett who not only fought but raised over £400 for Young Heroes and Dave Terry at DEMAA Martial Arts Academy in Oldham for providing the boxing ring at such short notice”. Finally both Young Heores and Andy and James are eternally Gratefull to Bradford Bulls Rugby League Club for kindly donating their facilities to host the event, as without their support the event may not have been such a success.

Future events

With their goal of raising £10,000 still set firmly in sight, Andy and James Olsen are already planning their next fundraising activities.

The brothers will be holding an auction in the near future and already have already bagged some amazing sporting memorabilia including a boxing glove signed by Heavyweight legend – Smokin’ Joe Frazier and a further 2 boxing gloves signed by former middleweight and super-middleweight champion Nigel Benn and Rocky Balboa star Antonio Tarver.  Watch this space for further details about the forthcoming event.

Andy has also organised a Team Sports activity day for around 500 local children (in Whitley Bay) which will be held on October 25th in order to raise money for Young Heroes.  We will bring you the latest news on both the events as it happens.

Celebrating the work of Impact Young Heroes August 30th 2009

Written by Bev Law

It was around May time when I received an email from Reverend Chris Ellis, Incumbent for the Forest of Galtres benefice North Yorkshire, inviting the charity to hold a celebratory service and a vicarage tea party for Impact Young Heroes.

With many people helping to arrange service sheets, food and all that goes with such events, the day arrived and what a wonderful occasion it was! St. Leonard’s Church Farlington was full to capacity and even the choir stalls boasted a small but robust choir!

The weather held dry and sunny after the service, so that an excellent buffet could be enjoyed by all. Someone told me ‘Farlington always put on a good breakfast’ and it certainly was that!

Robert and I were given the opportunity to share about the work of the charity, explaining that Impact Young Heroes has a Christian ethos which enables us to support one another through prayer, including that of all the families and young people that we have contact with, and for teenagers and young adults everywhere suffering with cancer.

We explained how important it is to raise awareness on behalf of all teenagers and young adults who develop this life threatening illness.

We learn through listening to their experiences, absorbing their pain and fears when they share with us. As this particular age group are so often inappropriately diagnosed, we were able to highlight the effects of cancer at a stage in their young lives when they once again may resort to becoming dependant on family, miss out on University, work and not being able to have a social life that befits their age.  The problems go on and on. We could have talked for hours!

We closed with how the holidays ‘make a big difference’ enabling the Young Heroes and their families, friends and loved ones to return home relaxed, refreshed and able to face whatever lies ahead of them in the future. Taking the challenge and accepting a holiday 1.500 miles away certainly inspires them and helps them to realise that they can enjoy themselves away from the treatment centres and all that they endure through their illness.

The service was drawn to a close with the Eucharist, sensitively led by Revd. Chris. So many people came to share with us afterwards, and we listened to their experiences and attempted to answer their many questions.

4PM!  Time for the tea party, at Sutton- on- the Forest Vicarage. What a spread it was, not to be eaten by the fainthearted or those on a diet!

Sharon Brown, one of Impact Young Heroe”s managers, accompanied by our surprise guest Katie Brooman arrived just in time to answer more questions.
Katie, a Young Hero who took a memorable holiday to Lanzarote in 2008 is now a ‘Young Heroes’ volunteer for fundraising team superheroes. We are so honoured that Katie, whose story can be read here, has chosen to support Impact Young Heroes.

Katie feels that by sharing her journey through cancer with others helps to raise awareness and a better understanding of what young people experience.  She truly has an amazing impact when she talks and this time she was able to read her poem (in last months newsletter), which many of the guests asked for copies of.

WOW! What a day and what an incredible surprise to be invited to collect donations. We could not believe the generosity of everyone, it was amazing! We felt so honoured that people came and gave so generously. The decision was made to put all the monies raised to the holiday of a local Young person who has a cancer condition, who will be taking her memorable break with her family next spring.

The total raised? Well, so far we estimate £1000, and still more donations are landing on the doorstep. It is unbelievable how incredibly kind everyone was.

Thank you from the Young Heroes team to all in the Forest of Galtres Benefice.

Bev Law
Young Heroes Health Support Coordinator

Young Heroes by Robert Law

Impact Young Heroes is the work that we do
When you are down we’re there for you;

When the going is tough

We walk through the rough

Holding your hand with love.

Impact Young Heroes are the folk that we are

Taking you to places both near and far,

Answering questions half formed in your mind

Of both a personal and spiritual kind,

“At the end of the road, what will I find?”

