March 2011 Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the makeabigdifference newsletter; Young Heroes’ one stop shop for all the latest charity news and events.

We dedicate this months edition to the memory of Alex Albiston; the amazing young hero who passed away one year ago after a most courageous battle with cancer.  Alex’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers everyday.

In this edition we take a look at a more holistic approach to cancer treatments; aromatherapy.

Friends of mine recently attended a course about aromatherapy which stirred my interest and lead me to research the benefits of this ancient therapy.  I was surprised by my findings on how aromatherapy could help cancer sufferers.  Read on to see the full article.

Also in this month’s newsletter you can read the latest installment from the fabulous Katie Brooman in ‘Katie’s Corner’ who has been particularly busy this month, read on to find out why…..

We bring you the last ‘Cancer Controversies’ which this month takes a look at the links between cancer and Jelly Babies, Inhaling cigarette smoke, positive thinking and being overweight.

Considering that cancer is the deadliest disease in the world, it is quite surprising that a great number of us are left to wonder “what exactly is cancer?”  Read the ‘Big C’ to discover more.

On a personal note, I am delighted to announce my marriage which took place last week.  It was a wonderful day and we are both extremely happy.  I look forward to sharing a picture with you, once we get them.

Enjoy and until next month,

Kim Doran


Aromatherapy for cancer patients


Although aromatherapy cannot cure cancer, it can be used in the treatment; aromatherapy can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression and pain. In addition, many clinical studies, conducted by various groups, show that aromatherapy helps relieve some of the complications associated with cancer.



What aromatherapy is

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils.  These oils are the concentrated essences taken from the flowers, fruit, seeds, leaves and bark of certain plants.  There are about 400 essential oils. Some are used to make perfumes or cosmetics.  Holistic aromatherapy uses oils that are thought to have healing properties, but only a small number of these are commonly used in people with cancer. Some of the most popular include lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, chamomile, marjoram, jasmine, peppermint, lemon, ylang ylang and geranium.

Aromatherapists believe that aromatherapy can boost well being, relieve stress, and help to refresh your body.  So it may improve your physical and emotional health.  The theory behind aromatherapy is that each essential oil has its own specific health benefits.  For example, it is suggested that lavender can help with sleeping problems, and may relieve muscle tension and anxiety.

If you have cancer you should not use any aromatherapy without advice from a qualified aromatherapist and your doctor.

Why people with cancer use aromatherapy

As with many types of complementary therapies, people with cancer use aromatherapy because it makes them feel good, and is something they can do to help themselves.  There is some research evidence suggesting that aromatherapy massage can help with the following effects due to cancer or its treatment.

Anxiety, Pain, Depression, Stress

Generally, aromatherapy can help lift your mood and enhance your wellbeing.  Some people also say that breathing in the vapours from peppermint, ginger and cardamom oil seem to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy but there is no scientific evidence to prove this and these claims are not supported by any research studies.

Research into aromatherapy and cancer

There is no scientific evidence to prove that aromatherapy can cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer but there are a few studies to suggest that aromatherapy may be a helpful complementary therapy for people with cancer and other types of illness.

Aromatherapy is one of the complementary therapies most likely to be offered to patients in cancer clinics and hospitals.

In 2009 a review reported on 6 studies carried out from 2000 to 2008 which used essential oils for patients with depression or depressive symptoms.  In 3 of the studies the patients had cancer. Some of the studies showed reduced anxiety and depression in people with cancer.

The authors said that the evidence is weak though and they recommend further research to find out more about the effects of aromatherapy and also how it affects the mind and body.

A UK trial in 2007 tested whether adding aromatherapy massage to usual supportive care could reduce anxiety and depression in people with advanced cancer.  280 patients took part and they all had anxiety or depression. Half the patients had usual supportive care.  The other half had supportive care plus aromatherapy massage.  The researchers found that patients who had aromatherapy massage were less anxious or depressed for up to 2 to 6 weeks after the massage but there was no difference at 10 weeks.  Further research is needed to compare aromatherapy and massage with other ways of treating anxiety and depression.

An American study published in The Journal of Palliative Medicine in 2004 looked at the use of massage and aromatherapy in 42 people who had advanced cancer.

These people were divided into 3 groups

Group 1 had weekly massages over 4 weeks

Group 2 had massages using lavender oil

Group 3 had no massages at all

At the end of the trial, people in groups 1 and 2 were sleeping much better and had less depression than those in group 3.

