Friday, 24 December 2010

SEASONAL GOOD WISHES AND THANKS!


Sir Bobby's family would like to thank fund-raisers for their hard work and support during 2010.

Everyone connected with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is looking forward to another successful year in 2011 raising funds to fight cancer.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER IN SO MANY WAYS...


A dvd produced in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation last year has already raised over £95,000 for the cancer charity and is selling well ahead of this Christmas.

Directed and produced by Geoff Wonfor and Ray Laidlaw, ‘A Knight to Remember’ contains exclusive footage of Sir Bobby’s final interviews and features contributions from high profile names from sport and entertainment including Gary Lineker, Sir Bobby Charlton, Ant and Dec, Des Lynam, Brendan Foster, Shay Given, Sir Alex Ferguson, Malcolm Macdonald, Jack Charlton, Bob Moncur, Steve Cram and Paul Gascoigne.

It also includes an introduction from Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer OBE who was on hand to receive the cheque for the money raised so far in his capacity as a patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Alan says: “I’m very impressed by the amount A Knight to Remember has already raised and hopefully the dvd will be in a few Christmas stockings this year too.

“It’s a fantastic tribute to a great man and something I was happy to help with. It’s very funny in parts and understandably emotional in others. Ray and Geoff have done a great job with it and the money raised will be well spent helping people in the north east and Cumbria fighting cancer.”

In addition to interviews and footage from Sir Bobby’s career and fund-raising efforts, ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ stars Tim Healy, Kevin Whately and Jimmy Nail perform a very special version of the Blaydon Races especially for the dvd, while each of Sir Bobby’s three sons offers a very personal perspective of the man who was simply ‘Dad.’

Geoff says: “Conducting Sir Bobby's final TV interviews was a career highlight for us and we are thrilled that the DVD is raising significant funds for his foundation.”

A Knight to Remember is priced at £17 and is available from JG Windows, HMV shops, nufc.co.uk and all good DVD retailers.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched by Sir Bobby in March 2008 and has gone on to raise more than £2.5 million to fight cancer.

It operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust to provide services not yet available within the NHS and directly benefits patients across the north east and Cumbria

The charity recently announced it is working with Newcastle University and has jointly committed to buying a Biomarker Generator, an ultra-compact cyclotron which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. It is only the second of its type in the world and the first in Europe and costs more than £500,000.

Monday, 29 November 2010

NEW CANCER EQUIPMENT IS FIRST OF ITS KIND IN EUROPE


When Sir Bobby Robson launched his charity in 2008 it was his heartfelt ambition to help fund world class cancer research and treatment within the north east. Today marks another significant step forward in fulfilling his ambition as the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Newcastle University announce major investment into cancer research equipment, which is the first of its kind in Europe.

Newcastle University and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation have committed to buying a Biomarker Generator, an ultra-compact cyclotron from ABT Molecular Imaging, Inc. (Knoxville, Tennessee, US), which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.

Only the second of its type in the world, it will be the first in Europe, and will help in the development of new cancer treatments to save lives.

ABT sells the Biomarker Generator for close to £1,000,000 and its purchase has been made possible thanks to incredible support from fund-raisers and donations to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and it will directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria.

The Biomarker Generator works by creating radioactive tracers which are given to patients who subsequently undergo scans (also known as imaging)to provide information on cancer and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The information collected from imaging radioactive tracers helps doctors to understand where the disease is in each patient, how serious the disease is, and the underlying processes and pathways that are sustaining the illness.

Herbie Newell, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University, explained: “This is a piece of equipment which will help us enormously in our fight against cancer. It is a really powerful technology which will allow us to assess which patients are most likely to benefit from particular types of drug or radiation therapy, and whether the treatments are working. It will especially help us with our research into new and better ways of treating cancer.

“As well as being valuable in diagnosing certain cancers, neurological and cardiac diseases, it can also help to show where drugs are going in the body. For individual patients it will help us work out whether drugs are working or if a different approach to treatment might be better."

Announcing investment into the Biomarker Generator marks a proud day for Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie Robson, and for his family and supporters of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Lady Elsie said: “My husband was whole hearted in everything he set out to do and when he launched this charity he wanted to help fund the very best in terms of cancer research and treatment.

“My family and I are incredibly proud to know that his legacy continues to grow with the funding of this equipment and I know he would be bursting with pride too.

“Bob described this charity as his last and greatest team and that’s what it continues to be.
“Every single penny raised in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation helps in the fight against this terrible disease and I am very grateful for the ongoing efforts of all our wonderful supporters. Each and every one of them is part of this fantastic achievement and with continued support we will find more effective treatments for cancer.”

Newcastle has invested heavily over recent years in the development of imaging facilities for both clinical and research use. The cyclotron builds on support from the Regional Development Agency ONE North East, Cancer Research UK, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences and Medical Research Councils.

