I spent a very interesting couple of hours outside Tesco in Heswall on Saturday morning holding a bucket to collect money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, a 50 year old charity that raises money for actual research into these horrible cancers. Lots of charities offer support, information and so on, but few actually raise money and have their own labs investigating and seeking cures.
In those two hours, I collected just over £156, which I thought was an excellent total given that there were two of us on shift. It was very interesting to see the sort of people who were donating money and chat to some of those who did.
Mostly, the donors were elderly, female and often with a story to tell of a loved one who had or has leukaemia or lymphoma. There were people in wheelchairs and young kids, desperate for a sticker. “Thanks Mum!”
Fewer were young or even middle aged men. It was noticeable that the most generous were those that appeared to have the least – a sign of the times, and an encouragement to try to do more to help.
However, this is the last time that these particular buckets will be aired. In their infinite wisdom, the great and the good of this charity have decided to change the name to “Bloodwise” in September. How incredibly stupid is this? “Bloodwise”? What does that mean?
At present, this is one of those charities that does exactly what it says on the collecting tin. “Bloodwise” means nothing.
Every time someone goes out collecting for “Bloodwise”, they will have to explain what the charity is for, what it does and who it helps. During this time, other donors will be missed. Not so with “LLR”.
“Bloodwise” could be collecting money for diabetes, sycle-cell disease, HIV, anaemia or any number of other blood-related disorders.
I have spoken to and Tweeted the charity, for whom I am a supporter and recent committee member. The general membership are up in arms about this ridiculous and expensive name change, but apparently the decision has been made, after two years of “widespread consultation”.
People have already resigned from the fund raising committee locally and I can see more joining them. They have been desperate to bring younger members to the committee (like me!) because many have been leaving from having served on it for decades. They are going to find it very hard indeed to recruit if the purpose and aims of the charity aren’t absolutely clear.
With “Bloodwise”, that most certainly is not the case.
Shame on the powers that be – it will be the patients and dedicated supporters who suffer, not them. I will keep a close eye on their accounts going forward, paying particular attention to the amount and proportion donated to actual research.
When is their AGM, I wonder?