Defending some of the world's most vulnerable people

One of the most recent charities to be added to Wonderful's list goes by the name of Kay's Endeavours - recently formed by Anand Doobay. The charity was set up in memory of Kay Everett, who was a highly successful and passionate human rights lawyer with a rich and varied career. Last year Kay sadly passed away due to cancer at just 43 years old. Kay travelled the world with her family from an early age, and studied at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore before reading law and Chinese at the Leeds University.

At a meeting at the Ministry of Defence whilst working as a lawyer in the city, Kay realised she needed to change her direction. With an anti-war demonstration going on outside the building Kay is said to have had a revelation, after realising she was the only one in the room who would rather have been outside with the protesters! After gaining a Masters in Human Rights Law Kay became a highly respected immigration and legal aid specialist. She gave evidence about the inordinante immigration detention in the UK and addressed the ELA conference on human rights and the detention of asylum seekers.

Kay's Endeavours was created in memory of Kay to support individuals and families affected by a cancer diagnosis. Families are often left with a significantly reduced income, and the need to provide care and attention to their loved ones is more important than ever. As a support fund for patients and their families at London's St Bartholomew's Hospital, Kay's Endeavours provides a safety net for families who really need it.

A full crossing

The first wonderful fundraising event in support of Kay's Endeavours was headed by Anand Doobay and his team of budding cyclists. Together they pledged to cycle all the way across England from St Bees to Sunderland, armed only with their bicycles. We asked Anand about the challenge to see how they got on...

What made you want to raise funds for Kay's Endeavours?

I have seen first-hand how difficult it can be for cancer patients to cope with the challenges they're presented with. The last thing they need is to have to worry about how they will pay for things which they need to try and maintain their health. While there are lots of charities which provide support for cancer patients, many are focussed on medical treatment and other support which may be available but can take time to access.

Tell us about your challenge, who got involved and what did you get up to?

I was joined by Sacha, Bryn and Shuvo. Sacha and Bryn plotted our course and made sure that we stuck to it! We cycled from St Bees to Sunderland which is one variant of the very popular Coast to Coast cycle route. The first two days were pretty challenging as we had to cross the Lakes and the Pennines which had quite a lot of steep climbs. However, luckily we had the relatively flat desolate beauty of the Moors after that. The change in scenery as we travelled across England was quite spectacular.

What will happen to the funds you've raised and what kind of impact do you hope they'll have on others?

Kay's Endeavours will offer grants to adults who have a cancer diagnosis and are being treated at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Many cancer patients are unable to work temporarily or permanently because of their illness and / or the side effects of the treatments and medication that they receive. Members of their family may also have reduced earnings if they need to stop work or work less in order to care for the patient. They and their families may have many and complex needs in terms of trying to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing whilst dealing with the illness. The charity's aim is to provide funding for measures which will improve the quality of life of the patient and / or their family and to address any gaps in the support which is already available. This could include funding for equipment, medical aids, travel expenses or social/recreational activities.

What drew you to Wonderful when setting up a fundraising page?

I was very keen to find a way for people to donate without having any fees deducted from their donations. I know that everyone who would want to support this cause would want all of the money they give to go directly to it. Whilst this was the initial reason why I chose Wonderful, once I had approached them they were really helpful in terms of setting up the page quickly so that we could raise money before the cycle ride took place.

Are you planning any future fundraising endeavours?

We will be having another sponsored cycle ride next year. In the meantime, I am sure that we will have some other fundraising activities too.

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