Victoria’s Promise Supports Everyone

Victoria’s Promise Supports Everyone

A cancer diagnosis can often bring uncertainty, a need to adjust life and an emotional journey. Whilst we know that supporting our young women is the first step in helping a family unit as a whole, we also realise that the specialised services we offer can also give much-needed aid throughout a cancer journey.

As stated by The National Institute of cancer ‘When you find out you have cancer, daily routines may change for everyone. Schedules may be focused around treatment. Someone in your family may need to take time off from work to drive you to treatments. Or, perhaps you need help paying bills or cooking meals. You may need help with chores and errands. ‘

How do we support our women and their families?

Part of our mission at Victoria’s Promise is to provide our young women with personalised support and treatment services that best increase the chance of survival and quality of life. This doesn’t stop with just supporting the women but also closer family.

We offer a range of services such as:

  • Childcare – Having listened to their young women VP found that a huge hidden challenge of the illness is keeping up with housework and childcare during treatment visits. VP therefore now provide domestic cleaning and child care services.
  • Cleaning – Keeping up with the housework can be difficult when going through certain types of treatment that leave you feeling fatigued. We want to ensure that our ladies have a peaceful, clean and relaxing environment to recover in. We have professional cleaners, to come in and give the house a blitz.
  • Counselling – Extensively qualified and experienced counsellors are on hand immediately to work with the young women, their partners and children at the most difficult of times.
  • Coaching – Hand-picked cancer coaches are there to support in practical positive steps forward with emotional challenges such as anxiety, stress and fear

We know that these small things can make a big impact on our women’s journey from testimonials we receive. Often small changes can offer more time with family as well as that essential support for the loved ones around them so they can support the VIP.

Check out some of our Testimonials here:

 

Published by Becky Facey

 

World Health Day

World Health Day

World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year, which is something we are incredibly passionate about.

Therefore, what a better day to introduce a new service that we are offering to businesses. Our VP Wellbeing, Team Building and Training workshops are available to any business, from small, independent companies – to large conglomerates. At the workshops, you can expect a mixture of engaging talks. challenges, team building activities and expert lead workshops, to motivate employees by helping them take control of their health and wellbeing.

 

We chatted to our General Manager Dino, to find out more about the VP Wellbeing, Team Building and Training workshops.

What is it?

A programme to encourage employees to take ownership of their health by giving them direction, tips, motivation and actionable ideas.

Who is it for? 

It’s for anyone in an environment where they find themselves sitting for most of the day. For anyone who is interested in improving their performance, productivity and overall happiness and wellbeing, as well as for leaders who want to get the most from their staff.

Where is this available? 

Currently we are running workshops in Surrey, Hampshire and London, but we are in the process of becoming nationwide.

How long is the workshop?

There are two types of workshops available, we offer either half a day or a full day.

What do I need to do?

Nothing. Give us a group of engaged employees and we will do the rest. We come to you and work around your office location and environment.

 

When is it available?

Now!

How many employees can be on the workshop?

We offer anything from 20 people for an intimate training day, to 200 people for a company wide event.

Who do I contact?

Me! Email dino@victorias-promise.org and I would love to chat further with you.

The Victoria’s Promise Ball 2018

The Victoria’s Promise Ball 2018

Old and new supporters, gathered at the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor, to celebrate our Fourth Annual Ball last month. Our biggest ball to date, boasting a grand amount of 258 guests, started with a drinks reception and a greeting from our portrait photographer Katie, on the purple carpet.

 

Dresses were sparkling and drinks were flowing as guests were asked to take their seats by master of ceremonies and co-founder, Alex Eastman.

These walls they will remember,
Why we came together. 

The impact we make in this room will last for some,
forever. 

So here’s my call, I ask you all,
If you believe what I believe.

Then tonight I ask we stand up tall,
And let’s see what we achieve. 

Alex’s evening began by terrifying his girlfriend Laura, with a lighthearted joke about performing a dance they had recently learnt in India for a wedding, to the 256 other guests in the room. Unbeknownst to both Alex and Laura, bidding for said dance impromptuly started and quickly escalated to a staggering £1000, from the incredibly generous Alexis Lewis.

As true team players, the dance began, wobbly at first with the only sound of music coming from Alex’s mouth, until the rest of the audience joined in, with clapping, cheering and great deal of humming.

The dance was quickly followed by a traditional game of Heads and Tails as the starters were brought out, with the role of the “tosser” being passed down to our original tossers eldest son, Ross Power.

After a much quicker game than last years intense finale, the winner was announced as Quintin Alvares, winning a Nintendo Switch Package!

