A BIG thank you!

After such a difficult year for so many of us, we’re delighted and proud to announce that the 2020 Candis Big Give has raised a fantastic total for our chosen health charities of more than £3/4 million! Thank you again – this money will make a huge difference to those in need.

The Candis Big Give Christmas Challenge Charities 2020-2021

Action for ME

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

Candis Big Give project: With scientists predicting an increase in post-viral illness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the money will help the charity to provide the right support at the right time to reduce its lasting impact on already-vulnerable people. It will go towards providing vital help, information and support to both children and adults affected by ME over the telephone, online and through its one-to-one advocacy service. It will also support researchers and research activity into ME, which currently has no cure and very little understanding around how to treat it, and help to increase skills and knowledge among professionals so they can better support people with ME.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £100,000

Arts 4 Dementia

What it does: Develops activities at arts venues to re-energise and inspire people in the early stages of dementia and their carers.

Candis Big Give project: To train and work with major arts organisations across the country to deliver arts opportunities to stimulate and inspire those living with dementia at home and their carers, and offer a signposting service to nationwide arts opportunities for those facing the shock of a dementia diagnosis.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £20,000

Autism Hampshire

What it does: Offers information, advice and guidance to individuals on the autism spectrum.

Candis Big Give project: To provide more community services for autistic children in Hampshire and the surrounding area, as well as autism training and support groups for parents and carers who are struggling to know how to support their children.

Location: Hampshire

Fundraising target: £4,200

Cancer Research UK

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

Candis Big Give project: To revolutionise early cancer detection, helping to improve chances of survival for patients. The money will be used to fund the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED), a collaborative project launched by the charity connecting three UK centres with scientists in the US. Through ACED, it will fund groundbreaking research projects and skill development, and translate research into new ways to fast-track cancer diagnosis.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £60,000

Canine Partners

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

Candis Big Give project: To continue training assistance dogs to help as many physically disabled people as possible in the coming years, giving hope to the hundreds of people on the charity’s waiting list. The practical and day-to-day support provided by a canine partner means individuals can become less reliant on friends, family members and carers, while the dogs also provide psychological, emotional and social benefits, meaning that people are empowered to get back out in their community, return to work and explore new opportunities.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £110,000

Cardiomyopathy UK

What it does: Provides support and information services for people affected by cardiomyopathy, works to raise awareness of the condition, and campaigns for better access to quality treatment.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards a nurse helpline, peer support network and information resources to provide information, medical advice and emotional and practical support to those affected by cardiomyopathy – an acquired or inherited disease of the heart muscle – helping them to manage the impact of their condition.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £14,000

Changing Faces

What it does: Provides advice, support and psychosocial services to anyone with a scar, mark or condition on their face or body that makes them look different, as well as challenging discrimination and campaigning for ‘face equality’.

Candis Big Give project: To fund the UK’s only free counselling service for children with disfigurements. The service will help some of the 86,000 children in the UK living with a disfigurement – of whom almost half are bullied at school – to get practical and emotional support and cope with appearance-related mental health conditions.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £40,000

Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group

What it does: Provides a support network for parents and carers of children with Down syndrome, and raises awareness of Down syndrome within its local communities.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards peer support trips and activities throughout 2021, where families who have a child with Down syndrome can come together to support one another by sharing experiences, building friendships and creating positive experiences.

Location: Northwich

Fundraising target: £7,000

The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity

What it does: Raises funds to improve patient experience and promote research at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, which is a UK leader in the delivery of cancer care.

Candis Big Give project: To purchase an additional two Paxman dual-patient scalp-cooling systems, which are proven to be an effective way of combating chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Two additional machines will support in the region of an extra 650 people over a 12-month period, making a massive difference to those being treated for cancer.

Location: Liverpool

Fundraising target: £20,000

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation

What it does: Funds research into cures for diabetes and provides support to people living with the condition.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards funding three education days in 2021, to enable people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and their family, friends and carers to come together, share their experiences and listen to talks delivered by healthcare professionals to help them to gain a better understanding of diabetes, improve self-management skills and stay well and reduce risk of complications.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £20,000

Guts UK

What it does: Supports medical research into digestive diseases.

Candis Big Give project: To fund a future pancreatitis priority setting partnership (PSP) which will bring together patients, carers and health professionals to decide their top priorities in pancreatitis research. This will help researchers to understand what people affected by pancreatitis – a painful and potentially life-threatening condition causing the pancreas (a gland that sits behind the stomach) to become inflamed – want to know and transform the direction of future research.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £11,900

Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity

What it does: Works with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and others to improve health in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, and beyond.

Candis Big Give project: To create permanent well-being hubs where NHS staff can relax, reflect, recharge and recover from their physically and emotionally challenging work. As well as providing a space for rest, the money will go towards employing well-being advisers and mental health first-aiders for staff to talk to and giving them access to massages and complementary therapies.

Location: London

Fundraising target: £60,800

Harrison’s Fund

What it does: Funds promising and groundbreaking research into finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a serious muscle-wasting condition caused by the lack of a protein called dystrophin.

Candis Big Give project: To fund Sutura Therapeutics research into treatments that are effective for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This research is showing positive results in reaching all muscles in the body, including the heart, which has been a stumbling block for other researchers.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £10,000

Head2Head Sensory Theatre

What it does: Makes theatre that is accessible to everyone. Although it can’t tour at present, it continues to provide families of children who have a wide range of disabilities with sensory, interactive entertainment such as Zoom sessions with a familiar character, videos with captions and signing, multilayered games and a historical glamping festival.

Candis Big Give project: To continue to provide accessible and sensory theatre for children with disabilities at local special schools or via online platforms, as well as providing theatre work experience for disabled students. The money raised will fund their activities for three months and allow them to film three interactive shows and activities to entertain children with disabilities at home, and produce a multisensory pantomime for children with disabilities to enjoy with their families and carers.

Location: London and south-east England

Fundraising target: £25,000

Multiple System Atrophy Trust

What it does: Supports people affected by multiple system atrophy (MSA), a terminal neurodegenerative disease with no known cause or cure.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards the purchase of 150 voice-banking activations, which will provide individuals with MSA the valuable opportunity to record their own voice, allowing them to continue to speak and communicate after they have experienced vocal cord paralysis due to the degenerative condition, which causes the body to shut down slowly.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £9,800

Over The Wall

What it does: Provides free therapeutic recreation camps for children and families affected by serious and life-limiting illnesses.

Candis Big Give project: To tackle isolation in seriously ill children – which has been worsened for many due to COVID-19 – through therapeutic recreation camps in 2021. The money will provide 200 children living with conditions that affect their quality of life, lead them to miss out on many normal activities, and cause them to have long periods of time in hospital or at home that leave them isolated from their peers, with an opportunity to escape from the confines of illness and discover abilities and friends in the nurturing and supportive environment of a physical and/or virtual camp.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £40,000

Riding for the Disabled (Woodbridge & District Group)

What it does: Teaches riding and carriage driving to disabled children and adults.

Candis Big Give project: To raise money for a mechanical horse walker that will keep its Riding for the Disabled horses and ponies fit and in good temperament in the wet, winter months when they are stabled, helping to ensure a safe ride for its disabled participants.

Location: Suffolk

Fundraising target: £7,560

SeeAbility (The Royal School for the Blind)

What it does: Supports people with sight loss and multiple disabilities.

Candis Big Give project: To tackle isolation in people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss, and support them to be able to increase independence and achieve their ambitions. The money raised will go towards providing the right equipment to support mobility, therapies (including speech and language therapy and vision rehabilitation), support and workshops to help people to develop the essential skills and confidence to be able to thrive.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £35,000

Spinal Injuries Association

What it does: Supports anyone who has been affected by spinal cord injury.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards the salary and activity costs of the charity’s counselling, peer support and nurse specialists, to provide invaluable support to those affected by spinal cord injury, which has an effect on every aspect of a person’s life. The service will help to address the mental and physical challenges associated with paralysis – focusing on family life, daily routines, relationships and parenting.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £9,000

Springfield Mind

What it does: Promotes well-being and prevents mental health problems in Warwickshire and Worcestershire through a variety of support services.

Candis Big Give project: To continue to offer support and promote mental well-being by providing life-saving information and advice to anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

Location: Warwickshire and Worcestershire

Fundraising target: £4,000

Theodora Children’s Charity

Photography: Phil McCarthy

What it does: Improves the lives of children in hospital through visits from specially trained entertainers called Giggle Doctors.

Candis Big Give project: To boost the morale of sick, disabled and terminally ill children through regular visits from Giggle Doctors, who are professional performers trained to work in the hospital environment. The money raised will help to fund visits from Giggle Doctors to 6,000 children at hospital, helping to distract them from the pain, worry and fear that can accompany a hospital stay through music, magic and laughter.

Location: National

Fundraising target: £84,000

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