Successful fundraising stories

Be inspired by the community who have chosen to fundraise for University research.



Lois, at age 5, has achieved something that not many adults can say they have done. Lois decided to fundraise in support of her very brave friend, Isobel, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer. 

Lois and her father entered the City of Birmingham 5k with the hopes of raising £250 for Dr Frank Mussai’s research at the University.  On the day, Lois did an amazing job with the run, even starting off at a fast pace that worried her father whether he would be able to keep up! Despite feeling tired after a mile and wanting a piggyback, Lois pushed on and managed a sprint finish to cross the line in a respectable 47 minutes 30 seconds to collect her medal.

Lois’ father, Andy said: “Obviously as her parents we're really really proud of her, but she received such a lot of support and kind words from so many people I think she was a bit overwhelmed by it all. I still don't think she understands just how much money her little legs raised by doing this run. We're just about to close the JustGiving page now as we've got the last few donations in and the total figure Lois has got is £1,538, which is unbelievable."

Lois completely smashed her fundraising goal by raising more than six times her initial target! Her final comments on the day were that she was “really happy to do [the race] for Isobel.”

Lois Running

Research Innovation Services Team

Steve Taylor, Paul Edwards and David Coleman from Research and Innovation Services (RIS) decided to run the Birmingham half marathon this year for UoB global maternal health research. 

Run for Mums Original Logo

As regular runners, the team were slightly apprehensive to ask friends and family for donations towards what would otherwise be a hobby and a way of keeping fit and healthy. However, and in spite of this being David’s first half marathon, they set themselves a challenging time goal of 5 hours collectively – approximately 1 hour 40 minutes per person – a goal just about achieved, and more importantly successfully raised £400 towards saving mothers' lives.

Together with 11 other runners, Steve, Paul and David helped to raise more than £2500 for global maternal health research. The money will go towards enabling women to survive maternal sepsis; tackling crucial undernutrition problems and providing emergency transport in countries such as Malawi, Pakistan and Tanzania.

Congratulations and well done to the RIS team!

Staff Run for Mums

Moseley Rugby Club Players' Association

“Moseley Rugby Club Players’ Association (MPA) are proud to support the University of Birmingham Prostate Cancer Research Programme because the cause is dear to our hearts. In the last three years we have lost two friends to the disease and several more have tested positive and required treatment.

 Moseley Rugby Club has a long relationship with our close neighbours, the University of Birmingham. We congratulate them on becoming a Centre of Excellence in this field."

- Andrew Arnott, alumnus and MPA member

The MPA raised £1,000 to support the prostate cancer research from the Circles of Influence campaign at the end of 2014. Members continue to have a relationship with the University, participating in research trials and continuing fundraising activities for research.


Bengi Bingol Yalcin

Bengi Bingol Yalcin graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2003 with an MSc in Marketing and is currently the Marketing Manager of Britax UK, which manufactures some of the safest child car seats in the industry. This role is particularly close to Bengi’s heart as it directly involves saving children’s lives.

Bengi has an ongoing relationship with the centre for Children’s Brain Cancer Research as a regular donor and chose to fundraise for the centre by cutting off her hair. Bengi was “absolutely overwhelmed” by the support she received from friends and family, resulting in a final total of £674.41. The hair itself has been sent to the Little Princess Trust who provide real hair wigs to children suffering hair loss, therefore supporting two charities at once, both benefiting children.

When asked why she chose to donate to University of Birmingham research, Bengi said: “The alumni office at the University constantly updates its members on the progress and development of its charitable causes so you know and see exactly what difference your donation makes. Being an alumna, I feel I have strong ties to this wonderful community and wanted to give something back to it by choosing to donate to one of its amazing projects.”

 Bengi 3

Mollie White

Mollie White, 64 years old, is a chartered accountant who has worked for the last 42 years for a large farming concern on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border. In March 2014, Mollie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, it was a small tumour that was easily removed by a lumpectomy and after a session of radiotherapy, Mollie was fit and well again.

As a result of receiving treatment, Mollie ended up with a lot of time on her hands and wanted to occupy her time with something worthwhile. At the same time, two of the young men working on the same farm had been taking wildlife photographs, mainly of the birdlife, as a hobby. Mollie was astounded at the quality of the photographs and asked if they minded if she used some of them to make a calendar.

Mollie wrote to suppliers and professional people that the farm uses to see if they would sponsor a page of each calendar, stating all the proceeds would go to charity. Money began to roll in and before long, Mollie had enough to print 600 calendars!

Mollie said: “I wanted most of the money to go to cancer related charities. My husband Paul, who is an alumni of the University, had previously donated to cancer research there, and we felt that by giving to research at the source we were sure of our money going directly to the area we wanted. We decided to give 25% of the money raised to Professor Ben Wilcox’s immunotherapy research. We felt that this area of research is on the cusp of something really big and we would like to help it along.”

In the end, Mollie managed to sell 530 calendars and raised an astonishing grand total of £5300 for charity.

Mollie White Ben Willcox Cancer Immunology

Stephen Chand

International Recruitment Administrator, Stephen Chand first began fundraising for charity following the Japanese earthquake in 2011, which affected his family a great deal and he wanted to help. A number of successful bake sales within the University’s International Relations and Student Recruitment teams allowed Stephen to provide his support.

Following this success, he decided to fundraise for the Circles of Influence campaign and has raised more than £1,000 for the University’s life-changing research into Burkitt’s lymphoma, cancer and autism from the External Relations Coffee Morning Bake Sales.

‘We have three External Relations meet ups a year where staff from across all sections can come and meet each other and ask questions to the senior team. We had the idea that this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the research that we do and at the same time raise some money,’ Stephen explains.

‘We have a number of budding Mary Berrys and so the standard of baking is always very high and we always invite a guest speaker from the research team we are fundraising for to come in and talk a little about their work. This gives everyone an idea of what their money is going towards and we are delighted to be able to fundraise for such worth causes, whether it be contributing for new equipment in cancer research or paying for expensive tests to diagnose autism in children.

‘We now have a tight knit group of bakers who contribute regularly but I am always amazed by how many colleagues want to help and contribute. The work that the University is doing is exciting and extremely important, helping to save lives. By raising money for research at Birmingham, you can see quite clearly where the money is going and what you are contributing to.’