Amongst the beautiful display of finery on each table, guests also found iPads, which were sponsored by our generous friends over at Givergy, for live bidding on the silent auction that was running throughout the evening. Keeping up to date with who was bidding on what, the current winner was continuously updated on the big screen, resulting in a (not-so) silent battle between Greg Thorpe and Tim Hearson at opposing ends of the room, fighting head to head for the finest suite at The Dorchester.

The raffle began with some guests paying up to £100 for raffle tickets to be in for a chance of winning prizes from GHD, Aspinal of London and Swarovski.

The Lucky Winner Ticket went to Emma Hatto who took home a magnum of champagne and a Five Supercar Blast and Hot Ride experience day.

As guests enjoyed their main course, which was a menu designed by Jackie Kearney, award winning author and Masterchef finalist, the evening was well underway as the speeches started. General Manager, Dino Rakitzis kicked off the speeches with an update for the community on the progress that has been made since the last ball.

Followed by Trustees and Co-Founders Fiona Eastman and CJ van der Westhuizen awarding the Victoria van der Westhuizen Special Honour Award to our very own Sophie Trew who helped us kickstart our Women’s Networks in Basingstoke, London and now Guildford in the last year. The ball was bittersweet for Sophie, as it was her last event as one of the team before she moves on, outside of the cancer sphere. So we had to say goodbye and thank you in the most memorable way we could think of.

The nominees for the Victoria van der Westhuizen Special Honour Award were:

Sophie Trew
Helen O’Neill
Jane Hutchison
Gerda Bennet
Scott Blofeld
Karen Woodhouse
Lorraine Bland
Gareth Wright
Amber Whalley

We were honoured to have some of the ladies we support at this years ball, who gave beautiful and heartfelt speeches on the impact VP has had on their lives since their cancer diagnoses. Vicki Pini, Anita Winberg and Louisa Gordon. The last lady to speak was Mandy Chard who was treated at Winchester Hospital. She spoke about the importance of getting our services to Winchester and how impactful that support would have been at an incredibly life-changing and vulnerable time, thanking the community for all they are doing to move that campaign forward.

Speeches finished with our final Trustee and Co-Founder Stuart Ross, who gave a beautiful testimony to his cousin Vicki as well as a rousing announcement of our VP community campaign, encouraging our supporters to join our monthly donation programme and just how impactful that support will be.

The live auction was conducted by the most professional of auctioneers, Alex (with a couple of guests thinking we had actually hired him for the evening!) With the two highest auction lots, a weeks long stay in an elegant and rustic villa in Greece, going for £3500 to Ash Burley and dinner at the BT Tower, also going for £3500 to Kim Tilley.

After the live auction finished, our resident band The Somebody’s took to the stage, filling the dance floor within minutes, where our guests partied and danced the rest of the night away.

We are delighted to announce, with thanks to everyone who attended, volunteered, contributed and donated, that our Fourth Annual Ball raised £69,114. An amount that will go an extraordinary distance in supporting young women through cancer.

Next years date is confirmed for March the 16th – make sure you get it in your diaries now!

Victoria’s Promise and Sushi Gourmet Join Forces

Victoria’s Promise and Sushi Gourmet Join Forces

We all know that incorporating healthy eating into our daily lives is crucial, but like all good things it is isn’t always easy. If you’re a busy person, out and about, jumping from meetings, to the gym, to socialising, to work, you often find yourself with little time to spend searching for the ‘healthy option’, making it difficult to prioritise your health.

Fortunately, there are a few companies who are driven to make healthy eating easier which is why we’re so excited to announce our partnership with Sushi Gourmet, the new concept for buying and sampling sushi in supermarkets.

You’ve probably seen Sushi Gourmet concessions popping up in your local supermarkets and wondered how you got so lucky to be able to eat delicious, varied, healthy food whilst standing in the middle of Sainsbury’s with a trolley full of iceberg lettuce (bore me later). You can eat it on the go, or maybe stock up the fridge, because let’s be honest, cooking healthy food, quickly, which actually tastes good is not a simple task. I have to say, when I was working as a Management Consultant spending half my week in hotels, eating room service and watching Netflix, finding a Sushi concession at the Sainsbury’s on my drive home was as welcome as a warm cuddle.

Sushi Gourmet have been incredibly supportive of Victoria’a Promise and we’re delighted that they’ve launched a limited edition ‘VP Box of the Month’ designed by Sushi Gourmet Chefs created with a ‘reduce your cancer risk with nutrition’ guide (created by us). The box is available for 6 weeks in selected Sainsbury’s stores across the UK and 50p of every box goes straight to Victoria’s Promise to help further the work we’re doing.

