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Charities Seminar

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The third hlw Keeble Hawson charity seminar took place on 11 November 2011 in the august surroundings of the Chapter House at Sheffield Cathedral. The headline speakers were conservative MP Stuart Andrew and Denise Dunn of the Firefly cancer charity. The theme was how charities can help to keep their campaigns and work in the public eye – more important than ever in times of recession.

hlw Keeble HawsonAlthough born in North Wales Stuart represents Pudsey and is very familiar not only with the Yorkshire region but also with the charitable sector having started his third sector career with the British Heart Foundation in 1994. Since then he has worked with the Hope House Children's Hospice and East Lancashire Hospice and was, latterly, Fundraising Manager at Martin House Children's Hospice in Leeds where he was responsible for leading a team charged with raising £4 million a year. Most recently he joined campaigners fighting to save Yorkshire and the Humber’s only children’s heart surgery unit to deliver a petition of more than 500,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street which is believed to be one of the largest petitions ever raised. Stuart was able to give some valuable insights on what inspired him to become involved with charity work and how to target elected representatives so that your views are received and propounded where they can make a difference. He also demonstrated the awareness that some MPs have for the realities of life as experienced in the charities sector.

The Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support Foundation is the latest project from 47-year-old mum of five and cancer survivor Denise Dunn. Denise is a nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and a serial charity worker and in a moving and compelling address she described how she had spotted a gap in the support mechanism for cancer patients and how Firefly now supports and runs a shuttle minibus service to help patients get to and from Sheffield's Weston Park hospital. Her presentation left the attendees enthused to put into practice some of the ideas she had presented especially in connection with the use of social media.

Rosemary Downs, a Partner in the Corporate and Business Services team at hlw Keeble Hawson wound up the formal proceedings with a legal update on recent changes in the law and how these impacted on the not for profit sector. A lively Q&A session followed with all three speakers staying on to respond to questions from the floor.

Gareth Owen a partner in the hlw Keeble Hawson charities sector team chaired the meeting and commented that “the sector knowledge of the speakers was outstanding and the ideas they presented on how charities can help to keep their campaigns and work in the public eye were directly on the point and at the same time practical and exciting. Just the thing to enthuse and excite charity workers and fund raisers”.

hlw Keeble Hawson will be presenting the next in their regular series of free seminars for the not for profit sector in the summer of 2012.

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