Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) were the latest visitors to Dens Park for the home game against Hearts on November 3rd. Sarah Secombes, the East of Scotland Regional Fundraiser for CHAS, arrived at Dens to raise awareness of the work done by the Children’s Hospice providers.
The Society caught up with Sarah to see how her day went. "One of the team, a fundraiser in the Dundee area, was doing a bit of research into opportunities, and brought this up, she thought it would be a great chance to get along to the club and speak to all the Dundee supporters about the things we do, and all the great things you guys do to support charity in the community. This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for us to speak to the people in Dundee about the work we do, we are really trying to raise awareness across the country, CHAS provides the only Hospice service in Scotland for children and young people with life shortening conditions, and we support children and their families all over the country, and this is a great opportunity for us to come along and tell everybody about what we do, and hopefully get a few new supporters at the end of it.
"What we tend to find is that a lot of our supporters have been CHAS supporters for a long time, and coming along to somewhere like a football ground, it is a completely new audience for us, it is different people, people who we know are passionate about things, particularly football, that tends to mean you have passion in other areas of your life as well, so it is a new audience for us to talk to, and tell them a wee bit more about us.
"Everyone was really great. We had lots of fans stop to take our leaflets on their way past or put some loose change into the cans on the table and they were all very friendly. I also received a really warm response when I was invited pitch side at half time. The signed merchandise will be used basically to help us raise even more funds for CHAS, it costs us seven million pounds every year to run our Hospice services, which are obviously completely free of charge to the families that need them, so anything that we can do to raffle or auction things at events that take place in order to raise a bit more money is greatly appreciated, so thank you very much for that merchandise.
"I had a great day at Dens. The process was very smooth from stall to match to pitchside, and the game was pretty good too! I would absolutely recommend a day at Dens to other charities. Jacqui, Grant and all the other volunteers were so helpful, and it was such a great opportunity to get into the community."
For anyone with an interest in helping CHAS, they are planning their own sporting challenge, "We are in the process of promoting our ‘Beat the Borders’ event. This will be a CHAS event, and the first time we have ever put on our own sporting event, I believe it comprises a forty five mile cycle, followed by a seventeen mile walk, or run, and we are trying to encourage participants from across the country, companies can put in teams, sports clubs can enter teams, so if anyone is interested in taking part, just get in touch."
Summarising the day, Sarah was over the moon with how it all went. "This was a great chance for CHAS to speak to a new audience, with lots of people who may not have heard about us before which is fantastic for awareness raising. The programme piece, and this follow up just added to this, and we were delighted to also receive the signed football and team shirt which we will use in our fundraising in the city. I have no doubt that the day at Dens will help to raise CHAS’s profile in Dundee. The game was fantastic, it was great to see a home win, and we would be delighted to be seen as a lucky charm!"
Photograph courtesy of David YoungFor her part, Community Director Jacqui Robertson wes equally delighted with the visit. "Dundee FC Supporters Society continue to welcome charity visitors to every home game, and every visit brings new faces. Without fail, these charities arrive at Dens and leave us humbled by the fantastic work they do, and in the case of CHAS, it was no different. To hear about the work involved in providing hospice services for children with life shortening conditions puts a lot of things into perspective, and like every charity guest we have had, the Society would like to thank Sarah and CHAS for coming to Dens Park to share some of the work they do, and offer our very best wishes to CHAS in their sterling efforts."Anyone interested in the ‘Beat The Borders’ event, or just looking for more information, please visit the CHAS website.
Source: Dundee Mad