An American study in 2004 showed that aromatherapy after surgery can reduce feelings of sickness.  33 patients took part and they inhaled alcohol, oil of peppermint, or salt water (placebo).  They breathed in the vapours from gauze pads and then breathed out slowly through the mouth.  Only 52% of the patients needed standard anti sickness medicines, but the salt water worked as well as the peppermint and the alcohol.  So it may be that the helpful effect of the aromatherapy was due to the controlled breathing patterns rather than the actual smell breathed in.

In 1999 a study assessed the effects of aromatherapy massage and massage therapy on 103 people with cancer in a palliative care setting.

Some people had massage using only carrier oil, and some had an aromatherapy massage with the essential oil Roman Chamomile.  People in both groups had lower levels of anxiety but those who had Roman Chamomile oil massage seemed to have more improvement in physical and psychological symptoms and in overall quality of life.

In 1998 a UK study looked at the effects of aromatherapy in 58 cancer patients.  Most of these patients were women with breast cancer who said that they would like aromatherapy to help them with feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and fear.  Each patient had 6 aromatherapy treatments during the study. At the end of these treatments all the patients showed a significant improvement in their feelings of anxiety, depression and stress.

Most studies so far have been small and don’t provide enough evidence to come to any conclusions about the true benefits of aromatherapy massage in people with cancer.

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Young Heroes would also like to send our sincere condolences to the Mullen family for their recent family bereavement.

Eddie Mullen from Sunderland sadly passed away earlier this month after a short illness.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

Young Heroes would like to thank Paul, Mary and Mark Hanratty and Michael Dougherty for their kind donations to the charity at Eddie’s funeral.

Thank you also to the Catholic club who raised ?35 through a bingo and football draw.

Fundraising idea of the month

All things English

Below are some basic ideas but to turn them into real moneymakers don’t forget to add as many extra bits as you can manage.

The Full English Breakfast

Start the day just right by offering a Full English Breakfast in your local hall, school diner, works canteen, local pub etc. Bacon, eggs, sausages, black pudding, baked beans, tomatoes and mushrooms. Followed by toast and marmalade. All washed down with a few cups of tea.

Charge your guests by the plate or the individual portions. Who could resist?

What’s more the local press will love the story and pictures of your fundraising fry up will be sure to feature.

English Cream Tea.

Ok a bit more refined but just as lip smackingly gorgeous.

The best venue for this one is someone’s garden or the local village green.

Serve up delicious home-made scones with butter, clotted cream, strawberry jam and a lovely pot of tea.

What a great way to spend the afternoon ………..Croquet anyone?

Cockney Knees up.

That’s right we are all off to London Town for a night of pie and mash. A pint or two of best bitter and a right good sing song around the old piano.

Partnering with a pub is again a good idea for this one, but the bar of a social or sports club would also work well.

This is the sort of event where you really need a good host or hostess, someone who can really get the party going.

Highlights of the evening could be:

  • Getting a few volunteers to do a music hall turn.
  • Find out who knows their Whistle and Flutes from their Kettle and Hob with a Cockney Rhyming Slang Quiz (answers at the foot of the page).
  • Why Did Dirty Den Do It and who was always looking for her Little Willie? What about a special quiz all about the TV Soap Opera Eastenders
  • How Many buttons on The Pearly Kings Coat – OK a bit of needle work for someone but it would be a really nice touch to the evening.
  • To finish; a good old fashioned sing song. People will sing if you give them a sheet with the words on it, though a few drinks before hand help too!

The ultimate Ruby Murry

Well seeing as Chicken Tikka Masala was voted England’s number one top dish, why not organise a St Georges fundraiser with a difference. Partner up with a local Indian Restaurant for the best curry night ever.

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Roast Beef the very stuff of Olde England.

Find a venue where you could serve this traditional English Roast Dinner. With lovely roast beef, yorkshires, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and peas with a beautiful thick gravy.

For afters it’s got to be a classic English Pudding:

Spotted Dick, Apple Crumble, Treacle Tart, Bakewell Tart, Bread and Butter Pudding. All smothered in lovely golden yellow custard ……Yes please!

As the cooking for this is a bit more involved you may like to team up with a local pub, bar or restaurant. You organise the event, publicise it and sell tickets. They provide the venue and the catering for an agreed split of the profits. For them this is a great marketing opportunity. They will love the publicity, and having their place full of potential new customers. You get the chance to raise some easy money.

‘The Big C’


Considering that cancer is the deadliest disease in the world, it is quite surprising that a great number of us are left to wonder “what exactly is cancer?”

In this three-part special we take a look at what cancer is, why some people get it and others don’t and why a miracle cure has yet to be found.


What exactly is cancer?

