Fundraising News: Why I Give - Colin Osborne

Colin Osborne works as a lithographer by night, and volunteers for the Orchid Cancer Appeal during the day. He received this year's 'Fundraiser of the Year' award at the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards.

What made you create the Orchid Cancer Appeal? I was diagnosed with testicular cancer 10 years ago. I was lucky enough to benefit from treatments developed by Professor Oliver's unit at Barts and the London Hospitals, which helped me fight the disease. I was struck by the financial crisis that his team was facing and decided to raise money to help save the unit. I founded the Orchid Cancer Appeal in 1996 for that purpose. Since then, the charity has developed and funds research into diagnosis, prevention and treatment of testicular, prostate and penile cancer.

Are there any other charities you support financially, or with time? Yes. I serve on the executive committee of the Men's Health Forum, a charity dedicated to improving men's health and health provision. As a former cancer patient, I give my views on treatments and services discussed by the committee, which is made up mainly of healthcare professionals.

Approximately how much time or money do you give per week? Between my involvement in the Orchid Cancer Appeal and the Men's Health Forum, I give around 30 hours.

What do you bring to the charities you help? My experience of cancer. My father died from it and I had it. I know what it means. Also, the skills I picked up in the print company I work for. I helped to develop the Orchid Cancer Appeal's logo and brand, and to get its message across through newsletters and leaflets. But most of all, I help to raise money for the charity. The first fundraising event I organised was at my local golf club. We raised almost £20,000. More recently, we raised £10,000 from a cycling challenge in Essex.

Have you ever considered being paid for the work you do for the charity? No. I have already been told that I should be paid. But I am a survivor. Volunteering is my way of saying thanks.

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