Category: Fundraising

This Sunday 19 June is Dinosaur Day, our annual fundraiser to help us continue our work supporting UK families with disabled children.

We’d love to know what you are doing to celebrate the day.

And don’t forget to share what you get up to on social media with us by using the hashtag #DinoDay2022

It’s not too late to take part

There are lots of ways to take part on and around Dinosaur Day this year.  

Find out more about how to get involved on 19 June, Dinosaur Day and the inspirational story that lies behind it.

Donate to Contact

You can also donate to support Contact’s free family support services directly.

Every £10 you donate to Contact could put £47 into the pockets of families who need it most.

Not only does taking part in Dinosaur Day 2022 help raise vital funds to that help us continue our work supporting UK families with disabled children, it’s also a time to remember the short life of a very brave little boy Cameron (Cam) Mathieson and the enormous legacy he left behind.

Cam’s dad, Craig, wanted to share a message with you if you’re thinking about taking part in Dinosaur Day this year:

We started Dinosaur Day, or Dowser Day as it originally was (Cameron could not say dinosaur), to remember Cam and celebrate his life on the first birthday after we lost him. Cam only lived for 5 and a quarter years, but he packed more love and laughter into that time than many of us manage in 95 years. We wanted to avoid Cam’s birthday on 19 June being a sad day for anyone, so Dinosaur Day was born as a celebration and an opportunity to raise money and awareness on behalf of all those children like Cam and families like ours.

As a family we are honoured that you still remember Cam on his birthday and that you have helped us to share our “Fun Raiser” so widely and to such good effect. Cam would have loved it!

Cameron Mathieson and his dad Craig

We’re privileged that Cam’s family gifted us Dinosaur Day to raise funds for Contact. That’s why we’re encouraging as many people as possible to get involved. From hosting a bake sale to or setting up a Facebook Fundraiser, there a lots of ways to raise money for Contact this Dinosaur Day.

why not sign up today and receive your fundraising pack full of ideas and tips.

Find out more about how to get involved on 19 June, Dinosaur Day and more about Cam’s inspirational story that lies behind it.

Take a look at Cam’s dad Craig Mathieson’s Dinosaur Day Facebook Fundraiser to make a donation.

Can you help us raise funds for families with disabled children this Dinosaur Day, 22 June by setting up a Facebook Fundraiser?

It’s one of the easiest way to fundraise and ask your friends and family to donate to support the work Contact does. You can do it from the comfort of your sofa and it only takes a couple of minutes to set one up. Just follow these simple instructions.

By setting up your Facebook Fundraiser you’ll be helping us support even more families. And to show you how much we appreciate your support, for every £50 you raise, we’ll give you a £5 voucher to spend on sensory toys, clothes and equipment in our Fledglings shop.

Other ways to get involved in Dinosaur Day 2022

Setting up a Facebook fundraiser is just one of the ways to get involved with Dinosaur day this year. From hosting a bake sale to having a dinosaur theme party, why not sign up today and receive your fundraising pack full of ideas and tips for having fun and raising vital funds for Contact at the same time.

Find out more about how to get involved on 22 June, Dinosaur Day and the inspiring story behind it.

Middlesex University students' fundraising gig for Contact

Do you know about all the fun and creative ways to support our vital services for families with disabled children in the UK?

This March, a group of students from Middlesex University Cultural Events module from the MA Arts Management programme put on a fantastic show to fundraise for us.

The students organised a fabulous charity gig at one of their local venues, the Claddagh Ring Pub in London, and raised a wonderful £215!

Larisa, one of the organisers, said: “The reason why my team and I chose Contact was because of their hard work done over the years helping families with disabled children.

“The event per se went splendidly. We had a band performing at the Claddagh Ring Pub, which is a pub near our university. The whole Contact team were very welcoming and friendly, helping us with the whole organisation and donating raffle prizes. We had friends and other students from Middlesex University coming and donating.

“Thank you again for being part of this beautiful experience!”

You can watch the students’ band in action on YouTube.

A huge thank you to all involved for all your hard work!

Fundraising for families

Feeling inspired to try something similar? Contact can support you from the word go — and you will help us make a tremendous difference to families with disabled children in the UK.

And with Dinosaur Day coming up next month, now is the perfect time to organise your own event or start an online fundraiser! Find out more about how to get involved with Dinosaur Day.

Read more about fundraising for Contact, or get in touch with us at fundraising@contact.org.uk

The London Marathon is only six months away, and our wonderful team of runners is already raring to go!

