2023 is just around the corner, which means it’s not long until we kickstart our fundraising activity for Military vs Cancer. With a jam-packed calendar of events – including a cocktail making masterclass, sh!t shirt competition, and kayak around Loch Lomond – it’s safe to say we’re excited to drum up some handsome funds.

But Vapour has done enough talking for now. That’s why we’re inviting the charity’s chairman, David Bathgate, to take a turn in the hotseat, and share more about the organisation’s work to-date, hopes for the future of fundraising, and why working with businesses like Vapour is so important. Take it away, Dave…

When was Military vs Cancer founded?

Military vs Cancer was founded in January 2018 as a fundraiser, and we gained status as an official charity in May 2022.

And what was the motivation behind launching the charity?

The loss of far too many friends and family members to cancer – in particular my brother in June 2017.

Talk us through your motto, ‘by sea, land, air and all, together let’s make cancer fall’:

The motto incorporates all three military services – the Royal navy, the Royal Air Force, and the British Army – and all those who support us.

How much have you managed to raise so far?

Approximately £160,000 – and counting!

What kinds of things do the donations support?

We support military and Ministry of Defence personnel – past and present – who are suffering the effects of cancer. Most recently, we have sent a family overseas on a memory making holiday, made home modifications for a soldier to provide some independence, and sent a family away to The Lakes as a patient recovers from surgery.

As we are a new charity, we unfortunately cannot support everyone. But as a military organisation, we felt we must do all we can to support those outside of our network – so we therefore decided to support Maggie’s for at least the next 12 months too.

Tell us about your favourite fundraising activity to-date:

That’s a tough one, as they have all been amazing! Our fundraising is all based around bringing military and civilian personnel together to fight cancer, which always results in having a great time whilst supporting those in need.

I suppose my favourite was the Field Gun Pull, which saw over 200 people from across all three services come together to pull a one-ton Boer War Field Gun 330 miles – from RAF Scampton in Lincoln to His Majesties Naval Base Clyde in Helensburgh Scotland. We met so many incredible people on the way, but I was mostly surprised at the fact 200 military personnel all together got on so well… we don’t always play nice!

And what’s something in the pipeline that you’re looking forward to?

Our Loch Lomond Challenge coming up in June next year will see around 80 recruits canoe 28 miles, walk 32 miles, or a combination of the two, the length of Loch Lomond. It’s a beautiful setting for a fantastic get together of likeminded people, determined to make a difference – coordinated by Vapour’s very own Graeme McCabe.

Why is working with businesses like Vapour so important to you?

Vapour gives us the opportunity to increase our reach to a far greater audience, which in turn highlights our services to people that may not have heard of us. Without this support, we are caught in our own network of military personnel.

As well as being highlighted to likeminded companies that also support Military vs Cancer, Vapour will have the opportunity to take part in our fundraising events – such as our annual ball and Loch Lomond challenge.

Complete the following sentence: Military vs Cancer is…

…focused and determined to be the difference those suffering from this horrible disease need us to be. Our Military background will not let us fail, and we will fight to ensure we do all we can to help.

Finally, what are your hopes for the charity in 2023?

To increase awareness of the charity, develop business sponsorships with the help and support of companies such as Vapour, and to continue building on our already solid foundations. Here’s to a fruitful year!

Want to donate? Head to the JustGiving page, today. We’re incredibly grateful for donations large and small.

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