We’re so grateful to Sushi Gourmet and to Jason Danciger, Managing Director,

“At Sushi Gourmet we are passionate about the environment we live in, the produce we source and the impact this has on the community. Victoria’s Promise is a fabulous and invaluable cause that is close to our team’s heart – the synergy through healthy eating is inspiring to all of us. They’re doing an amazing job generating positive and fulfilling calls to action and we are delighted to be supporting them in a small way.”

With 43% of cancers said to be preventable through minor changes in diet and lifestyle, what better place to start then swapping your uninspiring sandwich for a box of sushi, whilst knowing that part of your money is going towards Victoria’s Promise, such a win win

Click on this video so you can see exactly what you’re looking for 🙂

We’d love to see photos of you enjoying your VP Sushi box! Tag us in photos on Instagram @victoriaspromise or on Facebook #VPxSG

How to eat to prevent illness and promote life

VICTORIA’S PROMISE APPOINT A DIRECTOR OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH!

VICTORIA’S PROMISE APPOINT A DIRECTOR OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH!

We are incredibly excited to be able to announce to our supportive and rapidly growing community a pivotal and progressive step forward in our on-going development.

We have made no secret of the fact that targeted and impactful research is a huge part of our vision for Victoria’s Promise, executing on that however was a matter of timing, opportunity and understanding. In a serendipitous conference co-founder Alex Eastman was blown away by a lecture given by a dynamic and extremely knowledgeable geneticist, Dr Helen O’Neill. Having first been so heavily impressed upon by her talk, and then to find out of her position in the Institute for Women’s Health at University College London and her involvement in Global Women Connected, Alex realised the opportunity for alignment was too great to ignore.

After meeting, Alex and Dr O’Neill realised that the vision, values and mission of Victoria’s Promise resonate very strongly with those Dr O’Neill holds both professionally and personally and they began to plan how they could join forces. It was then the position of Director of Scientific research was agreed upon.

Alex said of Dr O’Neill;

“It is hard for me to explain my true excitement around having an individual of both the calibre and character of Dr O’Neill on board. For us, it brings a huge opportunity to enter into serious and progressive research, and for Helen and her masters students we can become a vehicle for their extraordinary efforts, education, knowledge and diligence into instant impact on the front line of an area that Helen is extremely passionate about. I came away from agreeing her involvement probably the most excited I can recall being in a long time. The potential for where we can take Victoria’s Promise with this kind of involvement is limitless. It will be one of the days we look back on in 5, 10 years as another tipping point in our impact.”

An exciting project that will be among the first collaborations is the Victoria’s Promise Scholarship at the University College London. In an effort to produce impactful and published scientific material that will further our understanding and progression in cancer care, VP will develop research projects that medical and masters students will bid to take on as part of their research studies.

Dr Helen O’Neill comes with impressive credentials;

A molecular geneticist and Programme Director for the MSc in Reproductive Science and Women’s Health at the Institute for Women’s Health in University College London (UCL). Helen completed her BSc in Genetics at University College Cork in Ireland and went on to complete her MSc in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine at University College London. Helen completed her PhD and postdoctoral research in the Department of Stem cell biology and developmental genetics in the laboratory of Professor Robin Lovell-Badge at the National Institute for Medical Research (now the Francis Crick Institute). There, she researched the genes involved in sex determination, including genes crucial for the formation of ovaries. As part of the Embryology, IVF and Reproductive Genetics Group, she is researching the morphokinetics of preimplantation embryos and is using CRISPR gene editing to assess the treatment and understanding of sex chromosome disorders and neuromuscular disorders.

Dr O’Neill when asked how she felt about her new position at Victoria’s Promise said;

“I am delighted to be on board with Victoria’s Promise. The cause and Victoria’s story really resonated with me, it made me want to help make a difference to other women like Victoria. I am hugely excited to be able to bring impactful research opportunities to VP and hope to make real steps forward in innovative cancer care.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr Helen O’Neill to our VP family.

 

Vegan Pancake Recipe

Vegan Pancake Recipe

Vegan pancakes are so easy to make and taste delicious. We’ve created a quick and simple recipe below, just in time for Pancake Day!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 cup soya milk
  • 6 tbsp whipped aquafaba

Instructions

  • Using a clean bowl and hand-whisk, whip the aquafaba for about 1 minute until it resembles white foam
  • In another bowl place self raising flour, custard powder and sugar
  • Whisk in soya milk just enough to remove lumps
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold in 6 tbsp of the whipped aquafaba
  • Heat a non-stick pancake pan using a very little sunflower oil
  • Place spoonfuls of the mix into the hot pan and leave for 1 min before turning (keep the heat to medium as they can easily burn)
  • Refresh oil and repeat

Serve with your choice of toppings (maple syrup is a must) and enjoy! To make the thinner french crepes – use more soya milk for a thinner batter. The batter will keep in the fridge for several hours before use.