Heartfelt thanks to Patricia Elkington for hosting an evening party in her beautiful garden in Crawley, Hampshire and congratulations to her on raising the amazing sum of £1456.95. We were blessed with perfect weather and guests enjoyed drinks and canapes whilst exploring the garden. Professor Lotery gave a short talk, including his memories of Professor Andrew Elkington who was our previous Prof of Ophth at the University of Southampton.
Paul Osborne and a group of friends organised a trek to Kilimanjaro and decided to turn it into a fundraising event. Paul's nephew Freddie Richards had been diagnosed with acute bilateral cataracts when two years old. After undergoing emergency surgery by Mr Jay Self, and with constant visits to Southampton Eye Unit, Freddie's sight was saved. He will, however, need to continue with regualar check ups while he is still growing. Thanks to the whole team for going through a gruelling trek and raising the staggering sum of £21,500 for children's eye research.
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).
Sam Green and his friends, James Herbert and Lee Elliott all work in China and signed up to run the Mount Fuji Marathon to raise funds for Gift of Sight corneal research, raising an amazing £1385. Sam's mum, Janet, contracted fungal keratitis in 2011. It took seven years and fifteen operations to restore her vision and the family are all very grateful for the care afforded by the clinical team in Southampton Eye Unit. These funds will go towards academic research into diagnosing eye infections a research project currently being undertaken by Mr Parwez Hossain.
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.
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.
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.