On Sunday 2 October, our runners will be pounding the pavements of London, going past the city’s most famous landmarks while thousands of supporters cheer them on.

We still have places in this fantastic event, so get in touch if you’d like to join our team and help us make a huge difference to families with disabled children!

One of our runners, Louise, said: “I have chosen Contact as I have used their services, which have been a lifeline for support and advice.  

“My youngest son Harry has a very rare syndrome called PACS1, autism and associated learning disabilities.  He is a joy to our world, and anyone that knows him can see he is an amazing, happy and resilient kid. He does, however, need specialist schooling and most probably lifelong care. The support Contact has given us has been invaluable.

“So, now it is my chance to give something back to this amazing charity, and help as many families with disabled children as possible.”

If you’d like to support Louise, visit her fundraising page.

We still have places!

If you or someone you know would like to join our team and run the London Marathon, please get in touch today. Email fundraising@contact.org.uk or complete our enquiry form. We will be in touch and support you from the word go!

We can’t do the work we do without people who donate money, raise funds for us by playing our weekly lottery or take part in events like this year’s London Marathon. Charitable trusts and foundations also play an invaluable role, making a huge impact on the lives of families we support by funding the services we offer.

Our fundraising team work tirelessly to find the money we need to keep going and newest member of the team, fundraising assistant Hannah Hassouni, joined us as part of the Kickstart scheme – a government initiative to help 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment due to their circumstances.

Hannah says: “In the three months I have been at Contact I’ve learnt so much about how charities work, and the real difference grants offered by foundations and trusts make to Contact and the families it supports. I’ve also been working on Contact’s online Fledglings shop, by looking for corporate businesses who might help fund Fledglings products for special needs schools.”

Hannah pictured far right alongside other Contact staff members attending a recent event for families

Contact is committed to being an anti-racist organisation that actively strives for greater equity, diversity and inclusion for both our families and our colleagues. We understand that an individual’s circumstances can play a huge part in their ability to get a foot on the work ladder and that traditional routes through education don’t work for everyone. That’s why participating in schemes like Kickstart and securing ongoing funding for roles like Hannah’s, are vitally important to us.

Hannah’s role will be funded by Kickstart until June, when sadly the government scheme comes to an end. During her time with us Hannah has not only helped us to raise funds, she has pushed us to consider things differently, contributed to open conversations about race and how we can reach more families from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Hannah continues: “I am really enjoying my job. After leaving education I found it hard to find a job and I am so grateful to Contact for employing me. I feel I am thriving in this environment and truly believe I’ve found my ideal career! I’ve learnt so much from my new colleagues who are really committed to teaching me about all the different parts of the charity sector. I really hope I can continue at Contact once my Kickstart placement ends.”

Peter Beeby, CEO of Prospectus who helped us recruit Hannah to the role says “I think it’s a great way of supporting young people into work, and for me introducing young diverse talent into the charity sector.”

If you are a funder who can help us replace the support Kickstart offered please get in touch by emailing fundraising@contact.org.uk.

We’re happy to have given almost 50 Contact Weekly Lottery players a little bonus this month!

That’s an average of 11 players a week taking home £5 and £25 prizes – though with a chance to win up to £10,000!

Support our vital services and win prizes

The Contact Weekly Lottery is a great, low-cost and easy way to support our vital support services for families with disabled children across the UK.

For just £1 a week, you’ll be in the frame to win weekly cash prizes and know that every time you play you’re helping us to continue to run our workshops, information and advice services, one-to-one family drop-ins and much more!

Meet our Christmas jackpot winner!

In case you missed it, here’s our lucky Christmas £1,000 winner explaining why supporting our work through the Contact Weekly Lottery is so important to him.

We’re delighted to have made someone’s Christmas when they won a huge £1,000 in the last Contact Weekly Lottery prize draw of 2021!

On finding out he’d won the Christmas cash prize , our winner, Mr Brook from London, told us:

“I decided to play the Contact Weekly Lottery as I really wanted to support a UK charity that gives information , advice, and support to families with disabled children. I really hope that my small contribution by playing their lottery will help the Contact continue to reach more families both now and in the future. I was amazed to see the range of services, resources and campaigns that Contact offers.  I can see that they really do make a difference to family’s lives.

“I would urge anyone who is thinking of joining Contact’s Weekly Lottery to do so!”

Why not make playing the Contact Weekly Lottery your New Year’s resolution?

