Book now for Event in Medway for Arts Fundraisers on Thursday, 14 July, 2016

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I first encountered fundraising camps a few years ago when I was about to launch a crowdfunding campaign (my first) for a music project.  I set off for London on a chilly December day and came home energised and inspired, having met some amazing people who generously shared their range of experiences of fundraising with me, and the new skills I learned were so useful, that when, a year later, I had the chance to attend another camp in Canterbury, I booked my ticket immediately. So I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to invite Fundraising UK to bring the format to Medway on:

Thursday, 14 July 2016 from 09:30 to 16:00

Hosted by the University of Kent’s School of Music & Fine Art, this is a fantastic practical opportunity for local and regional arts professionals and fundraisers to learn, share good practice and network. Despite the name, there are no tents involved. (Phew!)

Fundraising Camp is a one-day ‘unconference’-style event for fundraisers: there are no set speakers and no set topics. Each participant is invited to suggest a topic at the beginning of the day. It could be something you know about, it could be a problem or a question you have and you want help with. Each Fundraising Camp invites local fundraising, business, philanthropy or grantmaking experts to help ensure even more practical fundraising knowledge and experience available at the event.

It’s like those valuable networking chat sessions you have at normal conferences – but for a whole day!  Fun, lively and practical, this is a concept that really works.

The venue is The University of Kent, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.  Book here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fundraising-camp-arts-registration-21486231898

Early bird tickets are just £30+VAT for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

More info here: http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/events.html?eid=18365&view_by=month&date=20160724&category=&tag=

 

Writing, therapy and positive outcomes by Jane Ayres

photo by Jane Ayres
photo by Jane Ayres

When I was younger, writing poetry which described and explored my state of mind during major depression may have saved me from a nervous breakdown.  Artists and writers can, and do,  use their art as a form of self-therapy. Reflective writing with a purpose, intentional or otherwise.

Writing is how I express myself.  I can struggle with words when I speak.  Writing everything down first provides the chance to ensure clarity.  I’ve been doing it all my life.  Fiction, non-fiction, copy-writing, blogging, emails, to do lists……So why am denying myself this proven therapeutic tool now? When I am still coming to terms with losing both my parents to pancreatic cancer in the space of 6 months. Burying the grief, the profound, deep sadness. The anger.  Why do I feel uncomfortable writing about it?

I don’t have children of my own.  Years ago, my maternal instincts found an outlet through caring for a special, adored young cat and when I lost him, I channelled my grief and helplessness into volunteering and fundraising for the Cats Protection League.  Eventually I was able to write about it. Over the past year, I’ve raised funds and tried to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.  When I lose loved ones, I have a desperate need to find a positive outcome from all the tragedy.  It’s a useful way of focussing creative energy.

There is currently a high profile media campaign running which promotes the importance of cancer research.  What it doesn’t say is that not all cancers are equal.  To quote from the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund:

“Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers – just 3% of those diagnosed survive for five years. It is also the only cancer that has seen no improvement in this figure over the last 40 years.

Overall, half of all those diagnosed with a cancer now survive for five years or more. For many cancers, five year survival rates have increased hugely since the 1970s. For breast cancer – where large amounts have been spent on research – five year survival rates have increased from 50% to 80%.

Yet despite its high death rate and lack of improvement in chances of survival, pancreatic cancer attracts little research funding in comparison with many other cancers.”

Although I’m not yet ready to write about my feelings,   I’m glad that I can use what I write as a tool to raise awareness of issues that concern me which relate to my bereavement.  So if this results in even one reader making a donation to, or getting involved with, these charities, then the words have done their job.

Links:  http://pancreaticcanceraction.org/    http://www.pcrf.org.uk/

On therapeutic writing:  http://www.lapidus.org.uk/about.php

Jane’s recent e-book, Coming Home, is available from Amazon, with all author royalties going to the charity Cats Protection.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AGZV9WM

www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk