The Future Fund

A fundraising video for project to create new children’s cancer research unit in Newcastle

In February 2015 we spent a week filming on Ward 14 (Children’s Oncology Outpatients) in the Great North Children’s Hospital to produce a fundraising video for the Future Fund, an ambitious collaborative project between Newcastle University, Great North Children’s Hospital and North East Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) aiming to raise £5.5 million pounds to build a world-leading childhood cancer research facility here in the North East.

The short video premiered at the hospital’s Medicinema, which was packed with the young people who starred in the video and their proud families, along with local press. There were short speeches from influential locals including NECCR Chairman Chris Peacock and Newcastle Uni Clinical Geneticist Sir John Burn, both of whom further highlighted how far we’ve already come in terms of treatment in the last few decades, as well as their hopes for the future.

During the week spent filming all four of us here at Roots and Wings felt privileged to witness first-hand the courage of all the young people battling against this terrible disease, as well as the warmth of all the ward staff, and it was a truly humbling and amazing experience. All in all definitely one of our favourite projects yet. With over £4.5 million pounds raised at the time of writing, it’s looking likely that the Future Fund will hit their fundraising target (fingers crossed!) and the research centre will become a reality, further accelerating the outstanding research already taking place in the region.

Update: The new Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Unit was opened on 16th September by renowned author Bill Bryson, a patron of the two year fundraising campaign. During his opening speech Bryson said that watching our fundraising video “brought a tear to his eye”, thus bestowing on Roots and Wings the dubious accolade of having made Bill Bryson cry.

The film itself was directly attributed with raising a further £250,000 from one particularly moved philanthropist.

Update on the update: This film won the Haelo Film Festival prize for best-commissioned film 2017.