The Icon Awards are delighted to support the wonderful Beatson Cancer Charity as our official charity partner for 2016! We will be promoting their great work throughout the 2016 campaign as well as raising funds at the gala final and special events.
We sat down with Dawn Ferguson of the Beatson to ask her a few questions about the new partnership.
1. Who are you and what is your role within Beatson Cancer Charity?
Who am I? Good question! I am Dawn Ferguson, I’m 28 (I can officially say I’ll be 30 next year, which is quite terrifying) and stay in Bellshill with my partner Stuart. We also share doggy custody of Bailey, the world’s grumpiest Llhasa Apso. My full title is a ‘Corporate and Events Fundraiser’ based primarily in Lanarkshire. A new radiotherapy treatment centre, Lanarkshire Beatson, opened last year based in the grounds of Monklands Hospital, Airdrie and my job is to raise awareness of this centre with the Lanarkshire business community. Ultimately I try to identify new business support and nurture the businesses we already have on board.
2. How has Beatson Cancer Charity benefited Scottish communities since its inception?
It’s quite overwhelming how much in two and half years the charity has benefited Scottish communities! Beatson Cancer Charity is a highly ambitious organisation which supports and enhances the treatment, care and wellbeing of anyone affected by cancer, across Scotland and beyond. Working in close partnership with the NHS, The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, its related facilities, and Glasgow’s cancer network which boasts an international reputation, we offer the wider community across Scotland a unique opportunity to contribute to the fight against cancer in the broadest possible sense.
The Beatson footprint is remarkable. Its world-class care serves 50% of Scotland’s population! Thanks to the generosity of its dedicated supporters, the charity can deliver high quality patient and family support services. They are delivered not only through the charity’s unique and award-winning Wellbeing Centre but also throughout The Beatson and at related facilities across the west of Scotland where cancer patients are treated including at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the New Victoria Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital and Lanarkshire Beatson. We strive to provide patient and family support and funding where any Beatson patients are treated, wherever this may be.
Specialist Health and Work support is also available through a unique and innovative service for people with a cancer diagnosis and their families/carers who are experiencing work related difficulties. It provides access to specialist staff who are registered health professionals with specific experience in relevant areas including disability management and the Equality Act.
In addition, the charity provides funding to various individuals and institutions involved in the care and investigation of cancer. The key areas of funding are:
Staff Development which enables NHS staff to attend, present and come back with incredibly useful information about the latest cancer treatments being developed around the world.
Specialist Staff Resources – the charity funds internationally recognised specialist nursing, radiography and research based staff that would not otherwise be in post and who make a direct impact on enhancing care and support for cancer patients and their families all across Scotland.
Innovative Service Developments – these have helped thousands of patients from all across Scotland and includes a Weekend Blood Transfusion Service and Lanarkshire Beatson.
Enhanced Medical Equipment – including comfortable electric beds and specialist chairs.
Novel Research Projects – as part of its commitment to the future of cancer research and treatment for our longer living generation, we’re at the forefront of a truly game-changing, state of the art Radiotherapy Research Project which will change and improve the future of cancer treatment and research forever. This incredible project will rightly put Scotland on the map as a key player in the future of our society in the fight against cancer and we’re tremendously proud and inspired to be involved.
So quite a bit so far and we’re just getting started!
3. What are your plans for the future as a charity?
To raise lots more money! Naturally as a fundraiser, that is my first answer. For us, raising the profile of Beatson Cancer Charity has got to be a high priority. Whilst we are relatively well known in Glasgow, considering The Beatson’s catchment area is 50% of Scotland I think it is really important to raise the awareness further afield. Given that we also fund research into cancer, the biggest priority across the board is to find a cure. We are determined that one day this will happen, and with support like The Icon Awards we believe we can.
4. What are your hopes for the new partnership with The Icon Awards?
I’ve seen first hand the great work Scott and his team did with the Icon Awards last year and I was thrilled when I got the phone call to say we were being chosen as the official charity partner. For us, to be part of this really is a dream come true as I believe we will reach out to a lot of people who were maybe unsure about the work of the charity. Of course I hope we raise lots of money to help the 8,000 new patients and their families who visit The Beatson each year, but to have a room full of influential and inspirational people is also invaluable to us. If even half of those people pick up the phone and ask to hear a bit more about the charity or offer their support, then we will have achieved a great deal.
5. Do you have an inspirational Icon?
This is such a toughie. I have two if I’m allowed. Firstly, Malala Yousafzai. I guess this is quite self-explanatory and this isn’t the feminist in me speaking but I think the courage she has shown in her 19 years really is nothing short of inspirational. Anyone who knows me knows I’m determined and I admire people with the same determination. When Malala was shot, the easiest and safest option would be to retreat from the limelight however this only made her more resolute. Incredible.
My second, and he isn’t paying me for this honest, is Scott Barclay. I would never tell him that to his face obviously! Scott has faced some of the biggest challenges you can face in life and not only has he surpassed them, he then goes the extra mile and helps those in a similar position. He has raised thousands of pounds for charity, he is an advocate for LGBTI and disability rights and still finds the time to be an amazing husband and friend.
To learn more about the charity, keep up to date with them or support any of their events before the fabulous Icon gala final on October 23rd, head to http://www.beatsoncancercharity.org/ or follow them on facebook and twitter.