The Candis Big Give is a fundraising initiative involving charities and their supporters.

Congratulations to everyone who supported The Big Give Christmas Challenge. It was amazing to see the generous support and donations, and we are particularly pleased for all the charities who hit their targets, enabling them to fund some fantastic health projects. Although the Candis match funding pot has now run out, you can still donate to your favourite charities to help them fund their Big Give projects. Please use the link below to make an unmatched donation to the charity of your choice.

Also, don’t forget to check back here and in Candis magazine next year for updates on how many of The Candis Big Give charities are getting on as well as some heart-warming stories from those who have been helped by the projects.


In 2017, Candis Club will donate a minimum of £250,000 from members’ magazine subscription revenue, via The Big Give, to health charities taking part in The Candis Big Give. Any additional monies will go to charities at the discretion of the General Committee of Candis Club.

We never forget that it is your subscriptions to Candis that have enabled Candis Club to give such huge amounts to charities over the years. Since 1962, the total raised is £55,091,388.

Here’s a full list of this year’s charities and their projects:

Action Medical Research


What they do: Find and fund the cutting-edge medical research across the UK most likely to make a difference to the lives of sick children of all ages.

Candis Big Give project: To fund research into better ways to predict how each baby with the serious heart defect hypoplastic left heart syndrome – which affects around one in every 5,000 babies – will respond to surgery, helping doctors plan the best approach for them. This personalised treatment should improve babies’ chances of surviving and their quality of life.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £33,768

Breast Cancer Haven


What they do: Provide free emotional and physical support to anyone suffering from breast cancer.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will help the charity provide its bespoke free programme of care to visitors for the month of December, which offers emotional support and complementary therapies to help breast cancer patients who are struggling to cope with the impact of their diagnosis and the debilitating side-effects of treatment.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £51,695



What they do: Offer emotional and practical support to people affected by breast cancer.

Candis Big Give project: To fund a wide range of complementary therapies and exercise groups, which are offered free of charge to those diagnosed with breast cancer. Complementary therapies and physical activity can help patients to feel calmer and more in control and improve well-being during this stressful and traumatic time.

Location: London

Final amount raised: £11,421

Christopher’s Smile


What they do: Fund research into treatments for childhood cancers.

Candis Big Give project: To fund the work of a researcher who will analyse data generated from a new genetic sequencing test specifically for children with cancer, to enable clinical decisions to be made about new targeted treatments.

Location: Surrey

Final amount raised: £23,853

The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity


What they do: Raise funds to benefit the 30,000 individual patients each year being treated for or recovering from cancer at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, which is a UK leader in the delivery of cancer care.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards the development of a Teenage and Young Adult Unit at the new comprehensive specialist cancer hospital being built in the centre of Liverpool. The unit will consist of eight single ensuite beds in private rooms and a social space for communal activities, allowing patients contact with other young people going through a similar experience.

Location: Liverpool

Final amount raised: £21,870

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation


What they do: Fund vital research into finding a cure for diabetes, while supporting growing numbers of people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in the UK.

Candis Big Give Project: To support the Diabetes Wellness Day South, a unique event which takes place in June and involves working with the diabetes teams. The aim is to support people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, their family, friends and carers, to learn more about good self-management and keep as well as possible. Living with diabetes can be difficult and often confusing, and for those newly diagnosed it can be a very difficult time leading to isolation and anxiety. The day offers excellent specialist advice in a relaxed environment.

Location: Hampshire

Final amount raised: £3,480



What they do: Raise money to take children with a serious illness or disability on holiday to Orlando, Florida.

Candis Big Give project: To send 16 children with a serious illness or disability on a ten-day trip to Orlando. The money will cover all costs for the trip, including travel and food, accommodation, medical expenses, entry to theme parks, a dolphin swim and reunion parties, giving them a much-needed opportunity to have fun, build their confidence and develop lifelong friendships.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £56,674

Haven House Children’s Hospice

Life at Haven House October 2015

What they do: Care for young people between the ages of 0 to 19 who have life-limiting conditions.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will help the charity to employ another Haven House Nurse to provide expert medical care and quality-of-life services to life-limited children. The nursing care provided at Haven House enables children to have time to play and socialise with other children, while parents and siblings can have a break from 24/7 caring responsibilities, which is essential for health and well-being.

Location: Essex

Final amount raised £35,717



What they do: Support medical research into finding cures, treatment and prevention strategies for Type 1 diabetes.

Candis Big Give project: To help fund a study to develop a ‘smart’ or glucose-responsive insulin, which will become active in the body when blood glucose levels rise and become inactive again as they fall. This pioneering treatment could help perfect glucose control and reduce the risks of hypos and complications, drastically improving the quality of life for those with Type 1 diabetes.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £92,141

Kent MS Therapy Centre


What they do: Provide a range of therapies that help to improve the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and alleviate some of the symptoms.

Candis Big Give project: The money will be used to help provide a fully equipped gym and physiotherapy suite and access to a neurological physiotherapist for people with MS in Kent. Physiotherapy has a range of benefits, from improving physical health to enhancing quality of life for people with MS. It can improve balance and posture and help maintain mobility levels for longer.