The Contact Weekly Lottery is a great, low-cost and easy way to support our vital support services for families with disabled children across the UK.

For just £1 a week you’ll be in the frame to win weekly cash prizes between £5 and £10,000 and know that every time you play you’re helping us to continue to run our workshops, information and advice services, one-to-one family drop-ins and much more! Join our lottery now.

We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in securing a total of £105,000 from John Lyon’s Charity to help our Ealing team support even more families with disabled children in the borough until 2025.

Thanks to the funding from John’s Lyon’s Charity, Contact’s Ealing team will be able to continue the vital work they do supporting families by offering high quality information, support and advice,  parent workshops, 1:1 support and wellbeing activities to bring families together to support each other, build resilience and reduce isolation.

“Thank you for listening and caring – I do not have many people in my life who understand the challenges that raising a disabled child brings.”

Parent Carer supported by Contact’s Ealing team

Contact has been working in Ealing for nearly 40 years. The majority of the 1,000 families Contact’s Ealing team currently supports are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Research published by the Disabled Children’s Partnership revealed that a staggering 69% of families with disabled children never receive support beyond their close friends or family. During the pandemic this went up to 76%, making it difficult for parents to balance caring responsibilities with work and wider family life, all of which has a negative impact on the disabled child’s life opportunities and wellbeing.

Brigitte Bistrick-Bryan, Contact’s Ealing manager says,“We’re hugely grateful for the funding we’ve been awarded from John Lyon’s charity. It will make a real difference and means that we can continue to be there for even more Ealing families when their child has a disability, providing accessible information, advice and support and empowering them to make decisions that are right for them – more important than ever as vulnerable communities start to recover from the overwhelming impact of Covid.”

John Lyon’s Charity gives grants to benefit children and young people up to the age of 25 who live in nine boroughs in North and West London including Ealing.

We’ve partnered with leading sports charity for disabled people, Disability Sports Coach (DSC), to make this video as part of our joint application to the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund.

The Dream Fund gives charities like Contact the chance to deliver a project we’ve always dreamed of, but never had the opportunity to bring to life. Our dream is to expand our successful Better Together events we currently run in London with DSC so that hundreds more children with additional needs get the chance to experience the benefits of taking part in sport.

If successful, we believe Better Together Through Sport is a real opportunity to transform the lives of hundreds of disabled children and young people through weekly sporting activities.   

Mark Davies, director of income generation at Contact, says: “Families we support tell us that leisure and play opportunities for their children – after school, in the holidays and at weekends – are extremely limited and there are many barriers in the way like accessibility and cost. Children with additional needs who aren’t given the same sporting opportunities as their non-disabled peers also miss out on the countless physical, mental and social benefits that taking part in sport brings. Not having access to sport can have a negative impact on emotional and physical wellbeing and contributes to disabled children’s social isolation and lack of confidence.

“Working with our partner Disability Sports Coach we believe that, if successful, Better Together Through Sport will be a trailblazing opportunity to reduce the isolation that some children with additional needs experience and increase their confidence through sport. And because Contact’s family workers will also be on hand at these weekly sessions, parent carers will be able to talk to us directly and get direct access to Contact’s trusted information, advice and support.

Amardeep Gill of DSC adds: “Our shared values with Contact means we have worked closely in recent years to change the lives of disabled children and their families through sport. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved together – but we know there’s more to do. The pandemic has increased the inequalities in society faced by many disabled children and families.

“That’s why we’re so excited to partner with Contact for ‘Better Together Through Sport.’ If successful, we’ll make a truly life-changing impact and enrich the lives of so many in need of our expert support.”

Our Better Together Through Sport funding bid is supported by Paralympian silver medallist, Dan Bethell, Surrey Cricket Foundation and Palace for Life Foundation.

Wish us luck!

We’ve now given away 500 cash prizes – including a whopping £1,000 – since we launched the Contact Weekly Lottery last year. And some of our supporters have been lucky enough to win more than once!

Want a fun, low-cost way to support our vital work? Sign up to the Contact Weekly Lottery for as little as £1 a week for a chance to win £10,000 every Friday!

How does it work?

Taking part in the Contact Weekly Lottery couldn’t be simpler.

For every £1 entry, we’ll give you a unique six-digit number. Match three numbers or more, and you’ll win a cash prize between £5 and £1,000. Match all six, and you’ll win an amazing £10,000!

What difference does my support make?

Every penny raised from our lottery helps fund our vital support services: from our trusted advice and information, to family workshops and events and our Listening Ear support line.

