11th September, 10:01
Today I thought I’d tell you all about the charity fundraiser I held in July to raise money for the cancer charity, CLIC Sargent. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to hold a small event to give back to a charitable cause, or even donate directly! It was a lot of fun and it felt great to be able to raise awareness and money for such a brilliant cause.
So, when I wrote Beyond, I knew that I wanted to partner with a charity in some way to be able to raise money and awareness for the illness presented in the novel; ovarian cancer. The fact that the protagonist is also a young person made it important for me to be able to find a charity that specifically help young people and their families following a cancer diagnosis. I began to investigate into different organisations when I found CLIC Sargent.
CLIC Sargent are an incredible charity focused on supporting young people with cancer. They provide help financially and day-to-day, as well as other helpful services such as Homes from Home and social aspects. When I first met my local fundraising engagement manager, Karen, she was so, so lovely – which made the process of reaching out even easier! Karen was informative, helpful and enthusiastic. What made it even better is that she loved Beyond, and was really excited about how it could help young people and their families.
I spoke to my publishers directly about liaising with CLIC Sargent, but they weren’t able to come to an agreement on my first idea, which was a sponsored book signing that would result in the charity receiving a portion of the profits. This left me at a slight loss until I spoke to Sarah and Carrie from my local gift and bookshop, Happydashery.
Carrie and Sarah had been supportive ever since Beyond was published, and their shop regularly stocks the novel. More than simply a store, Happydashery also hosts different small-scale events in their back room, including workshops and classes. I knew it would be the perfect place to host an event.
It wasn’t long before Sarah, Carrie and I had decided the way forward. We chose to host a fun evening in which I would read an extract from Beyond, sign copies, and a CLIC Sargent volunteer would then discuss their story and the work their organisation does. Oh, and prosecco and nibbles were on offer! To make the process clear and simple, we decided to charge people £5 a ticket to come along and ALL money raised would go directly to CLIC Sargent.
It was an amazing evening, with two sessions running at 7 and 8.30pm to accommodate the number of tickets brought. I was VERY nervous reading aloud, but hopefully that’ll die down with some more practise, and it felt great to know that, not only was I promoting my book a little, but awareness was being brought to cancer in young people and CLIC Sargent.
Overall we raised over £300 for the charity, which is amazing, and I am so pleased that Sarah, Carrie and I managed to organise everything so smoothly.
So, if your own book is related to an issue you could raise money for – or even if it’s not – a reading evening would be a great way to raise awareness and donations for a charity that helps with that issue. The process is easier than you’d think, and it’s an amazing thing to do.
If you’d like to learn more about CLIC Sargent, visit their website here.