The cyclotron will be housed in a newly built ‘specialist environment’ in the School of Chemistry at Newcastle University. The ‘specialist environment’ is a requirement when making agents that will be administered to patients, and the University is funding this aspect of the project. The Head of the School of Chemistry, Professor Mike Green commented: “The purchase of the Biomarker Generator is the last piece in the jigsaw, and when this facility opens in summer 2011 we will have a fully integrated imaging facility in Newcastle.”

“The facility will be run by an extremely talented radiochemist, Dr Mike Carroll.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched by Sir Bobby in March 2008 and has gone on to raise more than £2.5 million to fight cancer.

Friday, 26 November 2010

MOUNT EVEREST CHALLENGE BEGINS AT NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY


In December a Newcastle councillor will be taking on the world’s highest mountain in aid of north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Dipu Ahad from Elswick is trekking to Everest base camp, which is more than 5,550m above sea level where acute mountain sickness (AMS) poses a serious risk.

Intense preparation for this tough physical challenge is vital and Dipu is undertaking a strenuous diet and fitness regime with advice from Northumbria University’s Sports Science experts.

Not only that, the university is now equipped to acclimatise him for the difficult environmental conditions he will face thanks to a new state-of-the-art environmental chamber which was installed this week.

Dr Glyn Howatson, exercise physiologist and Laboratory Director in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, explains: “MyPhD student Jamie Tallent and I have been putting Dipu through his paces to get him in peak condition for his trek to Everest Base Camp.

“And we can now help him even further using our new environmental chamber which is the only one of its kind in the North East and is able to simulate heat, cold, humidity and altitude environments.

“We’re thrilled to have it as it makes it possible for us to simulate almost any environment on the earth’s surface here in Newcastle.

“It will give the team an idea about how Dipu will respond to the challenge of ‘thinner air’ and how much time he will need to acclimatise to the dizzy heights of Everest. The harder he finds it now, the more time he will need to invest in his preparation.”

The new environmental chamber at Northumbria University will be used for projects including research into physical and mental response to occupational tasks in challenging environments, acclimatisation and support for teaching so students can experience at first-hand what it is like to conduct simple tasks in physically demanding conditions.

It also offers opportunities for research into medical conditions like respiratory diseases, testing equipment in extreme conditions and will provide the region’s athletes with a facility to acclimatise to heat, cold and altitude prior to competition.

Dipu says: “I’ll be fulfilling a personal ambition when I reach Everest Base Camp. The training is very hard as I have been undertaking a strict and strenuous training and diet regime but I’m very determined and Glyn and his team have been hugely helpful. This time last year my body fat was 31.3 per cent and now I’m down to 17.9 per cent,I know their training advice is definitely working for me.

“I will be taking the more difficult and dangerous route to the base camp via Gokyo Lakes which adds an extra three to four days than the normal trekking route. In December the weather will be colder than the normal peak trekking season – all of which adds to the challenge.

“I’m also committed to raising as much money in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation as possible through the trek. It’s an important charity to me personally and I will do anything I can to help fund research into cancer and to help patients in the north east is a privilege.

“Cancer is not a disease which is often openly discussed in the Asian community and I’d like to change that too. There needs to be more awareness with regards to cancer in these communities and that help and advice is readily available.”

Dipu is funding his trek himself, including flights, food and accommodation, and every penny of sponsorship will go directly to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. To sponsor Dipu please visit www.justgiving.com/trek2everest.

Friday, 5 November 2010

NIALL QUINN BECOMES A PATRON OF THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION

Sir Bobby Robson’s family is proud to announce today that Sunderland AFC chairman, Niall Quinn, has agreed to become a Patron of north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Niall joins Alan Shearer, Ipswich legend Mick Mills and Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson as official representatives of the charity, which benefits patients from across the whole region.

Sir Bobby was a frequent visitor to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and often talked of the warm reception he received at the club. After he lost his hard fought battle with cancer last July Sunderland fans sang Sir Bobby’s name at a pre-season friendly against Celtic. It was a very touching expression of respect – particularly given Sir Bobby’s association with the club’s rivals Newcastle United.

Lady Elsie said: “My family and I are very happy that Niall has agreed to become a Patron of the charity. His involvement is greatly appreciated and we know Bob would have backed our decision to ask Niall for help to carry on the fund-raising work.

“Newcastle United was his first love but my husband wanted success for all the north east teams and we’ve always had wonderful support from Sunderland Football Club and its fans.

“When Newcastle were away from home Bob often enjoyed football at the Riverside or the Stadium of Light. He had great respect for Niall, Steve Bruce and everyone else at Sunderland and enjoyed their company very much.

“Some things go beyond football and anyone who has been through the pain of seeing a loved one fighting this terrible disease will know that.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched by Sir Bobby in March 2008 and it has gone on to raise more than £2.5 million to fight cancer within the region. Its main focus is funding research into more effective cancer treatments and the clinical trials of new anti cancer drugs.

The charity operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust to provide services not yet available within the NHS. Every project it funds benefits patients from across the north east and Cumbria.