Impact Young Heroes has no answers to give

But together we’ll explore the way that we live,

As life changes direction again and again

Taking us down avenues that feel full of pain

Until the meaning of life creeps back up the side lane.

Impact Young Heroes is the privilege we have

Of caring and walking with those who’ve been sad

Making a big difference to the lives that we touch

Taking time out to holt the mad rush by crying and laughing

And restoring the vision you thought you’d all lost.

Skies the Limit

I have decided to do something a little crazy and very out of character for me by doing a charity skydive in aid of Young Heroes.  The tandem jump is taking place on Saturday 26th September at 1.00pm.
Now anyone that knows me is probably wondering why I’m attempting to leave my safe little world and leap out of a plane at 15,000 feet, as I’m not exactly an extreme sports guru!

I would like to say it is something I have always wanted to do, but it isn’t…..I have a big fear of heights.
The truth of the matter is that I want to raise as much money as possible for Young Heroes and help give a young person living with cancer the chance to have a much needed break away in Lanzarote.
Having worked for the Young Heroes since the beginning, I have had the humbling experience of meeting some of the amazing young people we have supported over the years and heard their feedback about the respite breaks and what a difference they make to their physical and mental recovery.

I have set a fundraising target – if I am going to risk my life doing something, it will have to be worth it – and have created an account on the Justgiving website, www.justgiving/kimtetlaw

Donating through the site is simple, really fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to donate: Young Heroes will receive your money electronically and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in Gift Aid will be added to your donation at no cost to you.

Big thank you to those who have donated so far and I look forward to telling you all about the jump in October’s newsletter (hopefully I’ll be still in one piece!)

Two other people have bravely decided to join me on the 26th September for their own tandem jumps!

Nicola Mullen, Impact’s Accounts Manager and Steven Wright of Bradford had both expressed their interest to raise money for the charity earlier this year and so we all decided to book our tandem skydives.

Nicola Mullen

Nicola, who has worked for Impact for nearly 10 years, used to work with Nissar Bahadur (the inspiration behind Young Heroes) when he began as a trainee for the charity and along with others at Impact, she was great friends with him before and during his illness.

She says “This charity is very close to my heart and we all work extremely hard to dedicate our lives to helping young people.   If I can raise £1,000 for this skydive then I give a young person with cancer the chance to experience a once in a lifetime break with their friends or family”.

“15,000 feet is a long way to fall!! But it’ll be worth it if I hit my target and raise £1,000 so please dig deep and donate now!

You can sponsor Nicola online at

Steven Wright

27 year old Steven Wright from Bradford has close connections with the charity as he used to work for Impact on the maintenance team when he was 17 years old.

When asked about his forthcoming skydiving event, Steven says nervously “I am terrified about the jump!  It is something I have always thought about doing for the experience but never had the guts to go ahead and book it; plus I hate heights and used to dread having to go up the big ladders when I worked in Maintenance!

All that being said, I chose to do a skydive for Young Heroes as it is such a great cause and for now I’m just trying to concentrate on reaching my goal so please sponsor me, your support is greatly appreciated”.
You can sponsor Steven online at

Young Heroes Hit the Shops!

Last weekend Team Super Heroes was out and about in Manchester’s trendy outlet mall The Lowry at the Salford Quays.

We held an event in order to raise awareness about the charity and how cancer effects young people.  Both Sharon Brown and I were joined by young heroes’ Katie Brooman and Impact Living tenant Sorelle Marshall who were both keen to help out on what turned out to be a most successful day.

We handed out leaflets about the charity and spoke to the general public about the different support services we provide.

On Saturday 10th of October we will be taking to the streets once more at Salford’s Shopping City located within the heart of Salford.

This time we will not only be raising awareness but taking collections too and are hoping to raise around £1000.  This will be the first of many collection days up and down the country in order to raise money for young people living with cancer.

Come dine with us…..

ON THURSDAY 15th October 2009





Team Superheroes is pleased to announce details of their forthcoming charity event on Thursday 15th October 2009 when we will be having an evening of fundraising and fine dining at top Manchester Restaurant ISIS from 7.30pm onwards.

The relaxed and fun evening includes;

  • A superb 3 course meal prepared by top chefs using the finest ingredients,
  • A half bottle of wine per person
  • Entertainment
  • A chance to win some fabulous prizes in our special raffle.

Tickets are priced at a reasonable £25.00 with all proceeds from the event going towards a respite break for a young person living with cancer.

We would love to see you there and recommend that you book now to avoid disappointment!

