Buckinghamshire based fundraising group, Galanthus, has raised around £20,000 for Child Bereavement UK since it started in 2012. Galanthus has been chosen to receive a Child Bereavement UK 21 Champions Award in recognition of the team members’ dedication, giving generously of their time to raise funds for and awareness of the charity.

img_0664The regular events we hold, the Turville 10k, Hughenden family day, curry nights and yoga workshops, started when Child Bereavement UK set out to establish a fundraising group within the local community in Buckinghamshire. There are eight members of Galanthus at the moment. Every one of us has a story, as we all have been touched by a bereavement either personally or through friends. It’s a cohesive group, with really good teamwork, and everyone is committed to the cause.

Each event raises between £200 and £1000, but it’s not only about raising money, it’s also about spreading the word. We are called Galanthus, which is the proper name for the snowdrop, one of the symbols Child Bereavement UK uses, so we are strongly associated with the charity. The group gets lots of practical help from the charity, which provides support materials, and Pippa Lock from the Fundraising Team attends many of our events and meetings and shares information about the work of the Child Bereavement UK, which is fantastic.

Galanthus meets once per month for a couple of hours in a pub and usually have an informal agenda based around upcoming events. We take pride in what we do, it’s a shared responsibility, everyone has a job to do in their own right and we have great fun. That’s what it’s all about. We all enjoy each other’s company, raise money, but also we ensure that we all get something from it. We are a close team and get on really well together.

At every event, we say a few words about the charity. Just before Christmas, we held a carol service at St Michael & All Angels, Hughenden. It was great to both celebrate and commemorate with people from our community. Children from local schools sang beautifully and it was very emotional, especially when names were placed on the memory tree we had provided.

The charity has recently run a training session for Galanthus so that we can feel equipped to support people who have been bereaved if they wish to talk with us at any of our events.
We are really keen for more people to join the group and be part of the team. In addition to our monthly meetings, members spend a little time at events, perhaps arriving a couple of hours early to help set up or help man a stall. People can dip in and out and need not be put off by thinking they have to come to every meeting or event. Roles can involve baking cakes, marshalling or selling raffle tickets etc. It’s really not an onerous thing.

Everybody in Galanthus is genuinely thrilled about being nominated for this award. We fundraise because we want to, and for the charity to recognise us feels very special. We are all really proud to be part of Galanthus and to provide extra support to the charity. We see first-hand where the money that we raise goes and that it is used very well. Having all been affected by a bereavement, we know about the support given by the charity and how it has benefited us or those we know. We believe that the charity’s work is vital and that people should be made aware of the services that it provides. It is so sad that, at such a terrible time, there are still people in our community who are unaware of how to access this invaluable support. That’s why the work Galanthus does in raising awareness of the service is just as important as raising funds.

Julie Boffy, Chairperson, on behalf of Galanthus.