Mesothelioma UK, the national asbestos-related cancer charity, has won two major awards at the first East Midlands Charity Awards. The Leicester-based charity won the prestigious Charity of the Year and major fundraiser, Lizzie Miles, won Young Charity Ambassador of the Year.
The East Midlands Charity of the Year award was presented to Mesothelioma UK as ‘the charity or voluntary sector organisation that has had a truly exceptional year and whose recent achievements have attracted the admiration of the sector’. Fundraiser, Lizzie Miles won ‘Young Charity Ambassador of the Year’, ‘awarded to a young person 16 years and younger who have supported, raised funds and awareness for a charity or cause’.
In June 2018, Lizzie Miles, then aged 14, from Loughborough High School, took on the challenge to support Mesothelioma UK and raise funds for the charity in memory of her grandfather who passed away in 2011 having lost his fight with mesothelioma. Lizzie wanted to do something memorable and decided to shave her hair off as she felt that this would make her grandad proud. Lizzie also raised awareness in her local community through fundraising outside her local supermarket and organising a quiz night.
The work of Mesothelioma UK includes:
• funding 24 Mesothelioma Nurse Specialists across the UK
• funding a specialist benefits advisor
• providing a support service for Armed Forces personnel
• funding research and audit dedicated to mesothelioma
• providing a freephone line with access to specialist mesothelioma nurses
• sharing UK clinical trial information and supports patients to access them
• holding regular conferences and events for patients, carers and healthcare professionals
• providing patient travel grants for hospital appointments (£33k from April 2018 to date)
• delivering campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos
The work of Mesothelioma UK is vital as the UK has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world, with more than 2,700 people diagnosed each year and sadly, this number continues to rise. There is currently no known cure for the disease and prognosis is poor, with only around half of patients living past one year after diagnosis.
Liz Darlison, Head of Services at Mesothelioma UK added: “This is a major recognition of the sterling work of our nurses, operations team, ambassadors and supporters nationwide. I want to thank all of the people who help Mesothelioma UK to support patients across the country. We’re delighted to have been recognised ahead of some other wonderful regional charities and voluntary groups.”
For the first time, the East Midlands Charity Awards provided regionally-based charities, social enterprise, volunteers groups and not-for-profit organisations with an opportunity to be celebrated and recognised for their outstanding contributions to their communities. The awards were created to shout about all the great things charities have been doing in the East Midlands.