Published on: September 14, 2023
Gold Geese, an Essex charity supporting local children living with cancer is calling on the community to ‘Go Gold’ this month 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 year1. 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.
Since its launch the charity 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.
Now in its 8th year, the Go Gold campaign sees 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 earlier this month with a special convoy of ten gold and yellow cars which took a tour of the streets of Leigh on Sea, with passersby waving in delight and other drivers tooting their horns in support.
Other Go Gold events this month include
- dozens of shop windows in Leigh and Rayleigh turning gold
- 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
- two fundraising events organised by Leigh Lions in Old Leigh
- a golf day fundraiser in Thorpe Bay
- several schools hosting yellow and gold non-uniform days
- and a stem cell donor ‘swab drive’ at the University of Essex
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:
“Our annual Go Gold campaign is a brilliant way to show your support for local children living with cancer. You can help us by Going Gold at school or work by wearing yellow or gold for the day, holding a bake sale or helping us raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.
“We rely on community support and fundraising to do our work and receive no Government funding, so every little bit helps.”
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 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.