Monday, 28 March 2011

Celebrating three years as a registered charity.

Three years ago today, LLTGL became an official registered charity. We have come so far in those three years and in some ways it seems a long time ago, in others, it seems only yesterday. Back in 2008 - our first year as a charity - some of our most memorable moments include our wonderful Jess spreading the word across the country by appearing on Noel's HQ, Nelly, our London advocate at the time, organising her own segment of the world's biggest walk, which Oli and Emily joined her and her family in completing (you can see the video here). That year we also had our very first advocate and trustee away day, and Holly's Battlefront project commenced; a project that would conclude in 2009 with a personal message of congratulations from the PM on the Downing St website! The biggest highlight that year was of course being named "Campaigning Team of the Year" at the Charity Times Awards - we were stunned but extremely proud!

2009 was another very busy year, with Holly's Donor Day capturing the hearts and minds of people all over the country. Team Jac braved gail force winds and icey rain to do the coastal walk and raise over £20,000 for LLTGL in May of that year, and the ever-inspiring Team Ethan joined the fight to raise funds and awareness, which they continue to do to this day, despite their gorgeous little boy loosing his fight just one month after his transplant. When the film My Sister's Keeper came out, Advocate Andrea Evans encouraged people to write to their local cinemas asking them to display donor leaflets in the foyer during the peroid that the film was shown. Andrea also managed to star in the Vodaphone "who would you donate your time to?" advert, getting Organ Donation a wonderful plug on TV! Emily featured in a short awareness film as well that year, entitled "I'd Give You One" after the cheeky LLTGL slogan T-shirt.

Our wonderful Jess was by then extremely ill and in September 2009, a twitter campaign entitled "Save Jess" was launched, which quickly gained attention of news channels and celebrities from across the UK. Following this, Save Jess-tival was swiftly created and took place in October, with the beautiful Natalie Imbruglia spearheading the event, and Jess taking her place as the inspirational and very special guest.

2010 started very sadly, when we lost our lovely Jess on January 12th. All at LLTGL were shaken by this hugely sad loss, but we knew we had to motivate ourselves to continue the fight that Jess had dedicated so much of her time and energy on. That year LLTGL Trustees attended several key talks and conferences, including the BTS conference, and the ETCO conference, where Emily addressed over 500 delegates from all over the globe. Yet more wonderful fundraising events took place, including Ts in the Park who selected LLTGL as the charity to benefit from their event that year. That Christmas, our Tor's Xmas Wish twitter campaign got attention from a variety of celebrities including Philip Schofield, Sarah Brown, and Peter Jones.

As well as these key events, LLTGL continues to regularly run media campaigns, support transplant patients, run educational talks and presentations, give talks as guest speakers at a variety of events, distribute Robyn's Rainbows, and many other things on a day to day basis.

None of the work we have done over the last 3 years would have been possible without the help and support of so many people. From past Trustees who have helped us achieve so much, to volunteers who give up their time and energy to support us in what we do - our charity is strong because of you.

We are excited and optimistic about the next three years, and hoping that they will be even bigger, even brighter, and even more successful.

With love and thanks to all our wonderful supporters,

The LLTGL Trustees


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