To book or if you require directions please call Sharon at Young Heroes on 01142 43 18 50 alternatively you can email me on

For those travelling to the event that are not familiar with Manchester, maps are available on request.  ISIS also doubles as a hotel with a select number of luxury rooms for those wishing to stay over on the night.  For further details please call ISIS directly on 0161 281 2222.

390 – 392 BOLTON ROAD



M27 8UX

Fundraising Guitar event rescheduled

A fundraising guitar concert planned for 26th September has unfortunately had to be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. The event, organised by Paul Mullen of The North East Guitar Club will now be taking place on Saturday 21st November 2009.
Paul and the other guitar enthusiasts at the club adopted Young Heroes as their chosen charity earlier this year and have pledged to hold 2 fundraising concerts over the year and hold raffles at each monthly meeting. Further detais will be made available nearer to the event.

Katies Corner

Katie’s Lanzarote diary!
Monday 28th April 2008

Me, Mum and Dad set off on our adventure to Lanzarote today.  Our taxi arrived at 11.30am to take us to Manchester airport.  We arrived in Lanzarote at about 7.30pm, as soon as we had collected our luggage the lovely Bev and Rob were waiting to greet us.  Due to chemotherapy my hair had fallen out so at the time I had very short hair, up to this point when I was out in public I always wore something on my head e.g. hat/wig.

As soon as we landed in Lanzarote I said ‘Oh it’s so hot’, off came my wig and to this day I haven’t worn it since!  We made our way back to the villa, which is fantastic and has everything you could possibly need.  The villa had a scooter which I could use so we had a little look around before we went to bed.

Tuesday 29th April 2008

The weather was hot and sunny so today we visited Marina Rubicon, which is about 10 minutes walk (or a short scooter ride for me) from the villa; Marina Rubicon is like a Lanzarotian village and includes places to eat, drink, play water sports and of course shop.  We had a nice look around and some lunch before heading to the supermarket for a bit of food shopping.

In the evening we found a lovely Italian restaurant at Puerto Calero, which is a small harbour, there is a main walk way along the harbour which is filled with restaurants and a few shops.  It was very windy along the harbour so I would recommend a cardigan if you plan to visit.

Wednesday 30th April 2008

Today we went to the market at Marina Rubicon, a very traditional busy Spanish market, which was nice to look around.  We had lunch on the promenade, whilst watching the boats.  We were planning on going to the beach but I found it difficult to get down to the beach as there was a very steep slope and there was nowhere for me to sit safely on my scooter even if I made it down the slope, so we went back to the villa.  With a bit of help I made it into the swimming pool, I had a Hickman line in my chest from March 2007 until February 2008 so I was not allowed to go underwater, so it was great to swim properly again and be able to go underwater.  In the evening we went to an Indian restaurant in Playa Blanca, which was nice, in Playa Blanca there are numerous restaurants, bars and shops.

Thursday 1st May 2008

Shopping, shopping and more shopping today!  Dad had some time alone to go for a bike ride, whilst us girls went shopping in Playa Blanca.  We managed to spend 2 hours in one perfume shop, we went round the shop for the first time spraying everything everywhere, then I decided I liked one perfume but I didn’t have a clue what it was.  So we went round the shop a few more times, eventually we decided what perfume it was, it was good fun, being in and out of hospital during most of 2007/beginning 2008, it’s great to be doing ‘normal’ things like this again.  We spent a total of about 6 hours shopping, and only managed about 6 shops!  In the evening we went to a Chinese restaurant in Playa Blanca, which was nice.

Next month: our adventure continues in Lanzarote!

Crafting for charity

Young Hero Katie Brooman has produced a large selection of beautiful and unique handcrafted cards to be sold with all proceeds going to Young Heroes.
Katie’s interest in arts and crafts began from an early age with her mum Lynn, teaching her to cross stitch. However it wasn’t until the end of her chemotherapy that Katie began to make occasion cards for friends and family to help pass the time during her recovery.

She says “After finishing treatment I was still very tired and with restricted mobility I found it difficult to get out and about, making cards for friends and family gave me something to do without using too much energy and added that extra special touch especially as most of the time I was unable to go out and choose cards myself”.

Earlier in the year, Katie and her mum thought it would be nice to make cards and donate the proceeds to Young Heroes so they took a handful to sell at Bev and Rob’s Vicarage Tea Party.  Their idea paid off and was a huge success, selling out within hours and making over £35 for Young Heroes.

