We were honoured to be involved with Make 2nds Count this month, a charity set up by the amazing Lisa Fleming to fundraise for research into a cure for secondary breast cancer.
Lisa was sadly diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in May 2017
She was just 34, married, with a 4-year-old little boy.
The following January she learnt it had spread from her bones to her brain. She had no primary diagnosis, no lump and no awareness of secondary breast cancer.
Sadly, this is the case for thousands of women and men who are diagnosed with this form of incurable breast cancer every year. Research estimates that there are around 35,000 people currently living in the UK with secondary breast cancer, but on average, only 5-9% of breast cancer funding is allocated to secondary research.
From the day she was diagnosed, Lisa decided that when she felt well enough, she would raise awareness and funds to support research into secondary breast cancer, so she set up Make 2nds Count.
Lisa’s enthusiasm, dedication and hard work has paid off – in just 7 months, the charity has raised a massive £100k – with the charity ball raising a further £50k on the night.
Why we decided to get involved
It was a very personal connection that drove us to commit to this particular charity since Lisa is the daughter of Ruth’s good friend Helen. As we learnt more about Lisa’s tragic diagnosis and about how under funded research into this area of cancer is, it came very naturally to us to want to be involved, and so we were delighted to become headline sponsors.
Since we took over Sutherland Independent, we’ve been committed to ‘giving back’ to others. Each year we direct a percentage of our annual profits towards a nominated charitable cause. In 2017 for example we raised £7,000 through sponsorship by taking part in Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park. We matched this figure to raise a total of £14,000.
The reason for this is that we’ve been very blessed since taking over the business in 2007 and want to help others less fortunate than ourselves. We’re also keen to promote a real sense of corporate and social responsibility within the firm.
How the money was raised
The incredible amount raised came from generous donations of auction prizes, which included items such as dinner at The Honours, two pieces of artwork from Scottish abstract painter and former Turner Prize nominee Callum Inness, and a weekend break at Archerfield House with a four ball and spa treatments donated by ourselves (thanks Jason!).
But there were prizes to suit all budgets – £20 provided guests with a chance of winning a pair of diamond earrings kindly donated by Rox Edinburgh. These were hidden among a collection of identical boxes making it a very luxurious Lucky Dip!
There was entertainment to suit everyone, with hosts the Mac Twins, a dance troop and a rock choir; face painters provided sparkly facial decorations for those looking to get into the spirit.
However, the most moving part of the evening was a video tribute featuring 10 women with stage 4 cancer talking about how it’s impacted their lives (below).
The ball, which took place at Prestonfield House was the first for the charity, but after its success, there are now more planned.
Party guest Tracy Daniels summed up the evening by saying: “The much needed charity is close to my heart having personally battled breast cancer last year. Jason and Ruth have been incredibly generous in their support of the charity and they carry these ethics throughout their firm. They genuinely look after people’s financial wellbeing ensuring that you are prepared for whatever life throws at you. The ball really will make a difference.”
We’re delighted that this first ball was such a huge success and raised so much money – money that will directly go towards funding research.
If you’d like to donate, please click here: https://www.justgiving.com/Make2ndsCount