Fife children's cancer charity hits £1m fundraising milestone in its 10-year-anniversary

Children's cancer charity, LoveOliver, is marking its 10-year-anniversary this month by raising over £1,000,000 in donations since its creation in 2011.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 4:30 pm

The charity was created by Jennifer and Andy Gill after the death of their son, Oliver, who was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer – a Malignant Rhabdoid Tumour at just a few days old.

Despite thriving through intensive chemotherapy, Oliver passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Day 2010, aged just 24-weeks-old.

In 2011, Jennifer and Andy, created LoveOliver in their son’s memory and are committed to the aims of the charity and to keeping his smile and story alive.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

LoveOliver co-founder, Jennifer Gill at the charity's new store in Glenrothes. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

LoveOliver is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and their families in Scotland diagnosed with cancer through provision of appropriate financial and practical support, and the development of new treatments through research.

The charity is committed to raising awareness of childhood cancer and its impact on families, to encourage volunteering and fundraising to be able to help them, and to bring about a brighter future for childhood cancer treatment and prognosis.

Every day in the UK 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer and often face long hospital stays far from home and support networks, this devastating diagnosis comes with many pressures.

Read More

Read More
Fife Zoo owners’ heartfelt plea for help as they recover from devastating fire
Baby Oliver a week before he sadly passed away.

​Based on Jennifer and Andy’s personal experiences, and the work and achievements of LoveOliver to date, the charity works tirelessly to relieve these pressures as much as possible, in order to allow parents have the time, energy and strength they need to focus on what matters most – their child.

​Since its creation in January 2011, £1,005,110.38 has been raised through many generous donations and lots of fundraising.

And that has helped to fund research into childhood cancer and provides practical support to families in Scotland affected by it.

Over the last decade, the charity has already part funded two four year PhD studentship at Newcastle University, as well as donations made to other areas of research.

Jennifer and Andy Gill with their two sons Micah and Rory at the opening of the LoveOliver store. Pic: Stephanie Lawson.

LoveOliver also provides invaluable practical support to families at the Royal Hospitals for Sick Children in Aberdeen, and Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It also works closely with CLIC Sargent social workers to provide supermarket vouchers and financial grants for all families, gift packs for children who have suffered a relapse, healthy frozen meals for parents of children going through long inpatient stays and quality digital thermometers for each family facing childhood cancer.

And it donates games, books, toys, crafts and therapy supplies, when requested, to the three children's oncology wards and has recently opened a shop in Glenrothes’ Kingdom Centre.

Jennifer Gill, co-founder, said: “LoveOliver has been a registered charity for just over 10 years now, and in the last couple of weeks we reached a big milestone with our overall total raised topping £1million!

The new LoveOliver store will help to raise vital funds for the charity. Pic: Stephanie Lawson.

“What makes this milestone even more significant is that nearly all of it has been raised through the incredible generous donations and voluntary fundraising efforts of individuals and groups, rather than through any large funding or large scale events.

“From one-off and regular financial support, sale donations, raffles, toybolas, bake sales, collection cans, bag packing, sponsored events, toy sales, Disney karaokes to skydives and cycle runs – it really has all added up.”

Jennifer explained that all of the charity’s vital work would not have been possible without the support of everyone who has donated and and helped to fundraise.

“All this has been possible, despite myself and Andy, both working full time and part time as teachers, and Oliver's two little brothers joining the family. We say this not to seek glory for ourselves but to thank everyone who has helped to make LoveOliver reach this amazing milestone.

"We do the day to day stuff in the background - you guys are the heroes!

“This first million has been raised through love, not only for Oliver but also for the many, many other children and families who LoveOliver has had the privilege of supporting over the years.

The Gill family at the opening of the new store with Marilyn Robertson manning the tills. Pic: Stephanie Lawson.

"They are all so inspirational and it is always both humbling and an honour for us when they support LoveOliver.”

She adds that through donations, LoveOliver has been able to fund jobs to help with the fight against cancer as well as providing essential support to families.

“This money has so far funded two four year PhD students at Newcastle University and is now employing a full time technician there.

“It has so far provided over 850 financial grants and over 2000 supermarket and Just Eat vouchers, and since starting to supply thermometers during the last few years the money has funded over 750 digital thermometers as well as over 600 weekly and Christmas COOK orders.

"It has also paid for many gifts, therapy supplies and toys, books and games for the kid's oncology wards, and we are making plans for further projects.

“We have every reason to believe the second million will be reached much more quickly than the first, but we desperately need to fund as much vital research as we can to help find gentler treatments and cures for childhood cancers, and we want to keep supporting families on this devastating journey.

“We never intended to start a charity - we just set out to do something in response to what happened to us.

"We have blown us away with the response to LoveOliver and with all of the support that we have had has helped us turn the charity into something beautiful.

“Thank you all for your generosity with your time, money, energy and creativity, and here's to all the fundraising that will take place, research that will be funded and support that will be provided on the journey to two million.”

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.