Back in our Summer Newsletter, we described this month as a "Super September" in terms of fundraising for Cecily's Fund by our supporters - and that's what it is turning out to be!
On Saturday 24 September, Super September will see its culmination when two Cecily's Fund supporters - including Cecily's sister Verity - take on the first-ever Swim Serpentine in central London. You can read lots more about their amazing efforts in our news story.
Basil Gets the Wheels Turning With "Ride and Stride" [Donate]
This very special month of fundraising began with the efforts of our co-founder Basil Eastwood (pictured, left). On September 10, he took part in the 2016 edition of "Ride and Stride", cycling between 20 Oxfordshire churches. Basil's efforts raised money partly for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust (OHCT - of which Basil is chair) and partly for Cecily's Fund. He has raised an amazing £1,200 so far - of which half will go to Cecily's Fund.
Marc Hits the Road, London to Brighton [Donate]
Just a day after Basil's cycle, another one took place. On September 11, supporter Marc Monsarrat (pictured, right) rode the popular and challenging route from London to Brighton, once again raising money for Cecily's Fund. At the completion of his journey Marc was met by his family, including his wife Veronica - a Cecily's Fund trustee, Cecily's cousin, and our first-ever employee. To date, Marc has raised over £1,000. "I did it!", Marc said of the day. " A lovely day of brilliant sunshine, only one puncture, a fun pit-stop lunch with Veronica and Eva, and a restorative burger on Brighton beach in front of a glorious sunset.”
Kate Takes on the World in Mexico [Donate]
Maybe the most exciting of all the fundraising events in September is that of Kate Williams, who we have been talking about for a few months now. Kate took part in the first-ever London Marathon back in 1981 but in the last few years has taken up a new hobby: triathlon. To her surprise, Kate qualified to take part in the ITU World Championships for her age group in Cozumel, Mexico. The event took place on September 15 and while Kate wasn't happy with her time, she said "thanks to everyone who sponsored me and gave to Cecily's Fund." So far, she's raised £750.
Thank you so much to all our amazing fundraisers! If you're inspired by what they have done this month, please consider sponsoring them and helping us make a terrific impact in Zambia. Even better, why not find out how you can take on an event of your own?
On Saturday September 24, two intrepid Cecily's Fund supporters will take on the first-ever Swim Serpentine event, raising money for our life-changing work in Zambia.
The culmination of our Super September of fundraising events, Swim Serpentine is a new mass-participation swim created by the minds behind the London Marathon. Together with thousands of others, Cecily's sister Verity Eastwood-Dewing (pictured) and Tim Cooke-Hurle will swim one mile in the Serpentine, the lake within London's iconic Hyde Park. "I'm going to swim a mile around the Serpentine for Cecily's Fund", Tim says, "because it's a great cause that helps thousands of kids."
Verity and Tim have been training hard for this challenging event, and their fundraising has got off to a great start - together they've raised over £1,400 for Cecily's Fund; enough to train 18 our of Peer Educators, or to send around 14 children to school.
To give our swimmers some extra encouragement and to help boost their impact in Zambia, please consider sponsoring them:
Verity, Tim and Cecily's Fund would hugely appreciate your support. What we're calling Super September has already seen our co-founder cycle around Oxfordshire, supporters Kate and Marc take on the triathlon world championships in Mexico and cycle from London to Brighton, respectively. Collectively, these events have raised almost £4,000 for our work - an amazing total. Please support Verity and Tim and help us make an even bigger splash in Zambia!
Cecily's Day, our annual celebration, comes around again this week. We'd love for you to join us for a picnic and the chance to discuss the difference we are making in Zambia as we look towards our 20th year.
Cecily's Day is always special. It's a unique opportunity for our supporters, staff and trustees to meet in the beautiful environment of Stonesfield Manor's gardens. In 2016, it is more important still - because this year's event will be the last to take place in Stonesfield before an exciting move closer to our office in Witney in 2017. Additionally, a major theme of this year's event is looking forward to next year, our 20th anniversary year.
All our supporters are welcome as ever, and we very much hope you will be able to join us. We'll gather at Stonesfield Manor (OX29 8QB) at 1pm. We'll then go to the nearby church where you can meet our staff and trustees and hear some short presentations on our achievements in Zambia over the last 12 months. Finally, we'll return to the gardens of the manor for the usual Cecily's Day picnic. Other things to look forward to include:
- Brand new 2016 Christmas cards on sale
- Brand new, revised Gifts of Hope on sale
- Informative displays on our work
Please bring your own picnic, your friends and family and any chairs you may need to Stonesfield Manor at 1pm this Saturday and help us celebrate and enjoy this special day. We'll be posting on social media using the hashtag #CecilysDay - we hope you will join us there, too! If you like, you can also RSVP on Facebook.
By phone: 01993 358 089 / 186
Once again, an intrepid group of runners took on the British 10K London Run on July 10. So far, they have already raised over £3,250 for Cecily’s Fund.
The British 10K London Run once again played host to some stellar athletic and fundraising efforts in 2016. Cecily’s Fund supporters have been a part of this event for many years, and this year’s team have again done us proud.
