Hi from Alex, Miles and Cressy at Charlotte’s BAG, and welcome to newsletter no.6.

It seems ages since our last newsletter, but the last six months have gone in a flash (is that a sign of ageing, like policemen appearing to get younger?!)

As of August 29, Charlotte’s youtube channel has had over 5.5m views, rising by 1.5m over the last six months. Subscriptions to her channel are now at an all time high of 21,300. These figures continue to go up week on week, whether we have had publicity or not, so it’s clear that the Charlotte factor continues to raise public awareness both of her work and glioblastoma itself (which is important, because awareness of the disease is one of our Charity Commission aims).

Funds raised have now topped £165k – we would dearly love to see £200k by the end of this calendar year, and it would be even better if we could do it by our second birthday, the end of October 2018. As always, enormous thanks to everyone who has helped, whether you can give us £1 or £100 we are truly grateful for your support. Again, as always, every single penny goes into the pot – no salaries, no advertising, no overheads.

The Sun is one of the UK’s highest circulation daily newspapers, with over 1.4million print copies sold every day, and an online readership of 6.8million. Cressy nominated Alex for their monthly ‘Fabulous Female’ award and (of course!) she was chosen. We did a surprise video on the Downs where Charlotte’s ashes lie, and then there was a trip to The Sun’s offices in London for a fashion photography shoot plus interviews.

You can see the video by clicking here.

Let’s just say that we suffered for Charlotte that day (the high heels in particular were incredibly painful) and the wine afterwards was more than well-deserved.

If you don’t know, Alex and Cressy were at school together, and our former school, Beechwood Sacred Heart in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, chose Charlotte’s BAG as their charity of the year for the academic year 2017/18. They raised the grand total of £8,000 through a combination of carol singing, cake sales and all sorts – enormous thanks to Candy Prodrick who was also at school with us both and now teaches there, and of course to all the pupils, staff and parents who gave their support. We accepted the cheque at the school’s annual prize-giving and Cressy actually gave out the prizes and made a speech!! (An unexpected honour, given that she was not the best-behaved school pupil…)

We are delighted to let you know that Miles has graduated from Southampton University with a first in BA Philosophy and History, and was also awarded the 2018 Philosophy Alumni prizes for Best Philosophy Dissertation and Best Joint Honours Finalist. He will now take up his place at Cambridge University in September 2018, taking a Masters degree in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. His dissertation, entitled “How should we weigh the health needs of different generations? The case study of Glioblastoma Multiforme” can be found at: https://cambridge.academia.edu/MilesEades.

Huge congratulations to Miles, who had to defer his degree course for two years while Charlotte was ill, and managed to hold it all together to achieve such brilliant results. We often say that Miles is ‘the quiet man’ of Charlotte’s BAG – full of good ideas – so this is the chance to congratulate him publicly (proud mummy Alex, proud honorary auntie Cress).

Could Charlotte ever have thought to have a Festival named after her? Thanks to Lucy Slessor and Holly Makepeace, the two day Festival Charlotte took place in Peterborough on August 4 and 5. Stuffed to the gills with local bands, face painting artists, belly dancers, craft stalls, activities for children, Lucy and Holly pulled it altogether in the face of some major challenges and managed to raise the grand total of £1120 for Charlotte’s BAG. Thank you Lucy and Holly, a great time was had by all and they continue to fundraise for us. Alex, Miles and Cressy went along to the event so it was lovely to make some new friends there. Thank you to www.iinhaus.co.uk for sponsoring our accommodation and raising money for Charlotte’s BAG via www.easyfundraising.org in the process.

We are proud and excited to announce that Charlotte’s BAG has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Charity Times 2018 Awards. This is a very prestigious event in the charity world, so to be recognised like this when we are still so new to the scene is very special. We are in the category ‘Charity of the Year with an income of less than £1m’, and will be judged by a panel of charity experts. We are much newer kids on the block than our competitors, so that could go against us in terms of having an established track record. However, we are also the only charity on the list to give 100% of our income to our cause, something that we are finding is very popular with everyone we are in contact with. Fingers crossed until the Awards night on October 3!

Simon Forrest and his son Alex (who was at school with Charlotte) walked from Westfield tube station in Stratford to Westfield in Ealing (and beyond) – a route where most of us tend to use the train. Their epic trek has raised around £1,000 – thank you so much Alex and

Charlotte loved reading the celebrity news in the Daily Mail (another leading UK newspaper, selling 1.4m print copies a day and an online reach of 7.3m). They run a monthly feature called Extraordinary Lives, and we were very proud to see Charlotte featured as the lead story in the print edition and the second story up online. Click here to read the story.

You know when you have an idea and end up having to see it through? A chance conversation in the staffroom at Cardinal Newman Catholic School led to a group of staff (including Alex) walking 26 miles overnight across the Downs to raise money for Charlotte’s BAG – getting back to school at 8am ready to teach the last day of term! The intrepid trekkers encountered cold, darkness and fog (this is July in the UK remember) but also the joy of a group of students coming out to cook them a barbeque breakfast on the Downs, and a welcome reception back at school. Combined with a non-uniform day on the last day of term, CNCS and staff raised a total of £4,600 with this adventure. Thank you so much!

Huge thanks to Karii Reid, who walked 100km from Eastbourne to Arundel to raise money for Charlotte’s BAG and the Teenage Cancer Trust. Karii has raised an amazing £325 – thank you very much.

We’ve managed to raise almost £900 through this – at NO cost to anyone. All you have to do is download their little reminder button, and every time you shop online your chosen retailer gives Charlotte’s BAG a percentage for free. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. And Martin Brooks (Cressy’s husband) remains top of our supporters’ tree with over £200 raised! www.easyfundraising.org

These last six months have seen the deaths from glioblastoma of Dame Tessa Jowell, the highly respected British Labour politician and peer, and, very recently, Senator John McCain III, US politican, former Vietnam prisoner of war and US war hero. The tributes paid to him at his funeral showed that he was much loved and respected, even by his political opponents. Dame Tessa’s life was celebrated in a beautiful BBC Panorama film about her last months of life, made by Erica Gornall. Tessa spoke very movingly and bravely in the Houses of Parliament after her diagnosis, spelling out the need for more research and access to medical trials for glioblastoma patients.

If you get a copy of this newsletter, you are already helping us in one way or another, so we’re not asking you for money – unless you would like to donate via www.charlottesbag.com because it’s always gratefully accepted! But if you could possibly share our social media stuff via the links below, then that would be another way for us to spread the word – thank you.

The new regulations on Data Protection mean that we can only send our newsletter to those who have opted in to receive it. if you are on this particular list, it is because you are a friend, family, part of the medical/KCH team etc so we hope you do still want to hear from us every couple of months!

With very best wishes and all our thanks

Alex, Miles and Cressy
The Charlotte’s BAG team


Brighton Argus Charity of the Year 2017
Alex Eades: ITV Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year 2017
Alex Eades: The Sun Fabulous Female 2018