A Welsh based business owner has pledged to sing his favourite song live on social media in order to raise money for the charity Teenage Cancer Trust.
The Facebook challenge, which has been established by dedicated Teenage Cancer Trust fundraiser Mike O’Leary, has already raised £15,000, and he, along with Brian and Carol are calling on others to sing, share, nominate and donate in a bid to reach the £20,000 fundraising target.
73-year-old Mike has raised over £830,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust in the 13 years he has been fundraising for them. Despite being out of his comfort zone, and being restricted by the Coronavirus lockdown, he was determined to continue fundraising by “the only means possible” and turned to social media and his friends.
Mike O’Leary, who kicked off his fundraiser with his wife by singing Les Misérables’, ‘Do you Hear the People Sing’, said:
“I’m very passionate about the work Teenage Cancer Trust do and I’ve met some of the young people with cancer they support. The youngsters’ courage is incredible and the bond they have with the charity’s nurses and youth support coordinators is unbelievable.
“Can you Hear the People Sing is nothing like I’ve ever done before. Ordinarily, I organise a challenging charity walk or music and dinner type of event but this year we couldn’t do that. You can’t bring people together in person so instead, I thought I’d bring people together on social media. I hope people have fun with it and join the challenge by singing, sharing, nominating three of their friends and of course, donating whatever they can to support Teenage Cancer Trust.”
Mike, who is Company Secretary for the Paddock Wood (Kent) based fruit and vegetable wholesaler, Hars & Hagebauer Ltd, received a generous donation of £2,000 from his company of over 20 years, edging him closer to his £20,000 target.
Hars & Hagebauer Ltd have supported Teenage Cancer Trust via Mike’s fundraising efforts for two decades. This year, he has been joined by friends Brian and Carol Critcher, founder of Cardiff based Agri SGJ.
Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to Mike and all of our amazing fundraisers. They are the cornerstone of the charity and without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide the specialist cancer care to the thousands of young people that we support.
“Like many charities, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard. Many of our planned fundraising events have been cancelled, leaving us with half our expected income. However, young people with cancer are feeling more isolated than ever before so the challenge has never been greater.
“Cancer doesn’t stop for anything. We hope to hear the people sing and thank Mike for his continued support.”
Each day, seven young people aged 13-24 yrs hear the words ‘you have cancer’. Teenage Cancer Trust’s specialist nurses, support teams, and hospital units work within the NHS to provide young people with expert care and support, throughout their cancer treatment and beyond. At the moment, many are working alongside NHS colleagues to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
You can donate to Mike O’Leary’s ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-o-leary3