Our bodies are made up of billions of cells.  These keep going through a process of death and renewal.  Cells become worn out and die, but new cells are being formed all the time by a process called cell division.  This is when a living cell splits up and divides itself into two new cells.  The process is controlled by our genes.  They make sure new cells are made at exactly the right rate to replace the old ones.

A cancer develops when something goes wrong with the body’s normal process of cell division. This is when a cell changes, becoming wrong or abnormal.  This means that when it divides it takes the ‘wrong’ blueprint, so you get more and more abnormal cells which can start growing out of control.

If this process starts in a blood cell, it can cause a problem in the blood (called leukaemia) or in the lymph nodes (called lymphoma).   If abnormal cells start growing out of control in a bone or an organ (such as the kidney or brain) then they form a lump, or tumour.

As cancer cells no longer follow your genetic blueprint, they don’t know when to stop multiplying.  As a result, the cancer carries on growing.  It may also spread to other parts of the body and this is why it’s important to have treatment as soon as possible.

Cancer isn’t just one disease.  There are over 200 different kinds of cancer.  Some are more common in women than men or vice versa.  Some tend to be more common later in life, while others mainly affect young people.

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Alex Albiston – Remembered


April 5th 1991 – March 13th 2010

One year has passed since young hero Alex Albiston passed away after a most courageous battle with cancer.

Alex featured numerous times in the makeabigdifference newsletter with his remarkable story; so remarkable in fact he also appeared in national newspapers for his academic achievements prior and during his illness.

Alex’s family and friends remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Cancer Controversies

Over the last 5 months we have explored (and dispelled) some of the most well known cancer myths.  Is cancer contagious? Does microwaving your food increase your risk of cancer? Does drinking bottled water cause breast cancer?

Sadly this months Cancer Controversies will be the last one.  We hope you have enjoyed reading the articles and found their content useful and informative.



Positive thinking will cure cancer.

Although a positive attitude can improve your quality of life during cancer treatment, there is no scientific evidence that it can cure cancer. Placing such importance on attitude can lead to unnecessary guilt and disappointment if—for reasons beyond your control—your health does not improve.



If you don’t inhale when you smoke you won’t get cancer

Smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer, but also increases the risk of mouth cancer, pharyngeal cancer and cancer of the larynx as smoke passes over these areas as it is breathed in. Smoking also increases the risk of cancer of the oesophagus and stomach cancer. The amount you smoke, the age you started and the longer you keep on smoking are all factors in your risk of getting cancer.

You can get cancer from eating coloured Jelly Babies sweets


All food colourings have to pass strict food regulations so it is unlikely that they can cause cancer. However, although strict food regulations such as those in UK and EU, and Australia pass these colours as safe for use with food, there is a growing minority who believe the effects of colourings have not been well enough researched and consider their use an unnecessary risk.

Being overweight gives you cancer


However cancer experts estimate that maintaining a healthy bodyweight, making changes to our diet and taking regular physical activity could prevent about one in three deaths from cancer in the UK. In the western world, many of us eat too much red and processed meat and not enough fresh fruit and vegetables. This type of diet is known to increase the risk of cancer. Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of developing some types of cancer. Overweight or obese people have an increased risk of bowel cancer and pancreatic cancer and this could be because they tend to have higher insulin levels.


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Katie’s Corner

Every year myself and a group of lovely ladies travel up, down and across the country to meet up for a week of socialising, fun and stitching.  Since I have been a volunteer for Impact Young Heroes I have made handmade cards for the charity.  So for the last two years I have taken my card making things and made cards instead of stitching.  The cross stitchers like to be kept busy with projects, and last year it was suggested that the stitchers made little motifs then we could mount them on cards and all the money raised would go to Impact Young Heroes.

The stitchers made a fantastic total of 150 motifs, and brought along donations of blank cards and envelopes, which were a big help, thank you.  My Mum (Lyn Brooman) did a brilliant job of mounting 100 cards in three and a half days!  We have around 10 cards left ready to sell, they are £2 each, please email me at if you are interested and I can email you some pictures.  We also have another 50 motifs to mount, which we will be doing in the near future.

So far we have raised a fantastic total of £197 and I would like to say a massive thank you to all the stitchers and to my Mum for all their hard work, and of course to everyone who has bought the cards.  🙂

Thank you for reading and see you next month at Katie’s Corner.

Vote for our little Deacon


Deacon Doran is an adorable two year old from Sheffield whose mum and dad John and Nicola, both work for Impact (he is also my nephew!)

Deacon is taking part in a competition to become Venture Photography’s ‘Little Face of Venture’.

Venture is the UK’s largest contemporary photography company offering truly stunning and unique portraits.

