In May, we do some things differently on the blog. We share community stories to mark Somerset Day on May 11th. This particular blog is all about Friday 12th May though, as that’s the night we’re off to the Cheese and Grain in Frome for Black Tie Bingo (actually you don’t need to wear black tie to come along, but we’re probably going to scrub up a bit and we definitely plan on shouting BINGO :)).
Anyway, it’s going to be a fab night there with comedy, music, ace prizes to be won (we’ve got our eye on 'Dinner cooked in your own home' by Masterchef The Professionals finalist Arnaud Kaziewicz), lots of fizz and food, but most importantly it’s to raise money for local cancer support charity – We Hear You.
To explain a little bit more about the support We Hear You provides, we asked them four questions we thought you’d be interested to know the answers to. Here's what they shared with us:
1. Why did you set up We Hear You?
We Hear You was started by a Frome woman called Jill Miller, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. For Jill...
“Fear was instant. Every time I raised the possibility of death, my husband and daughter tried their best to discount the fears. It didn't work. I wanted to explore my mortality. I needed to talk about the possibility that this cancer could kill me. I wanted someone outside of the family that could listen to the fears that paraded around during the dark nights when terror kept poking me awake.”
There was nothing affordable available to Jill and although patients’ medical needs are well met by the health services, their emotional needs are not. The impact also spreads far beyond the individual diagnosed... to their partners, carers, children and other loved ones. We’re here to offer to a listening ear to anyone affected, not just the patients.
2. Can you tell us a little about how you help people across Somerset?
We support around 350 people each year to deal with the impact of a life-threatening diagnosis and help them to find a way to move forward with their changed lives. Here’s an insight from someone who recently completed a series of weekly counselling sessions with us:
“When I approached WHY, I and our family was in crisis. We were all overwhelmed by anxiety, exhausted from the emotional and physical effort of getting through the treatment. Having counselling at WHY has enabled me to untangle my feelings and burdens – which is better for me, but it's also positively transformed our family life in ways that have put us on a new path – clearer with more opportunities.”
3. What's your biggest hope for your Charity?
Ideally, we’ll convince the health commissioners that giving emotional counselling to their patients and families helps them to recover - and is worthwhile. Until that time, we’ll keep fundraising to pay for the work. We’d like to raise enough money to help all of the 3,300 people who will be newly diagnosed with cancer over the next year in Somerset and who would like to have counselling.
4. How can people get involved with We Hear You?
We always need people to help with fundraising events. This can be anything from baking cakes for a tea party, to jumping out of a plane, to helping out at the Black Tie Bingo event coming up at the Cheese & Grain on May 12th.
We’re also really in need of another regular volunteer at our charitable art gallery in Frome called The Good Gallery. If you have Fridays free (or half a Friday) please do get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
So… if you’d like to help this awesome local charity, please please do give them a shout - and if you want to make some great memories at Black Tie Bingo on the 12th, grab a ticket (£25 from the Cheese and Grain Box Office on 01373 455420 or in person) and we’ll see you there! :)
P.S. You can find out a little bit more about the event here and follow We Hear You on Twitter and Facebook. For any other questions about the event itself just email email@example.com - YEAH, BINGO! :)