Two years ago, as Tim was dealing with the diagnosis of terminal cancer, and going through the ordeal of chemotherapy, he was talking to various friends and colleagues about what he wanted his legacy to be. Typically for Tim, it was all about other people. About students, in his own department and beyond, about other cancer patients and their families, and about anyone who needed a bit of inspiration to make the most of their life and their talents. We talked a lot about what we could do, and we decided to set up a charity, to give us the scope to raise funds, and to make sure those funds were used in the way that he wanted.
That was the beginning of Inspiration for Life. We set up a Board of Trustees, a bank account, a website, social media profiles, and a fundraising page, and we started to plan what we wanted to do. Our first big event was the 2013 24 Hour Inspire. Tim wasn’t there to see it, he slipped away from us a few weeks beforehand, but he was present in all of our thoughts and our hearts, and he inspired not only the people who’d been taught by him, worked with him, known him as a friend, but people all over the University, who’d never known him but who met him, in a really powerful way, through that amazing 24 hours.
Since then we’ve raised funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Rotherham Hospice and Impact Young Heroes, and we’ve held a second 24 Hour lecture marathon as well as a number of other fundraising events. We’ve awarded prizes in Tim’s memory to graduating students. And we’ve published the diary that Tim wrote during his illness.
Now we’re entering a new phase. Today we learned that the Charity Commission has accepted our registration – we are now Registered Charity Number 1158518. This is wonderful news – whilst we’ve been able to do a lot of marvellous things over the last couple of years, we’ll be able to do a lot more with registered status.
The objectives of the charity, which are based very firmly on the vision that Tim articulated two years back, are to advance education for the public benefit (which we’ve started to do through the lectures, and through the student prizes), and to promote the health and wellbeing of those affected by cancer, which we do through our donations to local cancer charities, which support home hospice care for terminally ill patients, clinical tests to further research into cancer treatment, and support for vulnerable young people with cancer.
I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved so far. But we’ve only just begun, and I know we’ll do Tim proud, as we make his vision a reality. Thank you to all of you for your support, for your commitment and enthusiasm.
I hope you’ll join me, wherever you are, in raising a glass tonight to Inspiration for Life and, of course, to Tim.
Catherine Annabel, Chair, Inspiration for Life