Location: Kent

Final amount raised: £5,6225



What they do: Deliver community projects, disability care services and training resources that promote inclusion and well-being in the UK and internationally.

Candis Big Give Project: Crucial funds raised will support projects such as Flourish, which is a horticultural and therapy project for disabled people and those living with mental illness in Dorset. The project supports people to enhance life skills, build supportive relationships and boost well-being. Out of those who attend Flourish, 97 per cent say they have been able to expand their social networks and decrease their feelings of isolation. Livability want to widen the provision of this project – and others like it – so more people can benefit from good community connections.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £7,558

Muscular Dystrophy UK

PRESS RELEASE IMAGE 21/6/15: Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín was among more than 200 people who joined Michaela Hollywood, a 25-year-old Downpatrick woman with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), as she completed her one-of-a-kind marathon for Muscular Dystrophy UK, with the final mile at Stormont. Michaela took on her marathon in memory of her sister Martina, who also had the condition and sadly passed away in 1997, aged just 14 years old. SMA affects nerve cells in the spinal cord, affecting movement and in some cases, breathing. Michaela battled through recovery from a life-threatening bout of pneumonia in order to tackle her challenge, part of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Move a mile for muscles summer fundraising campaign. The event will help fund Muscular Dystrophy UK’s work supporting 70,000 families in the UK living with SMA and other muscle-wasting conditions and funding groundbreaking treatment research. Picture: Michael Cooper

What they do: Provide practical information, advice and emotional support for individuals with muscle-wasting conditions, their carers and families, and fund research into treatments and cures.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will go towards employing two PhD students and a Clinical Research Fellow for a year who will be involved in ongoing research projects to help find effective treatments and cures for muscle-wasting conditions, which lead to increasing disability and can potentially shorten the lives of those living with them, and for which there is currently no cure. By supporting and funding top-quality research and the new generation of neuromuscular researchers, the charity increases the chances of finding vital treatments or a cure.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £114,789

Over The Wall


What they do: Provide free therapeutic recreation camps for children and families affected by serious and life-limiting illnesses.

Candis Big Give project: To run four family camps across the UK for families with children living with serious or life-limiting illness. The camps provide a much-needed respite from everyday pressures and frustrations, as well as helping families to increase their confidence and practical skills, connect with those in a similar position, and relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £20,018

PTSD Resolution


What they do: Provide counselling to armed forces veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Candis Big Give project: To fund therapy for armed forces’ veterans and reservists suffering from PTSD. The trauma can cause flashbacks, nightmares, anger and depression, which can lead to violence, substance abuse, job loss, family breakdown and suicide. A course of treatment costs £500 and involves three to five one-hour sessions with a counselor. Eight out of ten people experience success via the therapy offered.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £34,262

Rett UK


What they do: Support families with children with Rett syndrome, which is a severe life-limiting genetic neurological disorder.

Candis Big Give project: To fund regional hubs in three areas of the UK, where families affected by Rett syndrome, Rett UK key advisors and local professionals are brought together during a two-day event. The regional hubs will help to increase knowledge of the syndrome in local health, education and social care professionals and improve local support networks for families, helping to reduce isolation.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £10,666

Reverse Rett


What they do: Work to accelerate treatments and cures for Rett syndrome and related MECP2 disorders.

Candis Big Give project: The money raised will fund the work of the MECP2 Gene Therapy Consortium for six months, to support the goal of finding a cure for Rett Syndrome. The Consortium, which was launched by the Rett Syndrome Research Trust, is a collaboration of four labs that are in their third year of working together to develop effective methods of using gene therapy – where an unhealthy gene is replaced with a healthy one – to reverse Rett syndrome in people.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £121,341

Road Victims Trust


What they do: Provide support to the victims of road collisions.

Candis Big Give project: To offer free emotional and practical support to those affected by the trauma and bereavement of a fatal road collision, through professional coordinators and specialist trained counselling volunteers, and ensure that every person affected receives a quality service. The project aims to address the emotional and practical needs of road victims – including witnesses – helping to reduce long-term problems including ill health, anxiety, depression and mental health problems.

Location: Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Final amount raised: £43,683

Rock Foundation UK Limited


What they do: Provide individual, meaningful and supported activities and opportunities for people with learning disabilities and other disadvantages.

Candis Big Give project: To expand its workshops and social activities in order to keep up with demand, so that people will learning disabilities can develop key skills to live life to the full.

Location: Grimsby

Final amount raised: £2,246

Sebastian’s Action Trust


What they do: Offer emotional and practical support and free specialist respite holidays to seriously ill children and their families.

Candis Big Give project: To cover some of the running costs of The Bluebells – the UK’s first family respite holiday home – throughout 2017, including practical support for families, music, art and well-being therapy, and the upkeep of the hydrotherapy pool. The Bluebells provides a safe and supportive environment for families with seriously ill and life-limited children to rest, relax, recharge and build precious memories together.

