Women On The Move Against Cancer – better known as WOMAC – is an organisation founded with one aim in mind, to donate to charities that support people who are suffering with the big C – cancer – one of the scariest words in the English language. Since 1979, WOMAC has been raising funds for cancer charities and organisations and donated more than one million pounds to 56 worthy causes.
WOMAC is made up of female volunteers all working in the automotive industry from journalists and manufacturers to agencies in departments including communications, finance and HR. The group work together to continue the fight against cancer by supporting a variety of projects, searching for more effective treatments or improving the quality of life for cancer sufferers, their families and carers. Each volunteer pledges to support WOMAC by raising funds, taking on challenges and attending WOMAC’s annual fundraiser, held in some of the most iconic places in London.
There is also an eight-strong Committee, which has been led by Chair Georgia Fox for the past six years. “I love being part of WOMAC and doing my bit to help the fight against cancer,” says Georgia.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to hear those words – ‘you have cancer’ – but to know WOMAC is doing something to help those who have makes me very proud. We all know someone who has had this dreadful diagnosis, and have all been touched by cancer at some point, which makes the work we do so important.”
Each year, WOMAC selects one main charity and focuses its efforts on donating as much money as possible to that cause. Each one is nominated by a Committee member, Patron or Friend of WOMAC, usually because they’ve had first-hand experience from the organisation.
In 2021, WOMAC is supporting brainstrust,an organisation which helps patients, caregivers and families facing a life-limiting brain tumour diagnosis, through offering practical advice and emotional support to improve their mental well-being.
Every year since 1979, WOMAC has held its infamous annual February party – the biggest fundraiser for the organisation. Sadly, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic there hasn’t been a party, so WOMAC is reliant more than ever on the generous donations of its many supporters, and it certainly hasn’t stopped people putting their hands in their pockets, or taking on challenges such as swims, runs and head shaving to donate a whopping £10,000 to brainstrust just seven months into this year.
The initial donation of £5,000 back in February funded 125 brain boxes, given to people who have just heard the devastating words “you have a brain tumour”.
Each brainstrust brain box is an essential toolkit of tailored and accredited resources designed to support patients and carers. Each person receives a special gift too, promoting the importance of self-care, and WOMAC supporter Rachel Brett, an independent Neal’s Yard consultant, donated hand creams. brainstrust also provides ‘little brain boxes’ for children and families.
More recently, an additional £5,000 was donated to support brainstrust’s Wonderful Memories appeal, honouring wonderful memories of wonderful people no longer with us. These funds will support workshops and counselling sessions.
“We are honoured to receive these generous donations from WOMAC, supporting our brain boxes and Wonderful Memories appeal,” says brainstrust founder Helen Bulbeck. “As we celebrate the lives of wonderful people, touching tributes are helping to raise funds to provide vital support for those living with a brain tumour today. WOMAC’s heartfelt donation could pay for more than 300 people to attend one of our tailored online workshops delivered by the brainstrust team and expert speakers from across the UK. Our bespoke webinars cover a wide range of essential topics to help the brain tumour community thrive.”
For brainstrust, every penny really does count with as little as £15 funding a place at one of itsworkshops; £40 covers the cost of providing a brain box; £100 pays for two hours of coaching; £300 covers six counselling sessions and £500 supports clinical research campaigns.
“I’m thrilled we have already been able to donate £10,000 to brainstrust in a difficult year where our biggest fundraiser – our annual party – had to be postponed,” says Georgia Fox. “The generosity of our supporters and friends never ceases to amaze me and I’m so grateful to each and every person who has donated or taken on a challenge for WOMAC. Any amount, big or small, really counts in making a difference to someone who is going through a very difficult time.”
Most recently, the group of volunteers hosted ‘WOMAC Weeks’ which provided an opportunity for all to get involved in fundraising at work or at home. Activities including cake sales, the London Landmarks Half Marathon, wearing blue and much more.
WOMAC looks forward to continuing its vital work and welcomes anyone keen to take on a challenge, join them at their annual party – hopefully in 2022 – or make a donation via its Just Giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/womac-2021. And for anyone keen to get involved as a Patron or supporter, they are urged to contact Georgia Fox.