You can vote for Deacon by visiting the link below


Please get your votes in by no later than Midnight 30 June.  We look forward to keeping you up to date and keep your fingers crossed for our little cutie!

Introducing Rock UK Trailblazers


Impact Young Heroes are partnering up with Rock UK Trailblazers to offer you the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime, whilst raising sponsorship funds for our charity.

Trailblazers are a UK based non-profit company that have extensive experience in organising charity challenges, and will organise and oversee your trip from start to finish.

Rock UK are committed to using adventure to provide you with endless and exhilarating worldwide fundraising opportunities including climbing Ben Nevis, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp, trekking the Inca Trail and the Great Wall of China or sailing offshore.

The trip will offer you a real sense of fulfillment, not just in undertaking this exhilarating challenge, but also in impacting the lives of young people with cancer.  It will leave you with new friends, amazing memories and a definite appetite for adventure!

If you would like more information then please contact myself or Sharon Brown on 01142 43 18 50

Mothers Day

With mothers day just around the corner why not treat your mum to something special. With these offers you will not only get a great discount but also the retailer will donate to Impact Young Heroes.

Click here to raise funds with
Click here to raise funds with
Up to 50% OFF selected spa days and photoshoots and more.
Donations increased to 4.5% on spa days (was 4%)

Click here to raise funds with Boots
Click here to raise funds with Boots
Great Gift Idea – SAVE £5 on the Soap & Glory enormous beauty bundle with eVoucher code ‘BUNDLE5’. Ends 5/4/11
Up to 3% donation

Clickhere to raise funds with M&S
Click here to raise funds with M&S

Two great M&S eVoucher codes:

(1) ‘MSBEAUTY’ – £3 OFF when you spend £15 or more on beauty products.
(2) ‘HEAVENLY‘ – £5 OFF when you spend £35 on lingerie or nightwear.

Plus, save up to 25% on selected women’s fragrances.
Up to 2.5% donation

Click here to raise funds with Amazon
Click  here to raise funds with Amazon

Amazon have great prices on a range of perfect gifts for Mother’s Day including up to 50% OFF bags and purses, 60% OFF photo frames, vases and candles, 31% OFF flowers, 60% OFF DVDs and more.

Click here to raise funds with Thorntons
Click here to raise funds with Thorntons

20% OFF with eVoucher code ‘MD2A‘. Ends: 30/3/11*
Donations increased to 4.5% (was 2.5%)

Click here to raise funds with Bunches
Click here to raise funds with Bunches
FREE delivery and FREE chocolates with Mother’s Day flowers.
Donations increased to 7.5% donation (was 5%)

Click here to raise funds with QVC
Click here to raise funds with QVC

Every day, QVC offer one item at an incredibly low price for 24 hours only. Today’s offer is a Lola Rose Bridie Nugget Chinese Knot necklace for only £35.88 (was £43.50)
2.5% donation

Click here to raise funds with John Lewis
Click here to raise funds with John Lewis

A range of beautiful Mother’s Day gifts plus FREE delivery on all orders over £30.
Up to 2.5% donation

Click here to raise funds with Interflora
Click here to raise funds with Interflora
7% OFF when you spend over £25 with our EXCLUSIVE eVoucher code ‘EFRMUM8’. Excludes Overseas and Value range orders. Ends: 3/4/11
Donations increased to 4% (was 3.5%)

Click here to raise funds with Baker Ross
Click here to raise funds with Baker Ross
20% OFF all Mother’s Day items with eVoucher code ‘BRM20‘. Ends: 3/4/11
Donations increased to 5% (was 3.75%)

Click here to raise funds with Flying Flowers
Clickk here to raise funds with Flying Flowers
12% OFF when you spend £20 or more with eVoucher code ‘FEM10′. Ends: 3/4/11
5% donation

Click here to raise funds with Boden
10% OFF at Boden, plus FREE delivery and returns. Ends: 12/4/11
*Terms & Conditions apply, see Boden website for details.
2.5% donation

Click here to raise funds with Flowers Direct
Click here to raise funds with Flowers Direct
10% OFF when you spend £25 or more with evoucher code ‘EFM10‘. Ends: 3/4/11
6% donation

Click here to raise funds with Tesco Direct
Click here to raise funds with Tesco Direct
£10 off when you spend £50 with eVoucher code ‘TDX-KMAW’. Ends: 3/4/11
Can only be used once per customer. See Tesco website for further T&Cs.
Up to 1% donation

Click here to raise funds with New Look
Click here to raise funds with New Look
20% OFF all menswear with eVoucher code ‘NLMENSS11‘ at checkout. Ends: 2/4/11
Donations increased to 5% (was 4%)


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