The season of giving

The festive season is here again, which gives us an opportunity to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. This month, you can help to enable more families and individuals across the UK to make their own special memories over Christmas and beyond by taking part in our ninth annual Candis Big Give.

By subscribing to Candis you are already making a difference to these charities and the people they support, as it’s your subscriptions that enable us to make our donations. However, you can help your favourite health charities to raise even more by making a special donation during The Candis Big Give Christmas Challenge (27 November to 4 December), which will be doubled by our match-funding pot while funds last. See below for details on how to find a specific charity and make your donation.

Your generous donations over the years have already made a real difference to the lives of many, and we are thrilled to be on target this year to reach a grand total of £10 million raised over the last nine years during this special fundraising event for our chosen health charities! Here are some of the charities and projects Candis readers have helped to support:

  • 2010 marked our first Candis Big Give Christmas Challenge, which saw us support more than 30 vital health charities. One of these was Marie Curie Cancer Care, where almost £80,000 was raised to fund 4,000 hours of nursing care for terminally ill patients in the comfort of their own homes.
  • In 2013, The Candis Big Give helped Age UK Norfolk to run its three Pabulum cafes, which provide support to people with dementia and their carers and encourage interaction and reminiscence through the use of old photographs and mementos. We spoke to the daughter of one service user, who said the cafes had helped to give her and her mum something nice to do together during difficult times and showed them they’re not alone.
  • The 2014 Big Give Christmas Challenge saw us raise £12,878 for Make-A-Wish UK, which helps to make dreams come true for ill children. We were touched by the story of one young tennis fan who was granted his wish to play tennis with Andy Murray after being diagnosed with a brain tumour – just one example of the charity’s amazing work.
  • In 2014, £18,247 was raised for Cerebral Palsy Sport, which helped the charity to support young athletes with cerebral palsy to take part in the CPISRA World Games in August 2015. One person to benefit from this was then 17-year-old Matthew Humphreys, who competed as a RaceRunning athlete using a custom-built tricycle bike without pedals and went on to become a Cerebral Palsy Sport Young Ambassador.
  • Over The Wall used the money it raised in the 2015 Christmas Challenge to run four Family Camps for families with children living with serious illnesses. One mum who attended the camps described them as an “absolutely amazing” experience that helped them to have fun as a family following a traumatic cancer diagnosis.
  • Reverse Rett raised an amazing £97,382 in last year’s Candis Big Give, which will be invested into life-changing research. Thanks to funding such as this, Rett syndrome has already been reversed in the lab. The charity is now working to drive these promising developments into treatments for people living with this devastating condition.
  • This year, we are thrilled to be supporting many more life-changing projects and welcoming back familiar names such as Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Sebastian’s Action Trust and The Brain Tumour Charity, as well as supporting some new charities, including Cancer Research UK, Dingley’s Promise and Langdon. With your help, we hope to raise more than ever and make this a Christmas to remember!

You can read more about some of the charities taking part, and the projects they are raising money for, or visit for a full list of charities and their projects.

And don’t forget, we’ll keep you up to date with how each charity gets on and how they spend their donations throughout 2019.
Merry Christmas!

Your guide to taking part in the Christmas Challenge

Here’s how to make a real difference

1 Log on to from 12pm on Tuesday 27 November.

2 Click on the Candis Big Give Christmas Challenge icon. You will then be redirected to the Big Give website, where you will see a list of all the charities taking part.

3 Find the charity and project you would like to make a donation to.

4 Click on your chosen charity and enter the details needed to make a donation.

5 Your donation will then be doubled by The Candis Big Give Christmas Challenge match fund! If the match funding has run out, your donation will still go to the charity but won’t be doubled – you’ll be told this before you donate.

Make a difference

Here are just some of the charities in The Candis Big Give 2018/19…

We’ve highlighted some of the big names taking part in The Candis Big Give. For a full list of all the charities and the life-changing projects they’re raising money for, visit



What it does: Saves babies’ lives during pregnancy and birth by funding research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and providing pregnancy health information to parents.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will help the charity to improve women’s mental health during pregnancy. It will develop a digital version of its Pregnancy and Post-birth Wellbeing Plan and a tool to improve self-management of mental well-being, as well as launch a campaign to promote the tool to those at risk of mental illness, which affects one in five women during pregnancy.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £90,000


Cancer Research UK

What it does: Helps to save lives through funding vital research into cancer and its treatment.

Candis Big Give project: To find fresh ways of tackling cancer through the charity’s Pioneer Award, which funds innovative and unique ideas that could revolutionise the current understanding of cancer and generate new knowledge on how to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease more effectively.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £100,000


The Jessie May Trust

What it does: Provides free professional nursing care to terminally ill children in their own homes and offers practical and emotional support to the whole family.

Candis Big Give project: To help the charity to reach more families in its operating areas who are not currently supported. The charity aims to increase its number of referrals this year by an additional 11 children, helping to offer them and their families a lifeline through its respite and palliative care support, which includes nursing care, advice and support, advocacy, support on family days out, long-term bereavement support, and highly intensive, specialist end-of-life care.

Location: Bristol and its surrounding areas

Fundraising target: £22,050


Canine Partners

What it does: Transforms the lives of people with disabilities by partnering them with free-of-charge assistance dogs, which are specially trained to meet each individual’s needs.

