Today is International Volunteer Day, when the world celebrates the generosity of those who have donated invaluable expertise, resources, and time to help others.
Muscular Dystrophy UK has held important and longstanding partnerships with volunteers for more than 60 years – and the Covid-19 pandemic this year drove a new and urgent need for volunteers’ professional expertise to help us.
It has proven to be a huge success and another welcome addition to our volunteering strategy that we plan to build on in 2021.
Walk With Carmela is one of MDUK’s ongoing campaigns that simply would not have happened without the generosity of individuals and companies, and we are hugely grateful.
What is the campaign?
Carmela Chillery-Watson, aged six, lives with the very rare muscle-wasting condition LMNA-CD. It means her muscles get weaker with each step she takes and she can’t walk continuously for more than five minutes at a time.
But that didn’t stop Carmela completing the equivalent of a marathon every single day on her specially-designed crutches earlier this year, despite the enormous physical strain walking puts on her little body.
And dozens of volunteers were invaluable in making the campaign a success through donating their expertise, resources, creative direction, and free media space.
The Walk With Carmela campaign has so far raised more than £15,200, over twice the family’s initial target, and donations are still rolling in. This wouldn’t be the case were it not for the volunteers who helped make it happen.
Who volunteered to help?
Whether it was W1 Curates and Eboy who helped to share Carmela’s story on Europe’s largest digital billboard – the iconic Piccadilly Lights, Landsec, Ocean Media and Metro for donating ad space to promote the campaign, creative agency Atomic London who lent their expertise, or WarnerBros and Gal Gadot for their support in cheering Carmela on, all were invaluable volunteers.
The Devon Superteam volunteered their time by driving Batman to Wiltshire who surprised Carmela at the finish line. These acts of kindness show the good in humanity and the strength of volunteers in raising spirits.
A big thanks as well goes to our Microscope Ball committee who all personally shared and spread word about the campaign.
Other organisations we’d like to thank include Siren, Thirdway Interiors, Knight Frank, Derwent, Oxygen Asset Management, London Communications Agency, Colliers, and Property Week – we very much appreciate your support.
And finally, to our individual volunteers who gave their professional expertise to help deliver the campaign: namely, Vicky and Natasia on press and Alex and Alexa on digital.
We look forward to continuing to work with volunteers with professional experience to help us unite skills, knowledge and resources in the UK, so we can improve the quality of life for the people living with a muscle-wasting condition, and to bring cures closer to reality.
For more information on how individuals and businesses can get involved with volunteering at MDUK, please visit: https://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/
You can find out more about Carmela’s fundraising here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carmela-chillery-watson10