Local Children’s Cancer Charity Celebrates 5th Birthday – Gold Geese

Published on: June 15, 2023

Gold Geese has helped over 100 families affected by childhood cancer; Thanks local community

Local children’s cancer support charity Gold Geese celebrates its 5th birthday this month.

Since its launch in 2018, the charity has helped over 100 local families affected by childhood cancer, increased awareness of signs and symptoms of childhood cancer and boosted local blood donation and stem cell registrations.

Katie Southgate, Founder and CEO of Gold Geese, said:

“We originally started out as Hattie’s Heroes which was a community rallying to support our own family’s childhood cancer journey.

“Five years ago we took flight as Gold Geese with the aim of supporting every local child affected by cancer and encouraging more people to recognise the signs and symptoms as they can be similar to other childhood illnesses.

“We’ve grown from strength to strength because of the incredible support of our local community so we want to say a huge thank you to all our supporters and volunteers.

“A special thank you to the Paediatric Community Nurse team, especially Connie for her referrals and support, and Neptune Ward’s Play Specialist Clare Gentry for maintaining contact between us and the families that need us.

“You power us so we can be there for families and we’re so grateful.”

Gold Geese provides practical and emotional support to local families of children and young people fighting cancer. Support is tailored to each family’s needs and ranges from funding for mental health therapy and food shop vouchers to toys, weekend trips away and practical help with travel to and from hospital.

The charity relies on community support and fundraising and will be sharing some highlights on their social media pages this month, with events over the last five years including

  • its annual Go Gold campaign where local shops and schools turn Gold in September
  • turning a c2c train Gold
  • a much-loved Christmas Grotto
  • Nuclear Races mud run, golf days, bike rides
  • events at The Hatch, The Boundary and Leigh Community Centre.

 

One event being highlighted is Charlie’s Gig, which was held in 2018 in honour of a local teenager who needed a bone marrow transplant.

Gold Geese worked with Charlie Reed, a keen musician, to encourage local people to register as potential bone marrow donors while he was waiting for his own transplant.

Just days before Charlie headed into hospital for weeks of isolation, to endure huge doses of chemotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant, he headlined his own gig organised by the charity.

Katie Southgate explained:

“Charlie played like a rock star to his fans in Leigh-on-Sea. We produced printed memorabilia with Charlie’s slogan, festival wristbands for all the fans – some of which are still worn! – and confetti cannons to top off the lasers and smoke machines.

“Charlie sadly passed away and is sorely missed by so many, every day. His family will always have our love and support.”

Another family sharing their experience this month is local mum Sam whose daughter Piper was diagnosed with lymphoma and who said:

“When Piper was diagnosed with cancer it was the worst day of our lives, everything changed from that day. With all the bad moments we’ve had, we’ve also had some good and life brought us Katie and Gold Geese and I’ll be forever grateful.

“Gold Geese have provided us with shopping vouchers and hotel stays so we can all be together during lengthy hospital stays. They also provided days out for us, which are equally important because those days we can feel like a ‘normal’ family. Just receiving these kind gestures and help really does alleviate some of the stress and pressure that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

“The support that Gold Geese provide means so much to so many people going through such horrific and life-changing times.”

You can donate to Gold Geese via its website www.goldgeese.org or 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.

  • A donation of £20 could provide toys or comfy new pyjamas for a child with cancer staying in hospital
  • £45 funds an hour’s counselling session for a bereaved family
  • £280 funds a memorial bench for a child who has passed away
  • £400 funds a big end of treatment celebration for friends and family
  • £700 covers the cost of a weekend away for a family to offer respite

 

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