Talking about his new role as a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Niall said: "I remember the night this Foundation was launched, and today a thousand patients are receiving help from Sir Bobby's efforts. That is incredible.

"The absolute answer was yes when I was asked to become a Patron. In keeping with Sir Bobby's way of being loved everywhere he wanted the places he was revered most to be covered by Patrons.

"Alan, Steve, myself and Mick can't come near what Sir Bobby has done through football and his life, but we are determined to keep the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation moving forward."

Andrew Robson, Sir Bobby’s son, added: “When my dad launched his cancer charity I don’t think he realised quite how successful it would become. The ongoing support we receive from fund-raisers is incredible and very much appreciated.

“We recently passed the £2.5 million mark and every penny is being spent helping people fighting cancer in the north east and Cumbria.

“My mum, my brothers and I are all very committed to continuing the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s important work and we couldn’t do that without the help of our fantastic patrons who also include Mick Mills, Alan Shearer and Steve Gibson.

“I know my father would be very proud and grateful to know that his charity is represented by such well respected football men from Suffolk, Tyneside, Teesside and Wearside.

“We had hoped to make this announcement about Niall earlier in the year but were unable to do so due to the travel situation caused by the volcanic ash clouds.

“We’re very happy to be able to do so now and, on behalf of my family, it gave me enormous pleasure to express our thanks and to welcome Niall to his new role as a Patron of Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

Friday, 29 October 2010

‘GANNIN ALONG THE SCOTSWOOD ROAD’ FOR THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION


North east band The Longsands is following in the footsteps of Geordie legends Tim Healy, Jimmy Nail and Kevin Whately by recording their own version of the Blaydon Races in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The popular five piece band from Cramlington will be performing the famous Geordie anthem on the pitch immediately before Sunday’s big derby game and they may already sound familiar to many Newcastle United fans.

Songwriter and guitarist, Ian Barnes, says: “We’re all big Newcastle fans and a while ago were given the opportunity to record our version of the Blaydon Races which is played before the team comes out on a match day.

“We’ve always been really proud hearing The Longsands’ version of the song booming out at St James’ Park and our fans have regularly asked if we would release it as a single.

“The Auf Wiedersehen Pet lads recorded the song for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s A Knight to Remember dvd which was launched this time last year and we all agreed we’d like to do something to help raise money for this great cause too.

“It’s a fantastic north east charity and even though St James’ Park will be divided into black and white and red and white on Sunday we can all agree on the importance of funding research into cancer which will help local people.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched by Sir Bobby in March 2008 and has gone on to raise more than £2.5 million to fight cancer within the region. Its main focus is funding research into more effective cancer treatments and the clinical trials of new cancer drugs.

Bill Corcoran, a local culture and heritage enthusiast, believes the Blaydon Races is much more than just a traditional folk song and is as relevant today as the day it was written.

Bill says: “The Blaydon Races is not just a folk song written in 1862, it’s a living regional anthem, sung on football terraces and overfull bars as well as on concert stages. It’s a happy song sung by confident and enthusiastic people sure of their identity and proud of their home.

“One of the reasons why Tyneside is so special is the unity of its people. Black or white, especially black and white, rich or poor, home or away, the Geordie people have a special spirit characterised by courage and humour which is renowned in the world.

“In a time of globalised homogeneity such regional pride that does not seek to decry others is rare and precious. The song’s lyrics show that, even in 1862, everyone was included in our community – from ‘Coffee Johnny’ to ‘Paddy Fagan’ – and it even highlights ‘the lads and lasses there, all with smiling faces’ enjoying the usual Tyneside party spirit.

“The Toon Army belting out our song about our wonderful city and region shows that wherever we are in the world, we wouldn’t want to be anyone else and especially be from anywhere else. It means celebration in victory or defiance in defeat. It is the most perfect terrace anthem for a proud people and it will be sung for generations yet.”

The Longsands’ Blaydon Races is available from www.thelongsands.co.uk from Sunday and is available to pre-order now The Longsands. The special charity download will include two different versions of the Blaydon Races and also feature a track called Bully from the band’s debut album Meet Me In Spanish City.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust to provide services not yet available within the NHS. Every project it funds benefits patients from across the north east and Cumbria.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION BACKS LEUKAEMIA RESEARCH


A £20,000 contribution from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is helping further research into leukaemia within the north east.

Funding from the charity to the Leukaemia Research Cytogenetics Group has purchased an Olympus BHX6 fluorescence microscope, which is connected to a highly sophisticated image analysis system.

Professor Christine Harrison says: “This top of the range microscope is an important piece of equipment for us.

“Although our research is focussed on leukaemia, the techniques we’re using, and the use of the microscope, will be of great value to other researchers within the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has raised money in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation for helping to make this purchase happen.”

The research of the Leukaemia Research Cytogenetics Group involves the study of chromosomes in the bone marrow cells of patients with leukaemia. Abnormalities of these chromosomes indicate the type of leukaemia that each patient has, and more importantly, they provide an indication of the how the patient will respond to treatment.

