This year proved to be yet another successful and informative evening, with 4 speakers – Andrew Hodges, Dom Hazell, Jackie Fowler and Karen Devaraj. We were honoured to have the founder of the charity, Andrew Hodges all the way from Uganda! Andrew was an excellent speaker, and we heard about some really complex cancer patients who required some very complicated surgical procedures and aftercare. Often people in Uganda cannot afford treatment, or do not know where to access treatment, so the cases are often chronic and extremely serious, which we could see from some of the photos.
We also heard about another of Interface’s successful initiatives – the ‘mobiliser’, William Baluku. He has the difficult task of finding patients from remote areas of Uganda. He then brings them back to CoRSU hospital for treatment. So far, he has found over 130 patients – most with cleft lips and palates, and some with burns. Without him, these people may never have had the treatment they needed.
Andrew also talked about future plans, with training Ugandan surgeons, and how Interface has been helping with this in funding various placements and courses for them, as well as equipment. He was excited to tell us of a new Canadian surgeon who will soon be working at CoRSU and will also help with the training programme. Andrew spoke as if he was not doing anything out of the ordinary or amazing, even though he really is!
Dom Hazell and Jackie Fowler talked about fundraising that they have done this year with the help of many friends and family. Dom talked about how he has been inspired to help, and we heard about the therapy team netball tournament that he organised in February this year. Some very competitive photos followed! The tournament raised £200 for Interface. We also heard about the cycle ride to Buckingham Palace that a team of 9 cyclists and 2 support drivers completed at the end of May this year. We even read the letter that Vikram Devaraj sent to the Queen and saw her reply. Jackie talked about how we planned the fundraising to try to raise as much money as possible, and showed a video and photos of the Dartmoor challenge walking event at the end of June.
Jackie also showed how Interface has helped 2 of the physio departments in Uganda since she went out there a year ago.
Karen informed us about all of Interface’s achievements over the past year and more furure plans, including sending out more therapists in November.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to hear about the charity and our fundraising, and a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the fundraising events, got sponsorship and donated so much money. All 3 events have raised a massive £6,000 – far outreaching our expectations!