Impact Young Heroes Christmas 2013 Newsletter

christmas newsletter

Welcome to the Christmas edition of the make a big difference (Impact Young Heroes) newsletter

Firstly, we would like to thank you for your subscription to the newsletter over the last 12 months.  We have had some very encouraging real life stories of how we have managed to support a number of young people, who are living with cancer.  We have also detailed some very novel fundraising stories/activities from a number of people who just wanted to help support Young Heroes in our quest to provide: respite breaks, memorable days out and supported accommodation for young people who desperately need Impact Young Heroes support.

In this festive edition, we share the story of Amy Usher’s amazing X Factor experience last weekend.   Amy was diagnosed in early 2013 with Liposarcoma (Oesophageal cancer) and has been undergoing chemotherapy and treatment for most of this year.  Amy was really excited at the prospect of seeing the live final at Wembley stadium.  Many people came together to make this memorable experience possible and we have been amazed at people’s generosity.

We also update you on a couple of weird and wonderful fundraising hijinks; a leg and chest wax and also a skydive in late November ….brave or mad, you decide!  We couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of those who identify with us and just want to makeabigdifference in their own sweet way.

Over the last twelve months, we have met many inspirational young people and also some amazingly generous sponsors and we look forward to keeping you updated with fundraising news and more stories of those you help us to support in 2014.

Once again thank you!

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Best wishes from Sharon and all of the team at Young Heroes.

2 Donna's story on Amy Usher and social networking 2

My name is Donna and I am helping to raise awareness and funds for Impact Young Heroes.   This is my first article for the make a big difference newsletter and I’d like to share with you my recent experience of people coming together to support Impact Young Heroes, through social networking.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a comment on Facebook, to raise some awareness to friends about the work we do through Impact Young Heroes. Quite a few people showed some interest and I received some kind messages praising the charity.

As well as messages, I was also tagged in a couple of statuses for donations, the tag below stood out in particular.

2 Amy Usher story

Carley Smith from the North East wrote:

“I have 2 spare tickets for the x factor live shows on December 14th 2013 at Wembley Arena, London, I thought it would be a good idea to give 2 of them to someone not as fortunate as me or maybes a children’s hospice….I have been for the past 3 years it’s amazing… A friend and I are attending and I’d love to make someone else’s dream come true.”

Not thinking much of it, I left a comment among many others left by various people, about Impact Young Heroes, including our web link to raise some awareness and in the hope that Carley would read the comment and find she would like to support Impact Young Heroes.

I checked back a couple of times and saw that a number of people liked my comment. I felt that a little positivity had come from the link I had posted.

A couple of days later, a notification popped up, excitingly I checked my inbox; Carley had sent me the lovely news that she had chosen to support Impact Young Heroes and donate a couple of the X Factor final tickets that she had won for a young person to meet up and share this amazing experience.

While feeling excited at the news, I also felt a little apprehensive as it did seem a little too good to be true…after some little checks, it was time to get planning and requesting support from friends, family, colleagues and various others showing interest in supporting Young Heroes. After numerous calls to hotels, B&B’s and to the travel companies for quotes, we had our target to fundraise.

Amy Usher photo

Sharon Brown made the contacts for the chosen referral to Young Heroes, Amy Usher, and it was all go to get the funds raised and the hotel and travel booked once Amy confirmed she would love to be involved and be given the exciting opportunity to go to the X Factor Final at Wembley Arena in London.

No more than a week later, the lovely Amy came along to Wilfred Drive where we passed on the first class train tickets and the hotel reservation documentation for her weekend stay (we had also received a donation specifically for meals and also local travel in London). Amy was a little overwhelmed at the generosity of people she does not personally know.


x factor

If you watched the X Factor final, you will know that the atmosphere was electric.  Amy said that had an amazing time and since returning from London, Amy has expressed how grateful she is and how much she enjoyed her weekend away.  Impact Young Heroes would like to thank all of you who made this possible…..we couldn’t have done it without you!

Keep sharing and raising awareness, as you never know what opportunities may come along to enable a young person with Cancer to have an amazing experience–Happy facetweeting!

