Young cancer patients across the West Midlands are to benefit from a new charitable partnership with a leading regional building society.
The West Brom will be embarking on a fundraising drive for Teenage Cancer Trust over the next 12 months after staff voted it their charity of the year.
Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with cancer aged between 13 and 24.
It has a strong presence in the West Midlands, where it operates three specialist teenage cancer units at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Northfield, together with an outreach service.
Regional Fundraiser Emily Cooper said: “Every year around 200 young people in this region alone are given the devastating news that they have cancer and overnight their lives head in a different direction to their friends. By 2020 we want to make sure every young person fighting this disease has access to our specialist units.
“As a charity we receive no government funding and it costs around £900,000 a year to deliver our services in the West Midlands. This is why the support of organisations such as the West Brom is vital to our work and we cannot thank them enough for selecting us.”
West Brom Chief Executive Jonathan Westhoff added: “Cancer is a devastating illness at any age, but when you learn that the disease kills more young people than any other, you realise how important the Trust’s work is.
“It is clear that this charity is very close to the hearts of our colleagues and we believe that together we can have a tangible impact on the support offered to young cancer sufferers in this region.”
Fundraising is already under way, with a team of West Brom colleagues calling themselves the ‘Peaky Climbers’ collecting £1,000 in sponsorship money by walking up Snowdon. Two runners, Jazz Sahota and Leah Robinson, completed the Tough Mudder Half Midlands obstacle course at Belvoir Castle, raising £500.
Later this month, the building society will host a corporate golf day at Swindon Golf Club near Wombourne, with 23 teams lined up to take part.
Since its foundation more than 165 years ago, supporting local communities has been an abiding principle of the West Brom. Colleagues and customers helped to raise an impressive £28,000 last year for nominated charity Edward’s Trust, which offers bereavement support to children and families.