This feature helps form decisions regarding patient treatment according to their abnormality, which ensures that they are given the most appropriate therapy and increase survival rates.

Lady Elsie says: “It’s a pleasure meeting with Professor Harrison today and learning more about the excellent leukaemia research work being undertaken in Newcastle.

“My husband was keen to support research into leukaemia after the sad death of young Jordan Thompson who played for Newcastle United’s Academy. And we were pleased to contribute £30,000 to the new Teenage Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary for the same reason.

“It was good to meet with Jordan’s mum Andrea today. Like so many people, we both have personal reasons to support research into all forms of cancer and I wish her well with her own fund-raising for the Toma Fund.”

The strength of research into blood cancers in Newcastle was recently recognised by the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which described the city as a centre of excellence. In 2005 Sir Bobby officially opened the Paul O’Gorman Building at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

Lady Elsie adds: “My family and I take great pride in the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and never more so than when we can see the benefits it can provide to local cancer experts.

“We’re very appreciative of all the hard work being undertaken to raise money in aid of the charity and were thrilled to pass the £2.5 million mark. I know Bob would be so proud to see his legacy continuing to help other people fighting cancer.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is currently involved in detailed discussions regarding significant investment into ground-breaking research equipment, which will benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria. This is a lengthy process due to the scale of the investment and the charity hopes to be able to announce details in the coming months.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

GLITTERING EMERALD EVENING FOR SIR BOBBY


One of the highlights of this years’ Tyneside Irish Festival will be a lively ball at St James’ Park in aid of north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Sir Bobby’s widow, Lady Elsie Robson, will be one of the guests of honour at the Emerald Ball on Friday 15 October for what promises to be a sparkling evening of music and laughter.

Hosted by Cork City’s storyteller ‘Pat the Hat,’ the Emerald Ball will feature music from the Michael Muldoon Irish Show Band, Irish cabaret dancing, a four-course dinner and disco. The star auction prize is a beautiful emerald necklace donated by Richard Sinton Jewellers, which organiser Tony Corcoran hopes will help raise a substantial total for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Tony, director of the Tyneside Irish Festival, says: “This is a chance for the Irish community on Tyneside to celebrate and show their appreciation of what The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has done for the region. We are also very much aware that many Irish patients also benefit from the pioneering work of our hospitals.

The Emerald Ball is just one of the events organised by the Tyneside Irish Society for its annual festival, which this year runs between 8 – 24 October. Now in its 24th year, other Tyneside Irish Festival events include visits by star performers such as the singer Frances Black, the original De Dannan and the Wildcats of Kilkenny as well as performances of a new drama ‘Fences’, by the Beg, Borrow, Steal Theatre Company.

The Tyneside Irish Festival was established in 1985 and is renowned as the UK's largest Irish Cultural Festival.

It is the perfect opportunity for audiences to extend their experience of Irish culture during the two week festival of traditional and country Irish music, drama, ceilis, talks, storytelling and poetry.

Lady Elsie says: “I’m looking forward to the Emerald Ball and I’ve no doubts it will be a wonderful evening.

“The emerald necklace donated by Richard Sinton is stunning and I hope it will create a great deal of interest in the charity auction.

“It is very good of the Tyneside Irish Society to choose to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. My family and I very grateful for the efforts of everyone involved.”

Tickets for the Emerald Ball are priced at £40 and are available from Tourist Information, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. For more information please call: 0191 2220398 or logon to www.tynesideirish.com

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

BORO FANS BACKING SIR BOBBY


Boro Chairman Steve Gibson has praised fans who raised £13,000 for Teesside cancer patients via a charity football match at the Riverside Stadium.

Organised through popular Middlesbrough fanzine Fly Me To The Moon, the game in May raised almost £13,000 for north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Gibson, the Teesside Patron for the Foundation, received the cheque on behalf of the charity from Boro supporter Andy Clark and Fly Me to the Moon editor Robert Nichols.

Lifelong Boro fan Andy Clark, a national fuel manager from Billingham, was the driving force behind the fund-raising.

Andy said: “Last year we arranged a charity game at Conyers School in Yarm. It was pulled together at really short notice but we had a great time and raised £2,500 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“We were lucky enough to present that cheque to Sir Bobby in person and this year I was determined to raise even more money to help local people fighting cancer.

“We asked Steve Gibson if we could use the Riverside this time round and he kindly said yes. The venue made a huge difference and it was a very special day for everyone involved.”

The two teams were made up of regular contributors to Fly Me To The Moon’s online football message boards and were joined by former Middlesbrough players Paul Kerr and Mark Proctor. They were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of family and friends with vocal backing from supporters’ group Red Faction.

After 90 minutes the score stood at 1–1 and, after a lively penalty shoot-out, the game finished 11-11. Players and supporters then enjoyed a post-match celebration in the club’s Legends Lounge.

Steve Gibson said: “I was deeply touched when I was asked to be a patron of Sir Bobby’s Foundation and I am delighted that Middlesbrough FC’s involvement is already making a tangible difference in raising funds for the charity.