Merry Christmas,


3 Danny and Chris's Waxathon photo 1

Danny and Chris’s most excellent waxathon

A word of advice!  Never come into the Impact office and say that you may fancy doing a leg and chest wax for charity, unless you are really “up for it”.   Poor Chris Hamblett mentioned a few weeks ago that he and Danny Ryan had been talking about doing a leg wax for Impact Young Heroes.   So obviously I took them at their word and proceeded to print of sponsor sheets and persuaded a few colleagues to sponsor them both….Chris was a little shocked but was well up for it.    A JustGiving page was set up by our very own Donna and she engaged the services of Rachael Delaney of to do the business of waxing our brave young victims (oops I mean men).

The date was booked: Sunday 8th December 2013

3 SJB Danny and Chris's Waxathon photo 8

3 Danny and Chris's Waxathon photo 73 Danny and Chris's waxathon photo 4 3 Danny and Chris's Waxathon photo  5

The venue was secured:  Impact Living, Darnall

Chris and Danny are both tenants of Impact Living and they really wanted to help raise funds to support young people who are living with cancer; they were keen for their fundraising efforts to help get Amy Usher to London for the X Factor final.   There were screams of pain, not joy as our two guys were de haired, and Danny decided to go the whole hog and added in a chest wax…..ouch!!

They raised approximately £170 for their brave efforts……so thanks boys.

You can watch the video here

p.s Danny is already talking about doing it again next year, to help support another young person who is living with cancer.  Danny and Chris, we salute you!

The experience in their own words:

3 Danny and Chris's Waxathon photo 6

Danny says “It was the worst experience of my life LOL…but it was worth it for a good cause. I was a bit nervous on the lead up and before the leg wax started but once we got into it, it was a good laugh. I gathered sponsors from a few of the local neighbours and supportive colleagues.   The leg and chest wax itself was painful but satisfying and I would recommend others doing the same to fundraise …although it does feel very weird now!”

Chris says “I was nervous, very nervous and what made it worse was being second to Danny and watching his leg wax first. The leg wax itself was painful but enjoyable as the money raised was for a good cause. I managed to raise money through friends and family, my mum took the sponsor form around her work and my dad took the sponsor form around his local social club.

My legs feel very itchy and irritated now as the hairs are starting to grow back but I would be happy to do it all again to fundraise…I am up for anything!”

We will hold Chris and Danny to that!

Donna says: “I was very nervous for the guys on the morning of the leg wax, and managed to get a young volunteer (Kallum Widnall) to help spread the word of the event by distributing some leaflets to local neighbours and Impact Living residents to show their support.

A couple of the ladies who live across from Wilfred Drive came along and donated a bit of extra money toward Impact Young Heroes during the wax.

Refreshments were provided and Chris and Danny enjoyed some of the chocolates to get them through the pain, while supporters encouraged them while taking snapshots and videos.

Rachael who carried out the wax as a donation toward Impact Young Heroes thoroughly enjoyed the experience, trying to hold back cheeky giggles with a professional manner, looking after the guys throughout their pain.

It was quick and easy to bring together the event as well as an enjoyable and satisfying experience to help raise some money toward a memorable experience where everyone came together to contribute their time and donations.”

Becky and Kelly’s skydiving adventure

4 Becky and Kelly's Skydiving adventure.jpg 2On 17th November Becky Pendleton and Kelly Young were due to do a tandem skydive for Impact Young Heroes but sadly had to stay on the ground, due to bad weather…..they were gutted!

However, they tried again on the 27th and this time they were successful.   We asked Becky why she had decided to support Young Heroes and this was her answer:

4 Becky and Kelly's Skydiving adventure

”This was the most amazing experience of my life doing the skydive and I thought why not help do something amazing for someone else at the same time so that’s why I decided to jump for Impact Young Heroes and try to raise as much money as possible to allow one of the young people to have an amazing holiday”

Together they raised just over £1,000 and some of these funds have already benefited a Young Hero with a weekend experience in London.  The remaining monies will help to support a young mum who is in need of a respite break in 2014.  Thank you ladies, keep up the good work!

Students raise funds to support young people who are living with cancer.

5 Students raise funds to support young people

In May this year I received a surprise e-mail from Tara Pollard, a student at Longslade Community College in Leicester.   Tara detailed a project she was involved in at her school as part of citizenship in year 10.   Tara and her fellow students (Jacob Lawson, Sophia Reynolds-Mclean and Owen Beet) had to pick an issue that they thought was important, find a charity which supports it and promote the issue and the charity.   Tara detailed that her groups chosen issue was cancer and they had found the Makeabigdifference website whilst looking on the internet and decided, as a group, to promote this charity.

