Tom Bowdidge was a sporty, fun-loving 18-year-old boy who was just about to leave school and go to university. During the summer break Tom suddenly became ill. Tom was eventually diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in his peritoneum and pelvis, an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. Tom was sent to the University College Hospital in London which has a specialist teenage cancer unit, supported by Teenage Cancer Trust where the specialist unit gives teenagers an environment where they feel more comfortable, alongside other people of their own age.
Despite being very ill, Tom set about raising money by setting up an online fundraising page to sponsor him and raise a few pounds for Teenage Cancer Trust whilst also raising awareness of the work of the charity.
Tom quickly realised that he could make a real difference. In April 2013 he made the decision that he would like to start his own charity – a charity that would support teenage cancer patients.
Tom's condition, however, deteriorated rapidly but he was aware that his charity was helping to address some of the specialist needs on young cancer patients. Tom died on October 18th 2013 but before he died, he told his mother to “crack on” without him. That is exactly what Richard and Nikki have done by setting up The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation.
The Foundation not only helps to provide an appropriate environment for young cancer sufferers, but it also alleviates the many effects on the patient’s and the patient’s family’s everyday life. The Foundation provides emotional support through counselling, provision of phones and laptops to young cancer sufferers in order that they can communicate with friends and family and continue their education, provides financial support to families who are struggling with the expense of living with cancer such as the cost of travel, and computer equipment.
The Foundation also makes donations to support research into the rare form of cancer called desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) – a type of sarcoma that affects soft tissues in the body.
Richard Bowdidge visited our club on the 24th of April when he told the members about Tom’s inspiring story, the setting up of the charity and the success that it is having in alleviating the suffering of young cancer patients and their families. The members were impressed by Richard and his wife, Nikki’s, dedication in helping young cancer sufferers and decided, in some small way, to support the work that they are doing by donating £250 to help them continue with this crucial work.
more Linda Addis, Community Engagement and Fundraising Officer of Trust Links, visited the club to tell us a little bit about the charity, its history, and the work that it does in the local community.
more Representatives of two local charities who specialise in helping children with anxieties, Chris Jones of Home-Start Essex & Sandra Cole of Kids Inspire, talk to us about their work with children & their families
more Jackie has been recognised by Rotary Great Britain and Ireland for her tremendous effort in collecting 1000 un-wanted bikes to be shipped to Africa
more Despite collecting well over 1000 unwanted and unused bicycles, Jackie Wellman and her trusty helper Bob Taylor have been out on the road again twice recently to collect even more bikes.
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill deliver its 1,000th bicycle for shipment to Africa.
more 24th February 2023 will mark the 1-year anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Over the last 12 months, Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland have responded incredibly to the needs of Ukraine and its people.
more Jackie Wellman and Bob Taylor from the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill were on the road again in one of Rotarian Steve Gale’s vans on the 5th of May collecting yet more unused, unwanted bicycles from the Rayleigh, Hockley, and Southend areas.
more Jackie Wellman, with her trusty helper Bob Taylor and the help of Steve Gale, who lends her the use of one of his vans, just can’t stop collecting unwanted bikes.
more Little did Jackie Wellman think that when she started collecting unwanted and unused bikes on behalf of the Re~Cycle charity back in 2020, she would be well on her way to collecting 1000 bicycles.
more In response to an appeal by Mid & South Essex Hospitals Charity, the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill have donated £180 to buy two boxes of wedding accessories that turn wedding ceremonies in hospital into a memorable occasion.
more Rotary International responds to the devastation caused by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill has donated a total of £1,500 to help ease the suffering of the victims of the war in Ukraine
more Another 42 bikes collected brings the total so far to 805 bikes!
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill presents Southend's Homeless Charity, HARP with a cheque from the proceeds of the club’s Charity Golf Tournament
more Our 16th collection of bikes for Re~Cycle makes a total of 725 bikes collected so far and yet still more to come!
more Jackie's bicycle deliveries continue....
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill presents laptops to Glebe Primary School
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill is very pleased to have been able to help Plumberow Academy’s PTA with a donation of a storage box for their “pre-loved” uniforms collection
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill makes it 601 bikes for Africa
more Our collection of bikes for Africa reaches the landmark of over 500 bikes collected, enough to fill one shipping container!
more President of the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill, Dr. Geoff Kittle presented two laptops to the pupils of Grove Wood Primary School.
more Yet another (the 9th) collection of bikes for Re~Cycle, which makes over 500 bikes collected
more The members of the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill were each asked to nominate a charity for the club to donate £100 in their name from the funds raised by the club. As a result, a total of £2,700 has been donated among 20 charities. See details below.
more The Club helps Camp Jojo with a £1,000 donation
more Our donation towards the costs of maintaining the caring, essential service that Havens Hospices provide.
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill donates to local food banks
more Since former President, Jackie Wellman’s, initial bicycle collection staged just after total lock-down eased on 2nd June when she and Rtn. Sertac Yilmaz collected 40 bikes and 42 on the following day, the project has gone from strength to strength.
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill collects 82 bicycles for re-cycle
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill donates to The Danny Green Fund
more The members 0f the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill, having been made aware of the good work being carried out by the Rawreth Riding for the Disabled Association by their Community and Vocational Chairman, Alan Buxton, voted to make a donation to the charity
more When the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill were approached by the Grange Parent and Toddler Group regarding a contribution towards funding a much needed storage box for their outdoor toys the club was pleased to be able to totally fund the box
more At a recent meeting, we were entertained by David Stanley and the members of the Southend Music Man Project. At the conclusion of their performance Senior Vice-President Jackie Wellman presented the Project members with a cheque for £3000
more At the club’s Monday meeting, Katie Packard, a student at Southampton University, visited the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill to describe her vision of helping school children in Uganda by building playgrounds
more Hannah Kittle ran the London Marathon to raise money for the paediatric intensive care unit at St. George’s Hospital, London to thank the doctors and nurses who saved her baby’s life
more We we wonderfully entertained at our meeting on 27th November 2017 by some of the students from the Music Man Project and after dinner we were given a truly inspirational talk by David Stanley, their founder.
more The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill took the opportunity of the visit of District 1240’s District Governor, Nick Sillitoe to present him with a cheque for £600 in aid of BuildAid, one of his nominated charities.
more Rayleigh CAB volunteers Sue Murray and Gordon Raymer were on hand to take delivery of a new computer donated by the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill.
more Mica Day, representative of Southend Hospital, receives cheque for Â£2000 from our club.
more President Bill Farmer presents a cheque for Â£250 to Carol Warren, the manager of the Hockley and Hawkwell over 55's Club
more Following a performance by the Mushroom Theatre Company at the Rayleigh Mill Rotary Club, members Dave Jarvis, MD of Essex Civil Engineering, and Howard Pannell, MD of Pannell Development, donated Â£1,000 to the Equal Performing Arts charity.
more RNLI representative Terry Sheppard is presented with a cheque for Â£2,000 from Past President Alec Banyard.
more Great team effort raises Â£4000 for local MS Society and Parkinson's UK Support Group
back The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill donates to international and community projects