Brain tumour charity Hammer Out raises nearly £23,000 in Thornbury
A BRAIN tumour charity in Thornbury is celebrating a bumper year on its milestone tenth anniversary thanks to a dedicated band of fundraisers and campaigners.
Hammer Out's continued efforts to offer relief and emotional support to patients and their families through a traumatic and frightening time in their lives has been bolstered with a staggering £22,500 collected at a host of events since January.
Charity founder and chief executive Tina Mitchell Skinner launched the organisation initially as a helpline for brain tumour sufferers after her husband was diagnosed with the condition.
In 2003, after he passed away, she formed a support group and Hammer Out was born.
She told the Gazette that donors' generosity had far surpassed her team's wildest hopes.
"We didn't have a target for the tenth anniversary events as such," she said. "However, the monies which we have brought in through the tenth anniversary events have more than exceeded our expectations. The community is amazing."
Thornburians came out in force to scale down St Mary's Church tower during a huge charity abseil, all helping to raise £5,500 for Hammer Out.
Other smaller events, including tea parties and coffee mornings, swelled the grand total by a further £700. The Three Peaks Challenge last weekend (August 16-18) is expected to rake up £1,000.
Around £15,000 in sponsorships have been pledged so far to fundraisers set to embark on a Kilimanjaro trek on September 19.
The sum will go towards the costs of these services as well as running the charity's 11 support groups across the South West and Midlands.
It will also allow volunteers and staff to offer home visits and provide telephone support and counselling.
The success of the past eight months has spurred Mrs Mitchell Skinner on in her mission to widen the charity network and reach out to patients in need much further afield.
Raising awareness of the organisation's work is crucial to accomplish this goal.
"We could always do better, as all our work is dependent on the money which we raise and I am always looking at ways in which we can improve our fundraising strategies as well as how to engender enthusiasm amongst our supporters," she added.
"The aim for our tenth anniversary has been not only to raise money, but also to raise awareness and I have to say, we have achieved both. We still have a lot of work to do with raising awareness of Hammer Out, as it is surprising how many of the local community don't know about us."
To sign up to the charity's upcoming skydives and Kilimanjaro trek visit www.hammerout.co.uk
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