“This was a magnificent effort by a big-hearted group of Boro supporters. It’s important that all Boro fans realise that the Foundation isn’t just for the benefit of people on Tyneside, but across Teesside too, so I hope even more of our fans give their support to the charity.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation was launched in March 2008 to help cancer patients in the north east and Cumbria. Its main focus is clinical trials of new cancer drugs within the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

In its first year, over 600 new patients from across the region have been treated there. The Centre treats patients on clinical trials of new cancer drugs including early trials of laboratory tested drugs which are being used in patients for the first time as well as those which are further on in development and being compared to standard treatments for effectiveness.

The Centre was constructed by the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and equipped by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Its’ specialist staff are funded through Newcastle University, the NHS Trust, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

BBC RADIO 5 LIVE BROADCAST FROM THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON CANCER TRIALS RESEARCH CENTRE

By Tom Chaplin:

Snaking cables, endless wires, beeping machines, complicated equipment, fine expertise, giant personalities: the radio folk from London have come to town.

For one day only BBC Radio 5 live broadcasted Gabby Logan’s afternoon show live from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital on Thursday 16th September.

The great and the good were there, obviously. Then there were the utterly stupendous, the fabulously committed, the embarrassingly talented, and the unerringly brave. And then there was, er, me. To make up the numbers? Hoover up the sandwiches? (Midday kick off, what do you expect?) To mooch around taking it all in.

I watched as Ruth Plummer… you know Ruth Plummer, Clinical Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, ushered Alan Shearer into a cubby-hole kitchen to make him a cuppa (white no sugar, for fans of detail).

I witnessed warm small talk between the ever-delightful Lady Elsie Robson and many recognisable faces…. with Gabby Logan about cake (more on that later), with Shearer about his tan (procured via golf she was reliably informed) and with Newcastle United’s Steve Harper about his tan (yes, golf also), and with many fundraisers and others keen to share a word.

I gaffawed as I realised radio people really do tiptoe around, manically making “we’re all doomed” gestures with their hands when a problem arises. Acting like ducks someone suggested, though the lady from the BBC preferred to refer to herself as a swan.

I smiled warmly as Gabby interviewed three patients of the centre: Terry who wasn’t much into reflexology, Claire who detailed the challenges of radiotherapy to the nation with amazing poise and calm, and Ruth – 78 years young, all zip wires and life’s-for-living and still fundraising.

I listened as the infectious enthusiasm of Lee McQueen, Apprentice winner and former employee of “Sir Alan”, enthralled with tales of Scarfell Pike, blisters and fundraising in honour of a mates’ mate who’d lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last summer.

I tasted the offering of Carol, Professor Plummer’s friend of many years, and the Foundation’s official unofficial cake maker. It was, as you’d expect, fine cake.

I heard as Warrant Officer Angela Kelly retold the story of Stevie Campbell – a Sergeant and “excellent soldier” based at Pelton with 3 Rifles who’d lost his life to an IED in Afghanistan, and who’s son was today to receive a shirt and football signed freshly by Alan Shearer. I heard too of her utterly inspiring fundraising on behalf the Foundation that she does with her dog, “Alan Shearer” and tale of Shearer (the dog) being randomly sent No.9 out of a possible 3000+ Race for Life race numbers.

I stood by in awe as a member of nursing staff offered me… ME…. a cup of tea. Thank you, but no I said in voice struggling to hide my surprise. What had I, in the company of all these people, these wonderful, hardy, energetic, inspiring, tough as nails, generous, thoughtful, life saving, brilliant people, done to deserve a cup of tea? Nothing. I’d done absolutely nothing but pick at the cheese savoury and mooch.

Sadly, almost as quickly as it kicked off – as with all good parties – this one was over before anyone had time to notice. The two and half million pound fundraising milestone had been mentioned on air. The radio gear packed up. The snaps had been taken, the cake gone. Gabby was done and ready for the train. Alan had departed. Lady Elsie and her three doting sons Andrew, Mark and Paul were saying warm goodbyes to staff and patients.

And so… snaking cables, endless wires, beeping machines, complicated equipment, fine expertise, giant personalities: gradually the centre begins to return to normality. Patients sit quietly receiving treatment, staff busily go about their work. The hum of activity as a cure is sought. And the unmistakable, unbreakable aura of one man remains. Thanks for a lovely afternoon, Sir Bobby.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

BBC RADIO 5 LIVE BROADCAST FROM THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON CANCER TRIALS RESEARCH CENTRE


On the day (Thursday 16th September) when the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation broke through the £2.5 million fund-raising mark, BBC Radio 5 live broadcast live from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre as part of its Septemberfest festival.

