Kyra Edwards: My experience supporting Cancer Research

Journalism student Kyra Edwards writes about her experience of combining event organisation with charity support.

Deciding what you are going to do for your graded unit is never easy, but for me it was. As soon as my college class were given the ‘talk’ about what we could do I had already registered with Cancer Research.

I knew that if I were to do an event, which is what I decided to do, I wanted to help raise money for a charity. I chose Cancer Research for a very simple reason, because I was in the process of watching people that I love and care about suffer.

My partner, Max Jamieson, had just been told that his granddad Gerry Wilshin had been diagnosed with lung cncer. Six weeks later, as I was putting in the final touches to my gig, Gerry passed away peacefully at his home. Once I had received my pack I made it my mission to make my event a success.

I had decided to do a charity gig early on into my project. My next step was to get the entertainment. So when I explained to local acts Sneaky Pete, Thula Borah and Kristina Cox what my purpose for the gig was, they happily supported me without hesitation. I negotiated with Stereo Cafe Bar about a price, discounted because of my cause, and before I knew it everything was set up.

During the next few months I kept up communications with the bands, the venue and Cancer Research, and before long March 26, the night of the gig had arrived. By this time, of course I was so stressed out I could not think straight, but I reminded myself that I wasn’t just doing this for me, for my graded unit but for Max and his family, for the loss of Gerry Wilshin a beloved husband, grandfather and dad.

The night of the event started out like this, I met some of the band members who had appeared for load in (bringing in and setting up their equipment); we discussed a schedule with the manager, and set up the equipment - though I was too busy carrying tables to set up a ticket stand.

The doors opened at half past seven and the bands were chatting away. Everyone was at ease and everything was going to plan.

Kristina Cox went on first with her guitar and beautiful voice. There was a five minute break before Thula Borah went on stage and performed their 40-minute set. Before long the night was nearly over and Sneaky Pete started setting up. However, we had run into some trouble as the main microphone stopped working - anxiety overcame me, but quickly subsided when the sound engineer stepped in and solved the issue. With a 20 minute delay, Sneaky Pete played their set and ended the night on a perfect note.

Once the crowd had cleared and the bands had begun clearing up, I gathered up the donations and put them in a jiffy bag to count later. I made my rounds of thanks to everyone, the bands, the manager of stereo and my friends. I couldn’t have been more grateful for the experience.

Once home, I counted the money from the donations box and the money from the ticket box. I had to double check several times when I realised I had raised a whopping £153.01. I felt pleased that all the hard work had paid off and that I had succeeded. Let’s hope that I’ve made Gerry proud!