This month marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, 31 days dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support women who experience ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynaecological cancer in the UK, and more than 7,000 women are diagnosed annually.
We recently contacted Lee Priestly, Fundraising Manager for Ovacome, a UK-based charity focused on supporting women throughout their experience of ovarian cancer, to learn more about the importance of Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and how the charity leverages it to drive awareness and valuable donations.
Tell us a little about Ovacome…
We have been supporting women diagnosed with ovarian cancer since 1996 and are very active in raising public awareness and educating doctors and nurses about the signs and symptoms of the disease. Our specialist support team gives expert guidance, personalised clinical and research information, emotional support and resources for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer or worried they might be at risk. We run the only ovarian cancer online forum, which is accessible, informal and patient-led; where women with ovarian cancer, and their family, can discuss their experiences with other women suffering from the disease.
What do you most want people to know about ovarian cancer?
The signs and symptoms. Ovacome’s BEAT campaign works to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer using an easy to remember acronym:
B – is for BLOATING it’s persistent and doesn’t come and go
E – is for EATING difficulty eating and feeling full more quickly
A – is for ABDOMINAL and pelvic pain you feel most days
T – is for TOILET changes in urination or bowel habits
How can people get involved in Ovarian Cancer Awareness month?
We need you!
To be part of our UK community wide campaign.
The mission is to put our new leaflets, posters and cards into hospitals, health clinics, doctors surgeries, community centres, places of worship, libraries, workplaces, gyms, sports centres and social clubs to raise awareness about signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and our free support services across the UK. By being part of our UK wide community campaign ‘Adopt a…’ you will be helping many women and their families across the UK.
What role does merchandise play in helping you build awareness of ovarian cancer?
It is vitally important in helping to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and to help our fundraisers with their events. Our merchandise helps people to support our work, spread the word and be part of a wider community who are helping to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
What’s your favourite Ovacome merchandise item?
My favourite item is our signature teal enamel pins.
What are some of the factors you consider when selecting merchandise?
When choosing which merchandise to use for Ovacome, we consider the relevance to our work, our supporter’s needs and the quality of the product.
What advice would you give to other charities about fundraising?
My advice would be to put the people that you are working to support at the center of what you do.
To learn more about Ovacome and how the charity supports women with ovarian cancer, or to make a donation, please visit www.ovacome.org.uk.