Ellie Keeling, who has fundraised for us throughout the three years of her PhD studies, has finally completed her studentship. She has had some good papers published and will remain with the vision research team as a Postdoctoral scientist with funding from Gift of Sight for her first two years. Well done Ellie and good luck with your Viva. (students hand in their thesis and then have to defend their doctorate in a verbal examination).
I was delighted to attend a Concert by Winchester Chamber Orchestra on Saturday 12 January 2019. A fabulous programme, organised by the Musical Director Craig Lawton, included an Overture to Preciosa (Carl Maria von Weber) Gli Uccelli (The Birds) by Ottorino Respighi and some Elgar and Beethoven following the interval. Thank you so much for raising funds for us at the Concert and to the audience for their generous donations. Our photo shows the lead violinist and some members of Winchester Chamber Orchestra acknowledging the rapturous applause.
Grateful thanks to James and Tracey Trantham who held a fundraising party to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Friends and family rallied round and a fantastic £5770 has been raised to help Mr Parwez Hossain and his corneal research team. Dan (pictured above) has been undergoing treatment for many years and has been helped by new treatments that have been implemented following years of research. This has to be one of the most successful fundraising parties ever!! Thank you all for your generous support and to Tracey and James for their efficient and amazing fundraising skills..
Jane Hannifan, a regular and amazing supporter of Gift of Sight, organised a group of friends to make up a team of Gift of Sight walkers for the Rotary Romsey Test Way Walk on the 14 October 2018. Jane, Clare Todd and Jenny Bewley walked 25.5 miles, Ian Searle, Di and Phil Ward, Carolyn Redrupp and Angela Smith walked the 16 mile distance. The weather was foul and well done to all of you for your significant fundraising and determination to complete your routes. Congratulations and huge thanks from us all!
Ed Hannifan ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 14 October 2018 and raised over £600 for Gift of Sight. On the same day his Mum, Jane, walked 25.5miles on the Romsey Test Way Walk. Amazing family support and congratulations Ed on raising more than your target. Your ongoing fundraising assistance is hugely appreciated.
Alan Blair (Chair of GoS Advisory Board) and Ailsa were delighted to be asked to present the winning cup to Godolphin’s representative after Global Hero won division 2 of The Gift Of Sight Appeal EBF Novice Stakes. We spent the afternoon at the racecourse and a team of volunteers with buckets collected over £600 for Gift of Sight from generous racegoers on the day. Huge thanks to Mr Jeff Smith (Chairman of Salisbury Racecourse), Jeremy Martin (Clerk & Executive Director) and all the team at Salisbury who made us so very welcome. The BEST day out! Ever.
Many thanks to our volunteer helpers at Longstock Water Gardens on Sunday 16 September. We're always grateful for your help! Gift of Sight was the charity for the day and, because of the beautiful weather, a record number of people visited the garden for the last open day of the year. Gift of Sight will receive £500 from the Leckford Estate and we collected £101 in a bucket on the day. This income will support our Corneal fund to help research into front of eye diseases. Our sincere thanks to the staff at Longstock Park Water Gardens for their help and advice on the day.
Gift of Sight researchers were delighted to meet with patients and supporters at The Island, Greatbridge for coffee and a tour of a beautiful garden. Many thanks to Sarah and Christopher Saunders-Davies for inviting us to spend time browsing around their grounds on a lovely sunny day. The event was held to promote the benefits of being outside and was an ideal opportunity for us to spend some enjoyable time together.
Grateful thanks to Mr Kuti and his team for fundraising in aid of Gift of Sight on the 7 August 2018. All guests were invited to an evening buffet and we were invited to raise awareness of our research with Matt Le Tissier giving a brief talk about our work. Alan Blair, Chair of our Advisory Board, followed with further details and a team of researchers mingled with guests selling raffle tickets and discussing research. Huge thanks for this opportunity Kuti's team - and for your generosity and kindness on the night.
Barbara Laws decided that she would have a 'bucket list' of things to do upon reaching a milestone birthday. Having whizzed down zipwires and ridden a horse she decided to raise money for Gift of Sight by jumping out of a plane. Being with Barbs and her family was an absolute joy and she loved every minute of her experience, raising in excess of £1000 for our vital research. Huge thanks to her family and friends who sponsored her and to her relatives who were with us at Old Sarum on the day of her jump. Inspiring!!
A team of nurses from the Ouptatients Department at Southampton Eye Unit raised funds for Gift of Sight by joining in Gung Ho on Southampton Common in July. We always appreciate help from the people who care for patients and thank you all for your tremendous assistance for our research projects.
The Pilgrims Boys at the top of Ben Nevis, the first mountain climbed as part of the Three Peaks Challenge. The team raised in excess of £2500 for Gift of Sight, finishing their challenge in 22.5 hours. Starting at Ben Nevis at 6.00am on 17 June the boys walked 23 miles, achieving a total ascent of 10,052ft and covered a driving distance of 462 miles. Huge congratulations to the parents, the school and the boys for all the organisation involved in this epic challenge.
Many thanks to 'Team Lotery' for running the ABP Half Marathon on the hottest day of this year. They have raised over £2500 which is an amazing amount and will be a huge help to our vision science research team.
Rodney Mansbridge and his fellow Freemasons presented two cheques (each for £455) to Ailsa Walter at a Carol Singing evening at Kings Court, Chandlers Ford in December 2017. As usual it was a fun-filled evening hosted by Kings Court Lodge 8441 and with guests from Norman Court Lodge 4124. Many thanks to Rodney and Jenny Mansbridge for their ongoing help and support for our vision science research.
Vickie Lush baked and iced an amazing Christmas cake to raffle to raise funds for Gift of Sight. Tickets were sold around the Gift of Sight office in Highfield and was supported by many colleagues in the building. The cake raffle raised £110 and it was won by Jeanette Valentine, a member of the University Marketing team. This photo shows Shaun Williams, UoS Executive Director of Engagement and Advancement presenting the cake to Jeanette. She has reported back that it was delicious! Thanks for your further fundraising help Vickie!!
Bro Jon Whittaker visited the children's area of Southampton Eye Unit to present a cheque for £6000 to Mr Jay Self (Consultant Ophthalmologist) following a public vote as part of the Freemasons three hundred year celebrations. The funds will be used to purchase a new piece of imaging equipment to help diagnose young patients. This will also assist our academic team by providing data for research projects. We are always hugely grateful for support from the many Freemasons lodges and chapters in the Province of Hampshire & The Isle of Wight. They have donated on many occasions in the past and are good friends of Gift of Sight.
Thank you to everyone who voted for us, ensuring that this most recent gift will help our children's eye research.
Huge thanks to Vickie Lush for organising a quiz night with ploughman's supper in Shawford Village Hall at the end of October. Aided by a group of friends and family on the evening, Vickie organised meals for 120 people and, together with a bar and raffle, raised over £2000 for Gift of Sight.
Ailsa went along to help in the background and enjoyed the 'buzz' in the room. The quiz masters were amazingly professional and the whole evening was full of fun and laughter.
Thank you to you all!