They did it! Our 12 fabulous runners completed the London Marathon yesterday and we couldn’t be prouder of all their hard work.

Our runners have been training and fundraising since 2019 and all their hard work definitely paid off. Everyone finished in good time and altogether they managed to raise an incredible £27,000 to help us continue our work supporting families with disabled children.

We had a fantastic time cheering them on yesterday, shaking all we had and it was great that we managed to see a few of them, as they ran past us at Mile 16.

We would like to thank them for all for supporting Contact.

Fancy joining our team next year?

The ballot for the London Marathon is now open and Contact also has places for next year’s event. If you would like to join us, email fundraising@contact.org.uk or call us on 020 7608 8786

Huge congratulations to our runners once again!

This is it. The London Marathon is finally here! After many delays and cancellations due to the pandemic, our 12 wonderful runners finally get to take on  the streets of London this Sunday 3  October and bask in the glory of running an incredible 26.2 miles.

For well over 18 months, our runners have been training and fundraising to help Contact continue our work supporting families with disabled children. We couldn’t be prouder of all their hard work and dedication.

One of our of runners, Caroline Klage, said: “I am running my second London marathon for Contact because they are an amazing charity working tirelessly to provide invaluable support to families of disabled children at a time when this is needed more than ever.”

And Judith Kippax, who has been training since 2020 and also ran the first-ever virtual London Marathon for us last year, told us about her motivation to take part: “My mother, Ann Smallwood, was involved with Contact 40 years ago when she identified disabilities in children through her work.

“She died in 2018 and I saw the Contact banner near the 16 mile mark while I was running that year’s event and again in 2019. Contact had marathon places so I decide to fundraise in her memory for the charity that had meant so much to her and had done such wonderful work to support families with disabled children.”

A huge thank you and good luck to all our runners – every one of you has made a tremendous difference to the families Contact supports, and we can’t wait to see you doing your thing this Sunday!

Best of luck everyone!

Dad-of-three Agustin Crespo is cycling 970 miles across Britain in just 9 days to raise money for Contact.

Agustin, from Wimbledon, started his epic journey on 4th September on the coast of Cornwall and will finish on the 13th in the north of Scotland.

His eldest daughter has mild cerebral palsy and he wanted to raise money for other families with children who have additional needs. He is a keen cyclist and has been training for many months after the event was postponed last year due to Covid.

Agustin said: “I took up this challenge for two reasons. First, I wanted to show my children and others that if you work hard anything is possible. The sky is the limit. And second, I know there are many families with disabled children who experience tough times so I wanted raise funds for Contact, which I know provides superb and vital support services for families with disabled children.”

The Deloittle Ride Across Britain covers 970 miles of the most beautiful and scenic landscapes accessible on two wheels. passing iconic locations such as St Michaels Mount, Cheddar Gorge, The Severn Bridge, The Lecht and Forth Bridge.

Kaya Korablina, Contact’s fundraising officer, said: “We know that families with disabled children continue to be disproportionately affected by the fallout of the Covid pandemic, and our services are vital in supporting them now and in the future. That’s why we are so grateful to Agustin for his efforts to fundraise for us to support families with disabled children across the UK. Covering over 100 miles a day on his bike is an incredible achievement and we wish him luck in the final stages of his epic journey!”

To support Agustin, visit his JustGiving page.

Contact's first £1,000 lottery winner with child

We have the pleasure to announce that last Friday, the Contact Weekly Lottery had its first £1,000 winner – Vikki from Aylesbury!

Vikki matched five numbers in our weekly draw, landing her the windfall. Vikki was so pleased to have won, she almost couldn’t believe her luck.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know you’re helping others, and on top of that you get a chance to win some cash!”

Vikki used to access our services in the past, before her son Kai sadly passed away in 2014. Vikki said:

“I have used Contact’s resources and sign-posting in the past, and I think the work Contact does is just brilliant!

“Parents need all the help they can get, particularly during these difficult times. So I decided to sign up to help out, do my bit and give something back to such a wonderful organisation.

“It’s fantastic to know that my decision to play the Contact Weekly Lottery will help so many more families. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are helping others, and on top of that you get a chance to win some cash!

“It’s such a worthwhile cause  that does so much for families. Contact campaigns, provides life-saving information and has amazing resources that truly make a difference to parents.

“I’m so pleased I have signed up for the lottery and so glad I’ve won!”

We’re so pleased Vikki’s chances have turned into a win and if you join us – you could be next!

