Breast cancer fundraiser Big Girls Pants, has exceeded its ambitious £20,000 fundraising target two months early, with a recent charitable ball contributing a significant £13,710 to the grand total to date.
Raising much-needed awareness and funds for the NHS University Hospitals of the North Midlands (UHNM) Charity Breast Care Centre in Stoke and Stafford, the Big Girl Pants Fundraising Ball, organised by Staffordshire-based business consultancy Strategi Solutions, was a sold-out event.
Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Stoke-on-Trent, businesses, suppliers and friends of the glittering occasion dug deep to offer their support. Throughout the evening, guests participated in an exclusive auction, silent auction and raffle indulged in a three-course dinner and were entertained by the highly-established 9-piece house music band and DJ, The Manytones whilst being serenaded by Jessica Clewlow on harp at the drinks reception.
The UHNM Charity is very close to the hearts of the Strategi Solutions team, specifically the breast care service which has provided treatment for Managing Director Rob’s wife Sue, Chief Executive Officer Wendy Dean’s step-mum Eileen, and Office Administrator Jenna’s mum Jill all of whom have had breast cancer in the last 12 months. When Sue Fisher received her breast cancer diagnosis in 2022 her response was that she had to put on her ‘big girl pants’ and get on with it, and so Big Girl Pants was born. The phrase stuck amongst her Peacock Club Girl Friends and served as a reminder that even when life becomes difficult, we can decide how we respond. Big Girl Pants celebrates the ability to be strong even when you don’t want to be, to be calm when you may not have the answers, and to remain positive through the most difficult of times.
Speaking at the event, Wendy Dean, CEO at Strategi Solutions and Big Girl Pants fundraising committee member said: “A huge welcome to our first Big Girl Pants charity fundraising ball. We set ourselves a target of £20,000 for the breast care centre; we are now well on the way to achieving this and tonight is the highlight of our fundraising. Big Girl Pants isn’t about Strategi, it isn’t about individuals, it’s about the future Sue, Eileen and Jill’s of this world. It’s about the women and men who are going to need the services of the breast care centres in Stoke and Stafford over the coming months and years.”
Sue also spoke at the Big Girl Pants ball and said: “It is precisely one year and two days ago that I was diagnosed officially with an aggressive form of HER2 positive breast cancer. The support that my family and myself have received over the last twelve months has been absolutely unbelievable, and there are far too many people to thank individually. Cancer isn’t so scary anymore, there are some amazing people doing some amazing work.”
The anticipated ball was one of many activities organised throughout the year striving to raise in excess of £20,000 for the UHNM charity, providing vital support to those having treatment for breast cancer. Fundraisers have participated in sponsored events including a Born Survivor trial, a 12-hour intensive fitness challenge, the Southport Half Marathon and the arduous Ironman in Italy – a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full marathon.
During the festive season, a Christmas Wreath Making class was held alongside a Christmas Raffle, where all monies from tickets sold went towards the Big Girl Pants Fundraiser.
Strategi will be donating the total amount in January 2024 to buy equipment and facilities for the new Breast Care Centre being opened in Stafford next year.
UHNM Charity is a registered charity which provides millions of pounds in additional funding for University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust. The funding enables the trust to purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment and to enhance patient experience and comfort for people who are cared for at County Hospital in Stafford and at Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.