BT Sport is supporting the campaign’s aim to raise a million pounds that will be used towards the early detection and treatment of cancer, and the clinical trials of new drugs to beat the disease. Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Campaign was founded by a friend of the former England football manager, Bobby Robson, who fought cancer five times, but sadly passed away in 2009 after establishing his own charity. Gina Long created the innovative global online auction to raise funds in memory of Sir Bobby, but also to celebrate the life of her friend Sally Balch, who died from breast cancer.
The Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Campaign raises funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Ipswich Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital. Alongside Gina Long on the committee are Sir Bobby’s son, Mark Robson; from football David Sheepshanks CBE, Mick Mills MBE and Alan Brazil; cricketer Graeme Swann; Chris Hollins and Nick Harris from the media, and several high-profile business people.
The Text-to-Win competition launched in July and features three money-can’t-buy prizes: a trip to the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix with hospitality and travel in a private ‘Eclipse’ jet; the chance to attend an England football training session, receive a signed shirt and VIP tickets to a match; and two VIP tickets plus accommodation to the 2014 Champions League Final in Portugal. Full information, along with the terms and conditions, can be found by visiting http://www.sirbobbysbreakthrough.com/wordpress/text-to-win/.
The online auction goes live on 10 October, with registrations open now on the website, where lifestyle and sporting lots already donated can be viewed. Direct donations will also be taken via BT’s MyDonate fundraising service which does not charge set-up fees or commission*. MyDonate also collects the 25% Gift Aid from UK tax payers on behalf of the charities, meaning they can save on valuable resource and processing time. The MyDonate service is run by BT free of charge as part of its investment in the community and environmental programmes (which amounted to money, time and in-kind contributions of £27m in the 2012/13 financial year).
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “We’re delighted to support these exciting initiatives. This is a great sport-related charity as it’s in the name of a well-loved and respected figure in the footballing world, and raises money for a cause that many people have been touched by. BT’s support also enables the campaign to maximise their fundraising efforts by using the MyDonate free fundraising service for direct donations.”
Gina Long, voluntary founder of the Sir Bobby Robson Breakthrough Campaign, said: “Sadly, cancer is likely to affect every one of us in one way or another. Sir Bobby was a dear family friend for over 35 years, Lady Elsie and the family remain so. Sir Bobby was loved the world over and I wanted to create something very special to honour him.
The online auction is a fantastic platform that allows everybody to become involved in helping us raise crucial funds for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and two Suffolk hospitals. Having BT Sport as our headline supporter, reflects the importance of this campaign. We have been overwhelmed by the global support and want to encourage businesses and individuals to get involved by generously becoming a prize donor – it really will make the biggest difference in helping us to create what we think will be one of the most exciting and high profile fundraisers of 2013.”
This announcement follows on from BT Sport’s recent launch of The Supporters Club, where BT customers can commit to donating £1, £3 or £5 a month direct from their bill to Comic Relief to help provide mentors, coaches and teachers for disadvantaged young people in the UK and abroad.
* Except charges levied by the donor’s own credit/debit card company.
For more information please visit: www.sirbobbysbreakthroughcampaign.com