Play Contact’s Weekly Lottery for as little as £1 a week and a chance to win up to £10,000, all while helping us make a difference to thousands of families with disabled children in the UK.

Congratulations to Vikki and good luck to all our wonderful players in the next draw!

Since we launched the Contact Weekly Lottery one year ago, 314 of you have already won one of our weekly cash prizes.

In other words over a third (35%) of the 894 of you who regularly play our weekly lottery have been a winner.

Or to put it another way, at the  moment there’s a 7 in 20 chance of winning!

Time to hit the jackpot?

And, as we still haven’t had a winner of our gigantic jackpot prize of £10,000 yet, there’s still everything to play for!

Taking part in the Contact Weekly Lottery couldn’t be simpler. For every £1 entry we’ll give you a unique six-digit number. Match three numbers or more, and you’ll win a cash prize between £5 and £1,000. Match all six, and you’ll win an amazing £10,000!  

Play Contact’s Weekly Lottery and make a difference to families

Thank you to everyone who’s already taken the opportunity to sign up to play the Contact Weekly Lottery. With your support and the money raised through our lottery, we are able to continue to make an enormous difference to thousands of UK families with disabled children through our much needed  support services.  Last year we helped almost 200,000 parent carers with advice, support and information. 

Already playing?

Thank you and good luck! Give our new Contact Lottery Facebook page a ‘like’ and find our if your lottery numbers have been lucky as each week we reveal our lucky prize winners here. Follow the page to find out if you’ve won £5, £25, £1,000, or even our £10,000 jackpot!We’ll also tell you more about exactly where your contributions are going. Because by playing the Contact Weekly Lottery, you’re helping thousands of families with disabled children in the UK to live better quality lives. 

Our annual fundraising event, Dinosaur Day is back later this month – and we’d love it if you could join us (virtually of course!).

Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. And we’ve made it easy for you to take part in Dino Day and raise vital funds for us at the same time – we’ve even got some delicious recipes to inspire you – dinosaur meringue bones anyone? 

Simply have a Dino-themed bake on or around the 19 June and donate to Contact by texting DINO to 70085 or you can donate online through our website.

And once you’ve cooked up a storm in your kitchens we’d love to see pictures of your bake-tastic creations – tag us on Facebook, #DinoDay2021, and you’ll be helping to raise awareness of our work supporting UK families with disabled children too.  

Find out more about Dino Day and how you, your friends and family can take part.

Why Dinosaurs though?

Good question! Cameron Mathieson was a little boy who spent more than two years in hospital before he sadly died aged 5 in 2012. His parents, Craig and Lynette, made history in 2015 when they won a landmark case at the Supreme Court which found that a government rule that removed Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payments to disabled children if they spent a long periods in hospital, was unlawful. 

Contact supported the Mathieson family’s long and ultimately successful legal challenge to this unfair rule through the courts with our Stop the DLA Takeaway campaign. Because of the Mathieson family’s determination and with the help of our campaign, hundreds of families of the most disabled and poorly children are no longer denied financial help when they need it most.

Cameron absolutely loved dinosaurs – and his favourite was a green triceratops called Troy. Dinosaur Day is a tribute to him, his family and all the other UK families like the Mathieson’s that Contact supports.

It’s going to be roar-some!

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Dino-Day 2021, please get in touch by emailing fundraising@contact.org.uk  – we’d love to hear from you!

 

Nominate us in the Movement for Good Awards and you’ll be giving us the chance of winning £1,000 so we can offer even more life-changing information and support to families.

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Your vote could help us reach more parent carers like this mum who attended one of our workshops:

“Without Contact, families like us are in such a difficult position. We’re isolated. We’re not getting any help.  Without Contact we would be on our own. Contact made a huge difference to our life.”

Thousands of families turn to us every year and we’re proud to have been able to continue to provide vital information, advice and support for families throughout the pandemic.

We know that with the right support, families can overcome the challenges they face and focus on what matters – being together and growing together. But as a charity, we rely on donations to keep our much-needed services going. 

The Movement for Good Awards is giving £1m to 500 charities changing people’s lives for the better over the next few weeks – and with your help we’d like to be one of them!

Happy to nominate us? Here’s how!

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Simply use the voting button above or visit the Movement for Good website, click ‘nominate now’ and enter our details including our charity number: 284912.

The closing date for nominations is Sunday 13 June 2021.

The more nominations we get, the greater our chance of winning, so please spread the word to your friends and family.

Your nomination could be the one that wins us £1,000!

Thank you!