Southborough High School contributed a number of runners again this year, after joining us for the first time in 2015. Cecily’s sister Philippa and her husband Louw also took part, each bringing along some of their colleagues to join in. The Doughty Street Dashers, the running team from Doughty Street Chambers of which Philippa is a part, have their own long history of running the 10K for Cecily’s Fund.
So far, the runners have collectively raised over £3,250 for our work in Zambia - a fantastic total which will help to make a huge difference to the lives and futures of young people in Zambia. Cecily’s Fund is extremely grateful to everyone who took part and who sponsored our amazing runners!
Visit our Fundraisers' Pages
A Cecily's Fund team will once again face the British 10K London Run on July 10. For the second year running, a contingent from Southborough High School in Kingston-upon-Thames will be involved - but all 18 runners will be doing everything they can to raise money for our work in Zambia.
The British 10K London Run is a special event each year for Cecily's Fund. It's one of the longest-standing events in our fundraising calendar, and certainly in which our supporters have most consistently been involved with. On July 10, another team of 18 will take on this event to raise money for our work - and as usual, we have a mix of familiar and new faces this year.
In 2015, a group of staff from Southborough High School joined our team and raised a great total. This year, Southborough are joining us again, with some runners looking to improve on their time from last year. Some team members have begun their fundraising, with the rest soon to follow:
- Southborough High School [Donate]
- Camilla Darling [Donate]
- Jenny Box [Donate]
- Caitlin Scheybeler [Donate]
There is now less than three weeks until the big run on July 10, and while sponsorship pages will remain open afterwards, now is a great time to give our runners a boost. Please consider visiting one of their pages today and supporting both our brilliant team and our essential work in Zambia.
Kate Williams is raising money for Cecily's Fund this year in a unique way - by representing Great Britain in the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Mexico on September 15.
Kate, from Boar's Hill, has always been active - she took part in the first ever London Marathon in 1981 - but she is new to triathlons. Despite only taking up the sport in 2014, Kate was able to qualify in the 65-69 age group during an event in Eton Dorney back in May. Now, she can compete against triathlets from around the world on the spectacular island of Cozumel, located off the coast of Mexico's Yucatán peninsula.
“There may only be 30 or 40 competitors in my group in Cozumel”, Kate says, “but the competition will be fierce. I am thrilled to be competing at that level in the World Championships”. Kate is also seizing a great opportunity to fundraise for Cecily's Fund, which she describes as just the sort of charity she likes. ”It is small but making a big contribution to tackling a serious but neglected problem.”
A JustGiving page is already open and ready to accept your sponsorship. Please join with us in supporting Kate as she not only takes on the world of triathlon, but also generously lends her efforts to raising money for Cecily's Fund. Your sponsorship will help motivate Kate and help Cecily's Fund make a tremendous impact on the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Zambia.
Please sponsor Kate today by visting her JustGiving page, and be sure to look out for more updates on her progress as she prepares for this amazing opportunity in Mexico.
Cecily's cousin Anstice is the latest supporter to help us make a huge impact in Zambia. By taking on the Hackney Half Marathon for the second time in May, Anstice has so far raised sponsorship of over £1,200.
We hugely appreciate Anstice's tremendous achievement, which has raised enough money to enable Cecily's Fund to support around 25 children with their school fees - and in turn, to significantly improve the futures of those children.
Anstice's JustGiving page is still open to donations. If you're inspired by what runners like Anstice and Sarah, or other fundraisers like Martin, have done then you're in luck. Cecily's Fund has two fantastic opportunities to fundraise open right now. You can find out more about the British 10K London Run and the first-ever Swim Serpentine on our Join In page.
On Monday 23 May, the Cecily’s Fund staff team and Trustees were extremely saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Gift Shanyinde, Community Mobilization Officer at our partner Afya Mzuri. He was involved in a serious car accident in Zambia last week and died from his injuries.
Gift was based in Afya’s Kitwe office and had been responsible for implementing our education support programme for several years. Gift’s conscientiousness and dedication to supporting orphans into education enabled Cecily’s Fund to reach thousands of vulnerable children and strengthen links with schools and the Ministry of Education in Kitwe.
At one time an employee of our former partner organisation Hodi, he transferred to Afya Mzuri when our new partnership began in 2013. He worked closely with schools and communities in and around Kitwe, advocating for better education and health provision for orphaned and vulnerable children. One key part of his role was to conduct field visits to schools and colleges to monitor the progress and welfare of children supported by Cecily’s Fund and Afya Mzuri.
Gift often served as a key point of contact in the important partnership between Cecily’s Fund and Afya Mzuri. He was a welcoming presence for visitors to Zambia, such as when Comic Relief sent teams to document the stories of three Cecily’s Fund-supported children in 2014. Gift would later describe these occasions as his favourite memory of his job.
Mutale Bowa, Executive Director of Afya Mzuri, said: “Gift was a humble, hardworking and committed young man. He was able to fit in with the different groups he worked with and bring himself to their level - be it the pupils we supported, the contact teachers or other community members, Gift managed to fit in.”
The news of Gift’s accident and of his passing has had a tremendous impact on everyone who knew and worked with him. Our thoughts are with Gift’s family, friends and colleagues at this most difficult time.
A further piece about Gift will be published in our summer newsletter.