Katie continues to make cards for all occasions, including Birthdays, Anniversary’s, Births, Weddings, and Christenings. If you are interested in ordering her specially designed cards please email Katie at

Twitter – Guess who’s watching us?

Back in March 2009 Young Heroes joined the social networking phenomenon Twitter and it certainly hasn’t taken long for the charity to be recognised by some of TV’s and most well known faces.

TV and Radio presenters Terry Wogan and Jonathan Ross are amongst followers along with Chelsea Football Club and British journalist, broadcaster, and political aide Alistair Campbell.

If you are not already following us please visit to receive the latest news and events from Young Heroes around the clock.

Get Tweeting today.
There’s now two easy ways for you to help raise funds for Young Heroes

Shop Online and Raise Funds

easyfundraising is a shopping directory listing some of your favourite online stores including Marks and Spencer, Argos, Next, Debenhams, John Lewis, Toys R Us, HMV and over 600 others.

Just use the links on the easyfundraising site whenever you shop online and, at no extra cost to you, we’ll receive a free donation of up to 15% from every purchase you make. It really is that simple!

It’s completely FREE to register and you won’t pay a penny more for your shopping when you use the easyfundraising site. In fact you can even SAVE MONEY as many retailers offer discounts, special offers and even ‘e-vouchers’ exclusive to easyfundraising.

If you shop online anyway then why not raise valuable extra funds for us by using this fantastic scheme. All you need to do is visit and when you register, select Impact Young Heroes as the organisation you wish to support.

Search the Web and Raise Funds

You can also raise funds when you search the Web – with easysearch, a search engine with a difference!
When you search the Web with easysearch instead of Google or any other search engine, you’ll raise funds for us with every search you make! Just like easyfundraising it’s completely free to use and if you make just 10 searches a day, you could raise £20 a year – or more – for us, just by switching to easysearch.

What’s more, easysearch is a ‘super’ search engine that combines the strengths of several search providers together – Yahoo!, MSN Windows Live Search, and many more. easysearch tracks down the most relevant and accurate results from across the Web, which means you’ll find what you’re looking for quickly and easily every time – all in one ‘easy’ search.

Check out our unique easysearch page and use it every time you search the Web.

Fundraising Idea of the month – A Night at the Races

And the’re off……..

Organising a Night at the Races doesn’t have to involve your local racecourse! No their is a new whole new concept of horse racing involving a DVD which you project onto a large screen at your church hall or social club.

A search for “charity race night” in Google will turn up a host of companies falling over themselves to supply you with everything you need to organise a successful race night fundraiser.

Some of these companies put on large scale corporate events but there are also lots of options for smaller scale, easy fundraisers and those who want to do as much as possible themselves. By shopping around the cost is not prohibitive.

Companies will also offer all manner of tickets, racecards and betting slips and many will hire you racecourse scenery to give your event a professional pizzazz.

Make an Evening of It

The more swish and professional you can make your evening the better it will run and the more money you will make.

Race nights work well around a simple charity dinner or buffet. If appropriate a bar also helps to create the party mood.

Don’t forget to have all your other fundraisers on the go such as raffles and tombola’s.


Advertise your race night well in advance and sell tickets. Try to cover your costs on the tickets but don’t forget that you will also be making money during the evening.

The companies supplying you should be able to give you a reasonable estimate on takings so do your sums.
A good fun night out with friends and a meal thrown in is worth paying a bit for.

Master of Ceremonies

This is one of those fundraising events that needs a great Master of Ceremonies. Finding the right person (someone with the gift of the gab, who knows how to fundraise) for this role can really help your evening along and bring in extra cash.

You can also dress up the rest of your volunteers as race goers, jockeys, bookmakers etc. Anything that adds to the fun of the evening has got to be welcome


Although you are betting on real races (ones that were run and filmed long ago) no-one knows anything about the horses or their likely chances.

To keep things simple and legal most race nights use a simple totaliser system for the betting. The company you use will explain it to you but it involves no real odds just a simple sum whereby winning bets receive an agreed share (usually 50%) of the total take which is then split between the winning punters. This also guarantees that you cannot lose.

For example

Selling tickets @ £1.00 each, a total of 80 tickets for a race have been sold = £80.00

Divide this amount in two:- 50% payout = £40, 50% to your charity =£40

If a horse wins and 10 tickets have been sold, the £40 winner’s pot is divided by 10 =£4.00 for each winning ticket.

Some organisations prefer to sell fake money or counters for the betting side of things with teams competing for the honour of coming out on top at the end of evening.

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