A charity founded in 2009 by a teacher following the death of his father from bowel cancer, announced this weekend it has since raised £500,000. A post on the Malcom Whales Foundation Facebook page said: “Today we’re celebrating a major milestone – the foundation has raised over half a million pounds.”
“This is an incredible achievement, and it’s all thanks to the hard work and support of our amazing community.
“From walks and sporting events to netball tournaments, golf days, marathons, bake sales, stalls, and money collections, you’ve all gone above and beyond to help us reach this goal.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you.”
Damien Whales is the chairman and founder of The Malcom Whales Foundation.
“Malcolm was my dad, unfortunately it took his death, aged 55, from bowel cancer, for this amazing journey to begin,” Damien explains.
“I am a teacher in Peterborough and through working in schools I have been able to introduce and involve hundreds maybe thousands of people to the positivity of making a difference to people’s lives, and perhaps most interestingly to their own lives.
“The power of sport was something my dad instilled in me from an early age. This is probably the reason many of our events are sport based or physical challenges. We believe that being active and having fun whilst raising funds is an amazing way ‘to make a difference’.
“As a parent, I am thrilled that my three boys now participate alongside me in memory of my dad, their grandad. Those of you that know me will understand what this level of pride does to me emotionally.”
He added: “Creating this charity remains the proudest achievement of my life. I thank you all in advance for any support you have provided. Let’s hope the charity continues to grow and impact positively on many more people in the years and decades to come.”
Damien said his father was a “very active man who always lived life to its fullest. “Unfortunately, when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, there had been no obvious signs.
“By the time he received his prognosis, the cancer had spread throughout his body, meaning he never really stood a fighting chance.
“Anybody that has been affected by cancer will understand the utter devastation that it leaves. The impact on my life has been beyond measure! I am desperate to honour my father’s memory and create something positive from my personal tragedy.
“Before my father’s death in 2008, he had got involved in endurance challenges and in particular long-distance walks. I decided to create a walk in his name, the only problem, would teenagers want to go on a ‘walk’?”
In 2009 the first ‘Dorset Walk’ took place along the South West Coastal path.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be the success it has been,” says Damien. “We started with 30 students in 2009, raising £6,000.”
Today almost 300 walkers have taken part and have helped raised the £500,000.
Damien says: “The Malcolm Whales Foundation is something that makes me incredibly proud; its success has been mind-blowing. We are raising large amounts of money annually and we are supporting some incredible causes.
“Perhaps though, the most rewarding part has been the impact on the participants’ lives. We have given them an introduction to charitable causes and the positive difference they can make. It is safe to say that every single participant has been challenged and by taking part have developed as people! Its impact has been enormous.”
Damien says the aim is to grow the charity “to get bigger, better and impact wider”.
He says support can be either as a walker, a sponsor “or in any way you can. Please get involved and support an unbelievably positive cause.
“The charity itself achieves this in a number of different ways, and through our fundraising events, are able to raise funds to support those affected in a variety of different ways. All the money we raise will go to a number of different causes and cancer charities”.
The charity now organises numerous fundraising events each including sports marathons, golf days, various sports tournaments, and its annual July 40 mile sponsored walk in Dorset.
raised since 2009
participants in events
The foundation says it is keen to see a direct impact on people/individuals.
The foundation has so far sponsored: weeks of outward bounds cancer support, paid for renovations of charity clubhouses, bought a charity support boat, completed two hospital gardens, funded numerous support projects, contributed to research projects, supported individuals, made donations to fundraising causes, sponsored conferences and paid for counselling.
You can get involved via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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