Teenage Cancer Trust benefits from ‘staggering’ donations in memory of St Albans pupil
PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 January 2017
Tens of thousands of pounds have been donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, in memory of a St Albans pupil who died of a brain tumour 11 years ago.
The Oli Mills Foundation (OMF) has raised just over £38,000 for the charity in its first official year, bringing the overall total raised in memory of former Verulam School pupil Oliver Mills to £145,758.
Since the sportsman died from cancer aged just 18, in 2005, his friends and family have raised £107,750 for the charity.
A spokeswoman for OMF said: “The 2016 total represents over a 250 per cent average yearly increase and kick starts the drive to raise £1 million.
“Not only that, but it will help fund a youth support coordinator at Addenbrooke’s Hospital [in Cambridge] who provides the crucial psychological care that teenagers need when they are facing the daunting challenge that cancer poses at a stage in their life that is already confusing and emotional.”
A huge contribution has come from ‘Friends of the Foundation’ – local businesses that make regular contributions to the cause and provide the backbone of the fundraising effort.
This includes sponsorship of a cycling team which cycled from London to Bruges via Amsterdam and raised over £11,000.
Alongside business support, Verulam School also held a great ‘Mills Match’ raising over £7,500 while Welwyn Garden City based cricket club, Hatfield Hyde, raised £2,500 at its annual ‘Oli Mills six-a-side’ event in August.
The spokeswoman added: “Between them, they have raised over a staggering £65,000 in Oli’s memory.”
OMF’s work helps Teenage Cancer Trust ensure that teenagers do not have to face cancer alone, and with seven young people diagnosed with cancer every day, the efforts of everyone involved are ‘hugely appreciated’, she said.
Judith Anderson, regional fundraiser for the trust, said: “We want every young person with cancer to have access to specialist, age-appropriate care, but for every young person we currently reach, there’s another we can’t.
“We’re aiming to raise £20 million per year by 2020 so that we can reach every young person who needs us, and the incredible support of the Oli Mills Foundation will help us take a huge step towards achieving this.”
Businesses or residents are welcome to become involved throughout 2017 as the foundation aims to raise another £50,000 to support the education and awareness programme used to spread awareness in secondary schools and among GPs and health professionals, saving lives in the process.
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