The two hour national radio show, hosted by Durham University graduate and Newcastle United fan Gabby Logan, focussed on the pioneering cancer research being done at the Sir Bobby Centre and the ongoing work of north east cancer charity - the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Interviewees included Sir Bobby’s widow and sons – Lady Elsie, Paul, Andrew and Mark Robson – Alan Shearer OBE, who is a patron of Sir Bobby’s charity, and Newcastle United goal keeper Steve Harper. In addition, Peter Beardsley visited the Centre to be filmed discussing the great legacy Sir Bobby Robson has left for other people fighting cancer.

Sir Bobby Robson Centre patients, staff and fund-raisers for the Foundation also contributed to the programme which paid tribute to Sir Bobby and the incredible legacy he left for cancer patients in the north east and Cumbria through his charity.

Speaking from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, BBC 5 live’s Gabby Logan said: “What a truly inspiring and magical place and Sir Bobby Robson’s presence loomed large all afternoon.

“It was a joy to meet the patients, nurses and Professor Plummer here and I hope the Foundation’s fund-raising goes from strength to strength.”

Talking about the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Lady Elsie said: “Bob’s football legacy was great. But I think this is much more important and I think it was to him in the end. The charity was something very different, something very special. It was something which kept him vibrant and kept him going.

“I do get strength from coming here to the Sir Bobby Centre and it’s also very moving. This morning I felt it as I entered the building. It’s just a great legacy and when you see his name up on the sign. It’s tremendous what he did and all in the last two years of his life.”

On announcing the £2.5 million fund-raising mark had been passed Alan Shearer commented: “It’s an incredible achievement and a result of so many people’s generosity and so many people’s hard work.

“If he’s looking down today Sir Bobby will be smiling and will say that’s because of me. And so he should, he should be proud – he was an incredible man.”

Talking about the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre Alan added: “When you walk in here you shouldn’t see people smiling because you know why they’re here and what their treatment is for. But you do see so many people smiling.

“This is a very, very special place. We’ve all had family and friends who have lost people to cancer and Sir Bobby wanted to get to the bottom of that. He’s left a tremendous legacy.”

BBC Radio 5 live's Septemberfest, the station's annual festival, is in Newcastle and Gateshead from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th September. It brings together all the elements of the 5 Live mix – news, sport and entertainment – in front of live audiences and will include coverage of the Great North Run, full details at www.bbc.co.uk/5live.

The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle opened in February 2009. In its first year, over 600 new patients from the north east and Cumbria have been treated there.

The Centre treats patients on clinical trials of new cancer drugs. These include early trials of laboratory tested drugs which are being used in patients for the first time as well as those which are further on in development and being compared to standard treatments for effectiveness.

This means cancer patients from across the region can choose to participate in trials and have an opportunity to try new treatments as they emerge.

The Centre was constructed by the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and equipped by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Its’ specialist staff are funded through Newcastle University, the NHS Trust, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not yet available within the NHS.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A FUNNY WAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION...


Mention the name Sir Bobby Robson and people will often smile remembering one of his many entertaining post-match comments.

Now local comedians are putting on an evening at the Hyena Comedy Club to raise money for his charity and they are hoping it will prove just as memorable.

‘A Night of the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue’ on Sunday 29 August is the brainchild of 22-year-old Lewis Chambers from Westerhope.

Lewis, a bank manager, is also a talented amateur comedian and is looking forward to testing himself on the Hyena’s stage, which has been graced by big names like Peter Kaye, Ross Noble, Jimmy Carr.

He says: “Obviously I have to be very professional in my day job so I enjoy the opportunity to be a bit daft in the evening.

“Myself and two other young amateur comedians will be performing and there will be a band too so it should be a great night. The Hyena isn’t charging us for the venue so every penny will go straight to Sir Bobby’s charity.

“I’m a big fan of Sir Bobby and like most people I was upset when he passed away. I’ve been really lucky as I haven’t been directly affected by cancer myself but I have friends who were not so fortunate.

“Nobody goes through life without being touched by this terrible disease in some way and we’re pleased to be doing our bit to help. We’re hoping to make as much as £2,000.”

More than 100 tickets have already been sold for ‘A Night of the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue.’

Lewis will be joined on stage by comedians Chris Dobinson and Mickey ’40 Quid’ Laidler and local band Cedarway.

Tickets are still available at £7 each from the Hyena Comedy Club on Leazes Park Road in Newcastle. Doors open at 7pm and the first act will be on stage around 9pm. For further information call 0191 232 6030 or visit www.thehyena.com.

Monday, 23 August 2010

QUEENS OWN SUPPORT FOR THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION


With military precision, the Queens Own Yeomanry has raised almost £6,000 for north east cancer charity the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

D Squadron, based at Fenham Barracks in Newcastle, decided to raise the money after Staff Sergeant Peter Smith lost his wife to the disease in November.

Peter, from Seghill, is a civil enforcement officer for North Tyneside Council and has three children Toni, James and Jack.

He says: “My wife Angela was just 44 when she died through renal cancer and it all happened very suddenly.

“As a TA unit we’ve always done what we can to help north east charities and I was touched when Captain Ian Stobbs suggested we raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in Angela’s memory.

