De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is supporting Macmillan’s flagship fundraiser, World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, on Friday and every slice of cake eaten and cup of coffee poured has the power to help change lives for people living with cancer.
It is the nation’s biggest social fundraiser for cancer and last year, 1,536 coffee mornings were held in Leicestershire raising around £378,000 for the charity that provides essential support for people affected by cancer.
This includes services like the De Montfort University's Emotional and Practical Support service, a volunteer-led project funded by Macmillan and run in partnership with DMU, is the first of its kind in the UK. It sees students offer practical and emotional support in the home to people affected by cancer in Leicester. Having already supported more than 120 people in Leicester, the project has recently expanded into Charnwood.
One couple who have been supported are Suresh and Ravi Dhiman from Rothley in Leicestershire. Earlier this year, Suresh, 66, was diagnosed with a rare cancer which had spread to his skin, kidney, blood and bone marrow and was told that it was life-threatening.
After five months of chemotherapy, he’s now waiting for a life-transforming bone marrow transplant which the couple hope will extend his life and prevent the cancer from returning.
With no other family living close by, his wife Ravi, 64, has been caring for him by herself while also juggling her 4-day-a-week job in a local restaurant. She contacted the
DMU Macmillan volunteering service for help and was paired with a student volunteer who now visits the couple’s home once a week to help with the cleaning.
“It takes some of the pressure off. Once a week she comes and helps me with the dusting and hoovering. It helps to make life a bit more comfortable, so when my husband is able to come downstairs it’s nice for him” said Ravi.
Suresh has to go into the hospital for injections three times a week, sometimes more if he has a skin clinic appointment or needs a blood test. Ravi has to drive him back, which leaves her tired and with little time for anything else.
“It takes all day, as we have to be at the hospital for around nine and sometimes don’t get back until after three . It is quite exhausting, so to have a little bit of extra support around the house is so helpful and makes all the difference.”
De Montfort University will be holding its own World’s Biggest Coffee morning with ‘a twist’ on Friday. To celebrate the contribution its international students and staff make to the university, they will be holding an international themed coffee morning to help raise money for Macmillan. As well as a showcase of the different societies, people can come and see Indian dancers, Bhangra dancers and drummers, enjoy food from around the world and have a go at Indian mendhi painting, Chinese calligraphy and origami. Traditional tea and cakes will also be available.
Mark Charlton, head of public engagement at DMU, said: “Everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer and Macmillan provides a tremendous service for patients and families. We’re very proud of our students here at DMU who work so closely with Macmillan providing social, emotional and practical help for people who are having treatment; and fundraisers like this are so important to help fund vital cancer support services.
“DMU’s event is open to everyone to come along and enjoy the entertainment, a cup of coffee and cake, and help a great cause.”
Macmillan’s fundraising manager for Leicestershire, Jo Anne Wilson said: “We want to make sure no one has to face cancer alone but we can't do it without the amazing people who fundraise for us. We rely on the generosity of our supporters for more than 99% of our income and coffee morning events are a great way to have fun whilst raising vital funds to help people affected by cancer.
“It’s easy to take part and there’s all the help and information you need to host your own Macmillan coffee morning on the dedicated website where you can also find details of public and community Macmillan coffee mornings.
“If you can’t do it on 30th September then just pick another day. All that matters is that you get together with friends, colleagues or neighbours over coffee and cake to raise some money to help Macmillan be there for people affected by cancer in Leicestershire.”
The DMU Macmillan Global Coffee Morning will take place on Friday from 10am onwards in The Chapel, Trinity House. 2016 is the 26th year of the event and with the help of fundraisers in Leicestershire Macmillan hopes to beat the £27.6m raised last year across the UK.
All the money raised will be used to help fund the charity’s vital services that provide practical, financial, emotional and medical support to people affected by cancer.
Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face and no one should face it alone. Visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call The Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
Posted on Monday 26th September 2016