We at Chaka Travel were delighted to sponsor DEBRA with its fundraising golf events and the Race to Mauritius
2015 has been a tremendous year for our happy band of golfers; not only have we enjoyed full houses at 15 golf events, we have raised around £150,000 for the charity from our golf events, donations and club fundraising activities.
It is a difficult yet satisfying task to say that thanking everyone becomes harder by the year. We have an ever growing list of sponsors, donors, partners, event hosts and charity of the year golf club captains to thank for their generosity, time and support. I cannot thank everyone in this letter without making it look like one of my scorecards, but I would be remiss if I didn’t name check the following people.
… our sponsors Constance Hotels and Resorts, Chaka Travel and everyone who donated items for our auctions.
I must also mention Steve Rider, who provides fantastic support and assists me with the occasional Morecombe and Wise routine (I’ll leave it to you to decide who’s who!) plus a very special thanks to our outgoing captain, David Hawes-Gatt, who stood in for a second term and once again provided me and the golf team with brilliant backup. This leads me nicely into welcoming Nicky Morris as our captain for 2016. She already has some great ideas for the new season and I guarantee that she will help us to achieve our ambitious plans. Of course my very special thanks to Lucie Robson for keeping us all in order throughout the year.
The year has had a number of highlights: 15 golf events including full houses at new venues the Leicestershire and Royal Birkdale, 1500 golfers registered to the DEBRA golf society, a record number of entrants for the Swiss Challenge and a most competitive year in the Race to Mauritius which has once again proved to be a success on and off the course (look out for some exciting new developments next year). Congratulations to Phil Dobbins and Warr’s Warriors as this year’s winners and thanks once again to STC and Constance for making it possible. We also had our first ever ‘hole-in-one’ at New Zealand – Dan Rowett took the sensible option and made a sizeable donation to DEBRA rather than getting the drinks in.
Sadly we lost three of our loyal supporters and great friends, Simon Morrell, Phil Shingler and Mark Blair – we will miss them terribly and I’m sure that all of you will join me in offering their families our sincerest sympathy, thoughts and prayers.
So, what does our year mean for DEBRA? You have helped with funding research projects such as those described below as well as contributing to health and social care of families living with EB throughout the UK.
A couple of recently funded research projects in UK and Ireland:
• Epidemiological and Pathophysiological Studies about the Problem of Itch in EB Patients, Institute of Dermatology, Dublin: £62,555 for year 1 of a 3 year project
• Transforming Growth Factor (TGF-β) signalling in RDEB Squamous Cell Carcinoma, University of Dundee. A project to learn how cancer cells interact with their environment in order to develop treatments for EB cancer: £190,284 (2014-2017)
DEBRA also now has a small grants programme designed to fund key bespoke projects linking research to healthcare. Recently committed projects include:
• Longitudinal retrospective study on bone health in adults with RDEB, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, September 2015 for 3 months: £12,000
• Development of a Skin Fragility Assessment Tool, Dundee University, starting 2016; designed to provide data in preparation for clinical trials in EB Simplex: £38,225.00
For all those suffering with EB our work isn’t yet done , once again in 2016 we will try and provide you with the very best in golf in order to provide the very best for all of those who live with EB.
Once again, my thanks to you all.