“I’m proud of my unit. It’s just like them to pull together like this to help other people.”

Peter’s unit underwent gruelling physical challenges known as the ‘triple six’ to raise the money for Sir Bobby’s charity. The ‘triple six’ consists of swimming six 100m lengths of the pool, a 6km bike ride and a six mile forced march with full kit weighing 25 kilos.

Sir Bobby’s son Andrew visited Fenham Barracks to say thank you in person for the D Squadron’s efforts. He says: “It was a real pleasure to meet such committed fund-raisers.

“Having lost dad only last year I can understand what Peter and his family are going through but it must be particularly hard to lose a loved one to cancer so suddenly.

“With so much happening with our armed forces overseas it speaks volumes that these men still have the drive to focus on helping a local charity like this. My family and I are very grateful for this donation and wish them all the very best for the future.”

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION BUS


Lady Elsie Robson climbed on board Go North East’s X25 bus – which pays tribute to her late husband and former England manager, Sir Bobby Robson - to visit Langley Park Primary School in County Durham.

Go North East service X25 has been given a special livery which features a favourite family photo of Sir Bobby and promotes the work of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which raises money for the early detection and treatment of cancer.

The four, X25 double deck buses run between Langley Park - where Sir Bobby lived as a youngster - and Newcastle city centre and carry details of the Foundation website on the outside of the bus as well as more photos of Sir Bobby and information on his career and the Foundation inside the bus.

Lady Elsie had been invited to travel on the bus by Go North East Managing Director Peter Huntley and saw first hand how the service is helping to spread the message of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation as well as boost donations by incorporating the donation website address into its livery.

Arriving at Langley Park Primary School, Lady Elsie and Peter Huntley were treated to a display of footballing skills by members of the young school football team and handed over a cheque for £500 to the team from Go North East’s Community Fund.

“Go North East is well-known for operating some of the most eye-catching buses in the region,” said Peter Huntley, “many designed to provide strong cultural links with the communities they serve. When it came to deciding on a design for service X25, we were honoured that we could commemorate Sir Bobby Robson and reflect the connection he had with the community of Langley Park. Wherever our bus travels, it is helping to encourage people to support the Bobby Robson Foundation.”

Pauline Buglass, head of fund-raising for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, says: "We appreciate Go Ahead choosing to promote the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation on the X25 bus.

"It seems particularly fitting given Sir Bobby's close connections to both Langley Park and Newcastle and will help us to maintain awareness of his charity."

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust to help patients across the north east and Cumbria. It focuses on the early detection and treatment of cancer and the clinical trials of new drugs that will eventually beat it.

The charity was launched in March 2008 and, thanks to tremendous generosity from donors and fund-raisers, has now raised more than £2.4 million to help fight cancer.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

WARM UP TO THE WORLD CUP FINAL WITH SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT


On Sunday 11th July the world’s best footballers will be playing in the biggest game of their careers when the World Cup final kicks off in South Africa.

Now local footballers have the opportunity to test their own skills on the same day at a charity five-a-side tournament in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in Newcastle.

The ‘Robson Fives’ is being organised by Ian Carr and Neil Eddy at SoccerWorld on Westgate Road, Newcastle. The tournament has Junior’s, Men’s and Women’s sections and has already attracted teams from as far away as London.

Within the region, popular football fanzines for Sunderland, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough football clubs - A Love Supreme, True Faith and Fly Me To The Moon – are each entering sides ensuring strong local rivalry and a lively competition.

The Women’s section will be equally strong and Newcastle United Women’s Club and Chelsea Academy Ladies are just two of the teams taking part.

As well as being a fitting curtain raiser to the World Cup final, which will be screened in the bar following the tournament, players will also be helping to raise money for an important local cause.

Organiser Ian Carr, a call centre worker from Gateshead, says: “It seems appropriate to run this tournament on the same day as the World Cup final given how close Sir Bobby came to getting us there in 1990.

“We ran a similar five-a-side competition in aid of his charity last year and raised £535. This year we’re aiming to better that total and enjoy another day of competitive football in aid of a great cause.

“We’ve already attracted more teams and have opened the tournament up to women’s teams too. Newcastle United Women’s Club were one of the first teams to sign up and we appreciate their involvement.”

Thanks to incredible ongoing support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has now raised over £2.4 million to fight cancer for the benefit of patients in the north east and Cumbria.

In addition to equipping the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, the charity has funded a specialist research nurse and doctor and enhanced a children’s waiting area at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

It has also contributed £30,000 to the new Teenage Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and all of these projects benefit cancer patients from across the entire region.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not currently funded by the NHS.

Ruth Sutcliffe from Jesmond, vice captain of Newcastle United Women’s Club, says: “My grandma had cancer so sadly, like most people, I’ve had personal experience of the disease.

“We’re proud to support community events like this and we all admire Sir Bobby. As a team we’re keen to do what we can to help his charity to fight cancer in the north east.”

