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'It will never happen to me' attitude needs to take a hike

'It will never happen to me' attitude needs to take a hike

Launch of Starlight Hike aims to show fundraising in a new light

40 per cent of Brits, if facing a serious life-changing illness would turn to charity for support, yet just eight per cent of people actually took part in a fundraising event for a health related charity last year. This is the stark finding of new research from Sue Ryder, the national charity that supports people with end of life and long-term conditions which is launching its Starlight Hike to help people see both fundraising and some of the country’s most beautiful landmarks in a new light.

According to the charity’s figures, millions of people in the UK need support because of life-changing illness every year, and this figure only looks set to rise with an ever ageing population. But Sue Ryder’s research shows that it is not until people are directly affected by such an illness, either through family or friends, that they see the need for fundraising in a new light and decide to do something themselves.

Only one in 25 (4 per cent of people) who have not been directly affected by a life-changing illness took part in a charity event in the last twelve months. But when looking at people who have been affected by life-changing illness through family or friends, the number who got involved in a health charity fundraising event shoots up to one in 10 (10 per cent).

Indeed, a huge 41 per cent of people who have taken part in a charity fundraising event have done so because they know someone affected by the related health issue.

According to Sue Ryder’s findings, 50 per cent of people who have not taken part in a fundraising event for a healthcare charity in the past year still say that they would hope a relevant charity would be able to help if they or a loved one were affected by a life-changing illness.

Jason Suckley, director of fundraising and marketing at Sue Ryder, said: “People tend not to fully appreciate their health or that of family and friends until it is taken away – as our research clearly shows, “it will never happen to me or mine” thinking. We want to encourage people to support us before they come to rely on support from us or similar organisations. With our new Starlight Hike events, we want to help people see fundraising in a whole new light by providing the chance to experience some of the country’s most stunning landmarks, by the light of the stars.

“The money we hope to raise through our Starlight Hike events will have a significant impact on our ability to fund the growing demand for compassionate and expert care for people living with complex conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Huntingdon’s disease, motor neurone disease and brain injury. As David Cameron’s Big Society continues to roll out, the role charities are expected to play in the delivery of services for the NHS can only increase. Hospices and care centres are a brilliant example of cross charity/community/NHS collaboration. But charities are not a cheap option and public fundraising levels will undoubtedly need to rise. So we want to encourage as many people as possible to go to our website and sign up.”

Starlight Hikes will take place nationwide throughout September this year and aim to raise over £1million for Sue Ryder. By supporting in this way, people will help Sue Ryder to provide care and support for people at a very challenging time in their life through a range and choice of services shaped around an individual’s personal care needs.

The Sue Ryder Starlight Hikes will take place in eleven beautiful locations across the UK; Aberdeen, Bedford, Cheltenham, Clitheroe, Dundee, Driffield, Haworth, Ipswich, Leeds, Peterborough and Reading.
For more information about Starlight Hike, or to sign up to a Starlight Hike event, please see

1. TNS. February 2012. A nationally representative sample of 2,104 people 16-64 interviewed – 14th February 2012 – 20th February 2012

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