A chance meeting on a train has led to an incredible partnership between J D Wetherspoon and CLIC Sargent to help young cancer patients.

When J D Wetherspoon’s Founder Tim Martin found himself sat opposite CLIC Sargent’s then Chief Executive David Ellis on a train journey, neither would have expected to reach the incredible milestone of £15 million.

But that’s exactly what the meeting has led to.

J D Wetherspoon is now CLIC Sargent’s longest-standing corporate partner. The partnership was formed after the chance meeting with an agreement of a fundraising target of £500,000.

Now, 15 years after the partnership began, the J D Wetherspoon staff are celebrating having raised an amazing £15 million to support young lives struck by cancer with CLIC Sargent.

Chance Encounter on Train Leads to £15 Million Fundraising Milestone for J D Wetherspoon and CLIC Sargent

The incredible milestone means fundraisers at J D Wetherspoon pubs across the country have raised the equivalent of £1 million each year since the partnership began in 2002.

Staff have been thanked by three young cancer patients who have been supported by CLIC Sargent, Ayesha McGregor, Helen Haar and Tom Farrington.

Chance Encounter on Train Leads to £15 Million Fundraising Milestone for J D Wetherspoon and CLIC Sargent

Young people supported by CLIC Sargent thanking pic (L-R Helen, Tom, Ayesha)

Ayesha, 20, from North Ayrshire, Scotland, was supported by CLIC Sargent after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015, when she was aged 18 and in her first year at university.

Ayesha received support from a CLIC Sargent Social Worker, who helped her with grants and benefit applications to lessen the financial impact of cancer treatment.

“I had to stop working so I had no income. I couldn’t go out and do things for myself or spend time with my friends. I had to travel around 40 miles to Glasgow for my treatment which meant we were spending extra money on petrol,” she said. “I met my CLIC Sargent Social Worker on my first day of chemotherapy. She helped me to address my money worries and gave me lots of emotional support. Just knowing that there was someone I could talk to or ask for help with anything was great.

“My experience without CLIC Sargent would have been completely different. I’ve managed to gain more confidence and meet new friends. Without my social worker’s support it would have been a much lonelier experience.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the staff at J D Wetherspoon for raising an incredible £15 million for CLIC Sargent. This is an amazing milestone and it’s impossible to put into words how much it means as it will help so many young people like me.”

Today, 11 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.

When cancer strikes young lives, CLIC Sargent’s specialist care teams provide a package of support tailored to each young cancer patient and their family. For more information visit www.clicsargent.org.uk

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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