Teachers Gill and Rob Ratcliffe live in Wrexham, North Wales and have volunteered for Beating Bowel Cancer in many ways, from supporting and managing collections in supermarkets and shopping centres to helping out at awareness stands. They’ve also been involved in cycling fundraising events such as the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey 100.
They first became involved after losing their son Jonny to bowel cancer. “He had no awareness of the disease, so volunteering gave us a focus – to raise awareness and help make a difference.
“We first supported Beating Bowel Cancer with a cycling event in France – 115 miles in a day. We raised over 20k. This triggered our connection with the charity and when we presented them with the cheque they were so grateful and welcoming. So we started doing more.”
The couple have since taken part in two more major cycling events, including RideLondon.
“We organised a concert at Jonny’s old school and have organised street and bucket collections,” Gill says.
“Our friends have held coffee mornings and have held collections at funerals in memory of people. And we’ve helped with awareness stands. Whenever we can help with them we will.
“If one person needs help or advice at a collection or awareness stand and we can point them in the right direction and make that difference, that’s what it’s all about.
“I’m always amazed by how supportive people are – particularly friends and family – when we tell them what we’re doing with the charity.
“If anyone is thinking about volunteering, I’d say don’t hesitate. We have made lots of new friends and have had the privilege to get to know so many people. It’s great being able to make a difference to people’s lives.”
Gill and Rob have very recently helped form a Bowel Cancer Champions group for Beating Bowel Cancer in Wrexham, North Wales; if you would like to join the group please contact Roxanne Cullen