Meet Champ the elephant – the new mascot who is helping to raise the spirits of children battling childhood cancer whilst also assisting Leeds-based charity Candlelighters in raising vital funds towards supporting families and treatment research.
Donated by Leeds-based law firm Hudgell Solicitors, Champ is already proving a great addition for the charity, which provides a network of vital support to children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
“We’re thrilled with our new mascot. We feel it is a really important addition for us as not only will Champ be loved by the children, but it will also help us stand out when we are fundraising and attending events,” said Gina Trotter, Corporate Partnerships Executive at Candlelighters,
“Once we speak to people about what we do they are keen to support us, and Champ can play a vital role in helping us engage with more people. We’ve already used Champ at a number of events and by having a mascot it is helping us to attract attention and spread the word.
“We ran a competition to ask what kind of mascot we should have and an elephant was suggested by one of the parents of the children we support.
“They highlighted that elephants never forget those lost and stay close to their group for life, as families affected and supported by Candlelighters do. Therefore Champ is the perfect mascot for us.”
Charity needs to raise £2.2m a year to cover costs and support ongoing research
Candlelighters is a charity which focuses on improving the experience of children and their families throughout treatment for cancer, and aims to make every day as positive as possible.
Established in 1976 and based at Leeds General Infirmary, it needs to raise £2.2m each year to support ongoing research into treatment and possible cancer cures, but mainly fund medical roles at the hospital and dedicated staff to support young patients and their families.
It includes funding play leaders on wards to distract children and help them understand more about their treatment and a dedicated ‘dinner lady’ to ensure they have the food they want as their taste buds and eating habits change.
Funding also ensures children who are missing school can take part in fun workshops, and be able to spend time away from the clinical ward in dedicated areas whilst remaining within reach of expert medical care.
Support is also provided for mums, dads, grandparents and siblings, from one-on-one and group sessions to therapy and massage.
Each family affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis is also offered a break at Center Parcs or by the coast at Primrose Valley to ensure some normality, fun and excitement is brought to a challenging period of their lives.
Hudgell Solicitors delighted to donate mascot as thousands more raised
Helen Saunders, senior marketing executive at Hudgell Solicitors, which has offices in Park Place, Leeds, says the firm is delighted to be supporting Candlelighters throughout 2019 as a charity partner.
It has already donated £5,000, and raised a further £2,000 though a number of events and challenges undertaken by its staff, in addition to providing the new mascot.
“We are delighted to be supporting a charity like Candlelighters which provides wonderful support to families at such a difficult time in their lives,” said Miss Saunders.
“There can be nothing more difficult to face as a family than a child cancer diagnosis, but Candlelighters does so much to provide really helpful support, advice and guidance for young people and their parents. It is an incredible service.
“As a business which supports people experiencing difficult times in their lives, we are fully aware of how vital it is to have the right support in place. Having visited Candlelighters and Leeds General Infirmary we have seen first-hand what an incredible job is being done.
“Our teams have been really enthusiastic about supporting Candlelighters and have already raised an extra £2,000 through volunteering to take part in skydives, half marathons, abseils and events throughout the recent Pink It Up Week.
“At the beginning of our partnership, Candlelighters visited our office to speak to staff about the charity and their support services for families experiencing children’s cancer.
“One if the things they spoke about was “memory making” for a child receiving end of life care, offering them a chance to have an experience of their choice, from flying in planes to attending movie premieres or meeting their favorite sports teams.
“We have now raised enough money for two memory making experiences, which we are thrilled about, as well as introducing Champ.
“We look forward to continuing our support and involvement, and hope that Champ has a positive impact for many years to come.”
Visit the Candlelighters Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CandlelightersTrust/