Childhood cancer charity thanks the community

Published on: October 6, 2023

Gold Geese, an Essex charity supporting local children living with cancer is thanking the community for ‘Going Gold’ in September to raise funds and increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.

September is childhood cancer awareness month, and around 1,900 children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer each year. Gold Geese, based in Leigh-on-Sea, provides practical and emotional support to families of children and young people fighting cancer in the Southend and Basildon areas.

Now in its 8th year, the charity’s Go Gold campaign last month saw dozens of local businesses and schools turn gold or yellow to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to show their support for local families affected.

Go Gold 2023 kicked off with a special convoy of ten gold and yellow cars which took a tour of the streets of Leigh on Sea.

Other Go Gold events included

  • A golf day fundraiser in Thorpe Bay which raised £30,000 for the charity
  • Dozens of shop windows in Leigh and Rayleigh turning gold
  • Charlie’s Gig, a memorial event remembering a teenager who sadly passed away
  • A spa day for local parents of children with cancer, offering them rest, respite and the opportunity to connect with others in a similar situation
  • Three local women running the Vitality London 10k race, raising £1700
  • Two fundraising events organised by Leigh Lions in Old Leigh, raising over £2000
  • Several schools hosting yellow and gold non-uniform days
  • A stem cell donor ‘swab drive’ at the University of Essex, signing up 25 new potential donors to the international stem cell register

Gold Geese founder Katie Southgate also undertook some random acts of kindness, gifting yellow roses to members of public and huge bunches of flowers to families the charity supports, to link the two communities together and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms.

Since its launch Gold Geese has helped over 100 families with support ranging from funding for mental health therapy and food shop vouchers to toys, weekend trips away and practical help with travel to and from hospital.

Last year Gold Geese collaborated with railway company c2c to launch a gold train emblazoned with geese and its motto ‘We Fly Together’, in order to reach thousands more people in the local area with its message. The train is still in operation and now a well-known sight on the line between Shoeburyness and Fenchurch Street, with photos frequently shared on social media by commuters and visitors to the area.

Katie Southgate, founder of Gold Geese, said:

“This community is just the best, we’re so grateful for everyone who supported Go Gold this year and helped us raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.

“We set up Go Gold as the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer can be similar to other childhood illnesses and hard to spot. The campaign may have wrapped up for the year but our message remains – learn about the symptoms and trust your gut if you feel something’s not right with your child. You can find more information on our website www.goldgeese.org.

Local mum Elaine whose son Fin was diagnosed with cancer, said:

“Go Gold is a very significant month to help raise awareness and understanding about childhood cancer. During our treatment time we met so many other families who like us hadn’t been diagnosed when they first presented with symptoms but had suffered for long periods of time. Early diagnosis is vital as it impacts both the length and severity of treatment but more importantly prognosis.

“Being given a diagnosis is a very dark and lonely time and we were so incredibly luck to receive support and care from Gold Geese. This support, even if it’s just a check in, is vital as it’s so great to know that someone else understands.”

For support, information about the signs and symptoms or to donate visit www.goldgeese.org.

You can also donate to Gold Geese via text. Text GOLD followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70580 (for example, GOLD 50 to donate £50). Texts cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.

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