Tara had many questions about the charity and what we do to support young people who are living with cancer.  One thing the group were keen to do was to raise funds to help contribute to a respite break for a young person who was dealing with a cancer diagnosis, as well as promote Impact Young Heroes.

Tara says “We wanted to help Impact Young Heroes because we were really moved by the work you do for young people, and some who are a similar age to us. It was nice to finally find a charity who didn’t work more with older people than young because we believe that no matter the age, everyone should be treated the same having been diagnosed with something as life changing as Cancer. Also, because we are young it’s more personal to us as it could just as easily be us in their position and therefore wanted to help someone get their wish and make a difference”.

Tara and her friends raised £20 and these monies have been used very recently to help to provide a memorable X Factor experience for Amy Usher.  Impact Young Heroes is indebted to these amazing students and we are grateful to them for choosing to support Young Heroes …..Thank you!!

Recently, I have been given the opportunity to support Impact Young Heroes by looking at ways of raising awareness about how we can support young people affected by Cancer through Impact, as well as through raising awareness to young adults about the affects of Cancer; particularly for those who are vulnerable or who have little or no support,  guidance and advice as too often vulnerable young adults can be misheard and sadly on occasions misdiagnosed.

While on the hunt for various venues to set up an awareness stand, such as universities, colleges, training centres and sport centres, I came across a post for ‘24 Hour Inspire’, 24 hours of lectures on a wide range of topics in celebration of Dr Tim Richardson (1964-2013) and his charity ‘Inspiration for Life’; raising funds for local Cancer charities and giving inspiration to the lives of those who need it.

On finding this post, I contacted the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Inspiration for Life, Catherine J Annabel, to see if we could meet to discuss ways in which we may be able to support each other.

After our first meeting, we left feeling…well, inspired!

…and also very excited about the various possibilities!

Catherine expressed how Dr Tim Richardson would have been happy to support a charity like Impact Young Heroes, encouraging, supporting and providing vulnerable young adults affected by Cancer with opportunities they may not have been able to without the support through a charity like Impact.

We look forward to working with Catherine and ‘Inspiration for Life’ over the next few months …keep following for further news and updates!

Watch this space!



Cardless Christmas

just giving logo

As we all know, there is always a mad rush to get Christmas cards written out and posted every Christmas; even though Christmas is on the same date every year.    Many people even buy them in the January sale in preparation and others are so stocked up, they won’t need to buy cards for at least another 3 years.    This year, a few Young Heroes supporters decided to have a cardless Christmas.

We are aiming to raise funds to provide ‘special days out’ for a number of young people, who are currently undergoing treatment. As you can probably imagine, a cancer diagnosis, or continued treatment is difficult at any time but at this time of year, it can be particularly difficult.

We cannot begin to imaging how stressful it is for young people or their families, when they are going through cancer treatment and never ending hospital appointments; however, we can help to makeabigdifference by doing something nice to bring a little joy this Christmas.

By having a ‘Cardless Christmas’, we can donate the money we spend on Christmas cards and really makeabigdifference by providing a special day out for a young person who really needs something to look forward to.  All you need to do is click on any of the following links and they will take to the relevant Young Heroes JustGiving page for each of our fundraisers.

Colin Swinney is Impact Young Heroes insurance broker and he has already contributed to Amy Usher’s X Factor experience. Remember, the more we raise the more we can do.   So please, dig as deep as you are able to and forward the Impact Young Heroes ‘Cardless Christmas’ link to as many people as you can. Every £1 donated helps and for a little as £100 we can do something; which will makeabigdifference to young adults who really needs our help.

Many thanks,


8 Thank yous

Impact Young Heroes is really grateful to all those who make it possible for us to support young people who are living with cancer.  Here are just a few special Christmas time thank yous:

A big thank you goes to all of those who supported us to help provide Amy’s X Factor experience:

A Great Big Young Heroes Thank you.

  • Nicola Massey
  • Colin Swinney
  • Beverley Page
  • Carley Smith
  • Chris Douthwaite
  • Danny Ryan
  • Chris Hamblett
  • Becky Pendleton and Kelly Young
  • Elaine Wilson
  • Tara Pollard, Jacob Lawson, Sophia Reynolds-Mclean and Owen Beet

We would also like to thank The Newton on Ouse PCC for their kind donation of £150 and also Miss Rhodes for her donation of £200.

We really appreciate all that you have done and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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