Founder of Lupus Five Appeal hails 'amazing' support
FROM speaking at the World Lupus Day Concert to helping out at school fetes and lobbying for support, it has been a busy few months for members of the Passmores Academy Lupus Five appeal since the launch of their mammoth fundraising challenge in June.
But with almost 50 local companies now on board and £8,500 already raised for charities supporting sufferers of the autoimmune disease, the dedicated team of more than 70 students have managed to get things off to a flying start.
The Lupus Five – originally set up by teacher and Lupus sufferer Jules Ruddick shortly after he went into remission from the disease – aims to raise £100,000 following a five-day endurance challenge to cycle, row and run more than 320 miles.
"It has been non-stop these last few months, what with trying to organise everything for the actual challenge on top of sorting out various fundraising events," said Jules. "But all the kids have been brilliant, and the support we have received from local businesses and community groups overwhelming."
Although Jules will be tackling the endurance event – which is set to begin on September 13 – alone, more than 50 pupils and 12 staff members from Passmores have signed up to join him at various intervals en route.
The rest of the student group have been busy overseeing the marketing, communications, graphic design and fundraising operations for the project.
"I couldn’t be prouder of all the kids involved," said Jules. "They have worked so hard and willingly given up their summer holiday to train, organise events, chase up sponsorship and so on. They are incredible."
With groups including schools, sports clubs, the local authorities, independent and national businesses, and various individuals coming together to offer their support for the fundraiser, Jules said he was confident the group would achieve their target.
"It is a huge challenge both from the fundraising and endurance side, but that was always the point," he said.
"It has been amazing to see so many people in the community be so supportive of what we are doing and we are always keen to hear from anyone else who thinks they can help in any way.
"If the result of all our hard work is that one day a cure for Lupus is found then it has been worth it."
A fun day organised by the Harlow branch of NatWest is the next big fundraising event for the appeal. Taking place on Saturday (August 25), staff will be running a number of stalls from 10.30am- 2pm.
For more information about the Lupus Five appeal, to make a donation or offer your support, visit www.thelupusfive.org.
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