Fundraising News: Why I Give - Roy Downs

Roy Downs has two dehabilitating illnesses and dedicates most of his time to organising fundraising events for charities. He is planning a music show for next September, which is his most ambitious project.

Why and how do you support charities? I have spina bifida and hydrocephalus, which make me forget things sometimes and, therefore, prevent me from working on a regular basis, if at all. Doing charity work is a real challenge for me and gets me out and about. I like to organise events that bring people together, where they can enjoy themselves and raise money for good causes. Last year, I raised several hundred pounds for BBC Children in Need during a theatre show.

Approximately how much time or money do you give per year? Because of my situation I cannot really give financially, but I have lost track of the amount of time have put in!

What do you bring to the charities you help? Mostly time, but also enthusiasm and an extra pair of hands.

What is your next fundraising project? A live music show in London, through which I plan to raise around £6,000 for The Blue Cross and Save the Children.

The event will take place at the Ministry of Sound at Elephant & Castle on 23 September. There will be various live acts and I am currently trying to get top DJs and celebrities like Will Young to come. I am also hoping to run an auction of pop memorabilia such as photos and autographs, and bar chain Planet Hollywood will be around to provide food. It is a bit scary actually because I have never been involved in a project of that scale before.

How did you become involved with The Blue Cross? One of my friends has a dog that has been very sick. He was unable to afford the cost of private veterinary treatment so he took the dog along to the animal charity where they were able to operate free of charge.

What is a good way for a charity to approach you? By word of mouth ... just ask!

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