Today (25 March) marks the 6th anniversary of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the charity has announced it has broken through the £7million barrier after its biggest year of fundraising to date.
The total raised for the cancer charity now stands at £7,028,352.
The Foundation, which helps find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer, directly benefits cancer patients from across the North East and Cumbria and is playing its part within wider, international research into the disease.
Last year was very special for everyone involved with the charity with major events like Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration_ at The Sage, Gateshead (February), Stephen Harmison’s Benefit Year, Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction (October), the FA’s Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day (August) and Steve Harper’s Charity Match at St James’ Park (September).
Newcastle Building Society’s popular charity-linked Sir Bobby Robson Foundation ISA and Saver accounts have also made a significant contribution by raising over £700,000 since their introduction in 2012.
There were tremendous individual efforts too with Tony ‘the Fridge’ Phoenix-Morrison running the length of the country carrying a 42kg fridge (August-September), Paul Smith running 65 miles between the North East’s football league clubs in the depths of winter (December) and Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison completing a coast to coast run across Australia in severely challenging running conditions (October-January).
As ever though, it is the sheer volume of relatively small donations and community fundraising events and activities which have brought in the majority of the £1,683,897 raised over the last year - the Great North Runners, dress down Fridays, social club concerts, sponsored swims, coffee mornings and cake bakes. What Sir Bobby described as “the heart of the charity.”
Thanks to all that fundraising, the Foundation continues to fund cutting edge new cancer treatment and helps support the clinical trials of new cancer drugs within the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.
It has been five years since Sir Bobby officially opened the cancer trials centre which shares his name (it opened in February 2009) and in that time more than 3000 patients have been recruited into clinical trials. The centre has started trials with four completely new classes of anticancer drugs as well as being involved in studies leading to the licensing of five drugs, which are now widely available for cancer patients
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is fortunate to have the support of dedicated Patrons within the North East, Suffolk and Norfolk and they all reacted with customary enthusiasm on hearing the new fundraising total.