Candis Big Give project: To increase the number of assistance dogs available, so the charity can reopen the waiting list to new applicants and help to improve more lives. The money raised will go towards the charity’s breeding programme, the training of volunteers who will train the puppies from a young age, and completing the kennel facilities at its Midlands Training Centre.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £90,000



What it does: Provides practical advice and emotional support to disabled people and their families, and campaigns to change attitudes and create a society where all disabled people enjoy equality and fairness.

Candis Big Give project: To run the charity’s Best Start in Life programme, which helps to give disabled children the best start in life by equipping families with the tools and emotional strength they need to help their child to fulfil their potential. The programme offers specialist sleep support to help to counteract the poor sleep patterns common in families affected by disability, helps to build parents’ resilience through mentoring and support from mentors with experience of disability, and provides parenting classes to help parents to develop skills and confidence and build a network of support.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £60,000


Action for Stammering Children

What it does: Offers specialist help and support to transform the lives of young people who stammer and their families.

Candis Big Give project: To provide more than 600 phone calls by trained speech and language therapists to young people with stammers, to respond to their concerns and provide them with guidance, information, support and much-needed reassurance.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £20,000


Here are some more charities involved in The Candis Big Give…


Action for ME

What it does: Creates a greater awareness and understanding of ME and ensures those affected by the condition get the care and support they need.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards providing vital help, information and advice to those affected by ME by funding support services for both children and adults with ME – including telephone helplines, a website, useful resources and a peer-support and volunteer programme. It will also support researchers and research activity into ME, which currently has no cure and very little understanding around how to treat it.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £90,000


Chailey Heritage Foundation

What it does: Helps children and young people with complex physical disabilities and health needs to fulfil their potential by providing education, care and transition services.

Candis Big Give project: To give all the pupils and young people supported by the charity access to Eyegaze technology, which will allow children with complex physical needs to use computers to learn and interact with the world around them through eye movement alone. The money raised will go towards the purchase of 20 Eyegaze devices and the appropriate software, accessories and computers needed to use the technology.

Location: Sussex

Fundraising target: £15,000


The Children’s Trust

What it does: Delivers rehabilitation, education and community services to children with brain injury.

Candis Big Give project: To provide specialist play activities for children with acquired brain injury and neurodisability from across the UK who are being cared for at the charity’s specialist site in Surrey. These play activities will support the children with their recovery by helping them to develop and relearn physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills, while also giving them the opportunity to express their feelings and have fun during a difficult time.

Location: Surrey

Fundraising target: £45,000


Diabetes UK

What it does: Works in partnership with healthcare professionals, people with diabetes and many others to drive change and find and share knowledge, to prevent more people developing this potentially life-threatening condition, and support people living with diabetes.

Candis Big Give project: To fund research to improve care, find a cure and prevent Type 1 diabetes, which is a serious lifelong condition that can cause serious complications.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £12,000


Julia’s House – The Dorset and Wiltshire Children’s Hospices

What it does: Provides respite care to children with life-limiting conditions in its hospices and in children’s homes across Dorset and Wiltshire.

Candis Big Give project: To improve the quality of life of seriously ill children by ensuring they have access to high-quality play. The money raised will cover the salaries of two specialist members of the play team, as well as costs for specialist toys and sensory equipment, which will allow the children to create special moments, express themselves, eliminate anxieties and phobias, have fun, and meet their potential, no matter how unwell they may be.

Location: Dorset and Wiltshire

Fundraising target: £40,000


National Migraine Centre

What it does: Provides accessible treatment to all sufferers of migraines and other primary headaches, educates healthcare professionals, and undertakes research to improve knowledge and treatment.

Candis Big Give project: To hire, train and support another headache specialist doctor for two sessions per week for one year, to treat an additional 450 patients suffering from severe migraine and headaches and help to meet the increasing demand for this service.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £16,000


On the web:

Find out even more about The Candis Big Give by logging on to

You can learn about all the charities taking part in this year’s Christmas Challenge and the important projects they are aiming to fund with the money raised in the match-funding initiative. It’s thanks to your subscription to Candis Club that we are able to help these charities, so make sure you keep logging on throughout 2019 for regular updates about how the donations are being used to make a real difference across the UK.

Candis Club’s mission:

“The mission of Candis Club is to bring people together, to promote healthy living, community and family life and to support and advance the cause of health charities.”

How buying a subscription helps:

In 2018, Candis Club donated £250,000 from members’ magazine subscription revenue to health charities taking part in The Candis Big Give. Additional funding to the charities was at the discretion of the General Committee of Candis Club.

Donations to date:

We never forget it’s YOUR subscriptions that enable Candis Club to give huge amounts to charities. Our running total shows how much


to the Cancer and Polio Research Fund (1962 to 2002)


to the National Asthma Campaign (1990 to 2002)


to Marie Curie Cancer Care (1998 to 2012)


to Macmillan Cancer Support (1993 to 2013)


to Bliss, the special care baby charity (1990 to 2009)


to Liverpool University’s Cancer Tissue Bank Research Centre (1989 to 1993)


to the British Heart Foundation (2002 to 2008)


to local groups via the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) (1990 to 2009)


to ICAN (1989)


to Tommy’s, the baby charity (2006 to 2009)


to Children’s Hospices UK (2008 to 2010)


to charities in The Candis Big Give



Leave a Reply

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Please wait while we process your request.

Do not refresh or close your window at any time.