Location: Hampshire

Final amount raised: £28,174

SeeAbility (The Royal School for the Blind)


What they do: Support people with sight loss and multiple disabilities.

Candis Big Give project: To transform the eye care, vision and quality of life of children with disabilities – who often miss out on the eyecare they need – by offering specialist sight tests to over 500 children in their own school. Through this pilot scheme the charity aims to build a good evidence base to campaign for a new national programme of sight testing in special schools in England, to make sight tests available to the 100,000 children attending these schools.

Location: England

Final amount raised: £56,036

St Peter & St James Hospice & Continuing Care


What they do: Provide specialist care to people who are terminally ill, helping them to live as well as possible with their illness, as well as support to families to help them cope in difficult times.

Candis Big Give project: To offer hospice counselling to patients and their loved ones, helping them resolve their concerns and fears, reduce anxiety, strengthen emotional resilience, improve their quality of life and prepare for a more peaceful death.

Location: Sussex

Final amount raised: £49,732

The J’s Hospice


What they do: Provide hospice and respite care for young adults aged 16-40 with life-threatening conditions.

Candis Big Give project: To recruit an additional healthcare assistant to join the hospice at home team and provide two months of care in a patient’s own home. As well as providing care and nursing for a life-limited young adult, the healthcare assistant will offer family support, practical encouragement and help decrease isolation and increase quality of life.

Location: Essex

Final amount raised: £13,300

The Lullaby Trust


What they do: Offer specialist support to bereaved parents when a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly.

Candis Big Give project: To run a national campaign to promote safer sleep practices, which reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and save babies lives. In 1991, the charity’s Back to Sleep Campaign led to a 70 per cent drop in the number of babies dying of SIDS, so it is now aiming to halve SIDS deaths – which currently affect around five families each week – by 2020. The money will cover all resources, marketing and branding for the campaign, which aims to ensure every parent, midwife and health visitor knows how to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Location: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Final amount raised: £90,772

The University of Nottingham Impact Campaign


What they do: Tackle global challenges and transform lives through education and research.

Candis Big Give project: To fund research into a rare form of tumour of the nervous system – ependymoma – which is most commonly found in the brain and is the third most common childhood brain tumour. Almost 40 per cent of children diagnosed with ependymoma do not survive. The researchers will aim to gain an understanding of the genetic alterations that cause the condition so they can identify children who are predisposed to develop ependymomas, enabling treatment at the earliest opportunity and potentially increasing survival rates.

Location: Nottingham

Final amount raised: £59,699

Theodora Children’s Charity


What they do: Improve the lives of children in hospital through weekly 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 fund visits from Giggle Doctors to 30,000 hospitalised children, helping to distract them from the pain, worry and fear that can accompany a hospital stay through music, magic and laughter.

Location: National

Final amount raised: £91,419

Wiltshire Air Ambulance


What they do: Provide an air ambulance service to the people of Wiltshire and nearby.

Candis Big Give project: To fully equip a flight room at its new airbase, for the coordination of its missions and the care and safety of its patients. This room is where the aircrew prepare and plan all operational activities, which is the key to safe and effective operation of helicopters.

Location: Wiltshire

Final amount raised: £21,601

You can help your favourite charities to raise money by making a special donation during The Candis Big Give Christmas Challenge (29 November- 2 December)

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Click on the articles below to find out more about charities that have participated in previous Candis Big Give challenges:

Rett UK

Rett UK

Becky Jenna from East Sussex, tells us how Rett UK saved the life of her daughter

Read more…
Lullaby Trust

Lullaby Trust

Claire Coates reveals how the Lullaby Trust helped her and her husband Andrew

Read more…
Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Stuart Hershbein, 37 from Wiltshire, tells how Wiltshire Air Ambulance saved his life

Read more…
Haven House Children’s Hospice

Haven House Children’s Hospice

Joanne Luxton explains how Haven House Children’s Hospice has helped her family

Read more…


Jude Sutton tells us how JDRF has helped her and her husband cope with bringing up their son and daughter who both have Type 1 diabetes

Read more…
Breast Cancer Haven

Breast Cancer Haven

Kimberley tells us how The Haven helped her healing process following aggressive treatment for breast cancer

Read more…
Reverse Rett

Reverse Rett

Gail Fowler from Cheshire explains why the fantastic work and research carried out by Reverse Rett is so important to her family

Read more…
Grief Encounter

Grief Encounter

Diane Leatherbarrow from Liverpool tells how Grief Encounter helped her two girls cope with their grief

Read more…
The Lullaby Trust

The Lullaby Trust

Christopher Hampson explains how The Lullaby Trust charity helped his family

Read more…
The Nottingham Campaign

The Nottingham Campaign

Dr Sally Chappell explains why The University of Nottingham’s research is so important

Read more…
Wigan & Leigh Hospice

Wigan & Leigh Hospice

Lisa Parr explains how Wigan & Leigh Hospice made a difference to her family

Read more…


Vicky Cunningham from Merseyside, tells how Dreamflight gave her son the trip of a lifetime

Read more…

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