Ian adds: “We’re all looking forward to the Robson Fives and will be making it an occasion for the whole family to enjoy with bouncy castles, face painting, balloons, karaoke and a barbecue. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy World Cup final day and do something to help Sir Bobby’s charity too.”

Anyone who would like to enter a team for any section of the tournament can still do so by calling SoccerWorld on 0191 241 7707 or by visiting www.bobbyrobsontournament-2010.co.uk

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

VIRGIN MEDIA SUPPORTS SIR BOBBY'S CHARITY


To raise much-needed funds for the fight against cancer, twenty years after Sir Bobby Robson led England to the World Cup semi-finals, Virgin Media has pledged to make a donation to the charity set up in his name every time a visitor to this site watches any video clips.

www.wc2010.virginmedia.com


Virgin Media has pledged to give 20% of the revenue generated from all videos viewed - and if the England team goes one better in 2010 and wins the World Cup, we will give an extra 10% to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

So the more times the video clips are watched on this site, the more money will be given to help in the fight against cancer, an illness which Sir Bobby bravely fought five times.

Sir Bobby's son, Mark Robson, said: "We're very grateful that Virgin Media has offered their support with this tribute to my dad. It's a fantastic way to raise funds to help improve the lives of other people fighting cancer and to make people aware of his charity. The money raised will help fund clinical trials of new cancer drugs, which is something dad was passionate about.

"Italia 90 is remembered as one of the highlights of dad`s career. He was extremely proud to be manager of England and his team's achievements at Italia 90 were unforgettable. It was a very special tournament which inspired so many people in a way only the World Cup can."

Thursday, 20 May 2010

‘WHIRLWIND’ SUPPORT FOR THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION...

Snooker legend Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White will be in Newcastle next week to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Jimmy is the guest star at a sell out fund-raising event at Westfield Social Club on Westgate Road in Newcastle. He will be playing a frame of snooker against the highest bidders in an auction to benefit Sir Bobby’s cancer charity.

Jimmy, who has fought cancer himself, says: “For me to be able to help raise some money in Sir Bobby Robson’s name, that’s just fantastic. He was always doing things to help other people and it’s really an honour for me to be able to help out.

“I must have been to Newcastle hundreds of times. I’m a big Chelsea fan and I’ve seen maybe 15 or 20 games at St James’ Park. The atmosphere there is second to none.”

The event on Wednesday 26 May is being organised by Michael Sheldon from Westerhope and the members of the Westfield Snooker Team.

Michael is thrilled at the positive response from local snooker fans and says: “We sold out all 200 tickets for this night in no time at all. Everyone is excited to see Jimmy play at close quarters and a lucky few will also get the chance to match themselves against him.

“It will be a fantastic evening and we’re very proud to help support Sir Bobby’s cancer charity.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust to help patients across the north east and Cumbria. It focuses on the early detection and treatment of cancer and the clinical trials of new drugs that will eventually beat it.

The charity was launched in March 2008 and, thanks to tremendous generosity from donors and fund-raisers, has now raised more than £2.4 million to help fight cancer.

Friday, 23 April 2010

IPSWICH LEGEND MICK MILLS BECOMES SUFFOLK’S PATRON OF THE SIR BOBBY ROBSON FOUNDATION


Sir Bobby Robson’s cancer charity receives fantastic ongoing support from fans of all of his former clubs – and outside the north east that support is undoubtedly strongest in Suffolk where fans of Ipswich Town continue to raise funds in his name.

Ipswich Town enjoyed a period of incredible success under 13 years of Sir Bobby’s management including winning both the FA and UEFA cups. As well as regular European football, the team finished league runners-up twice - and all this was accomplished relying largely on players brought up through the club’s youth programme.

For a relatively small club, the achievements of Ipswich Town during Sir Bobby’s reign were tremendous and prompted the Football Association to offer Sir Bobby the position of England manager.

In recognition of his influence at Ipswich Town Sir Bobby was honoured with the position of Honorary President and was granted the freedom of the town 30 years after that historic UEFA Cup win.

Now, in turn, Sir Bobby’s family would like to recognise the tremendous support given to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation by Ipswich Town and its fans and is proud to announce Mick Mills MBE, Sir Bobby’s club captain, has agreed to become a patron of the charity.

Lady Elsie Robson says: “When we launched the charity we were overwhelmed at the support and generous donations which flooded in from Suffolk. Bobby often used the word faithful and that is how he described that support.

“It’s touching that he is so well remembered in Suffolk. We enjoyed our time there a great deal and my family and I have very fond memories of Ipswich.

“Given the wonderful and ongoing support Bobby’s charity is receiving from Suffolk we felt it would be appropriate to have a Patron to officially represent the Foundation in the town. We couldn’t think of anyone better to ask than the man who led Bobby’s team to such great successes on the pitch and we were very pleased when Mick kindly agreed to help.

“Mick’s support is greatly appreciated as we continue to raise money to fight this terrible disease.”

After Sir Bobby lost his brave battle with cancer in July last year Ipswich Town named a stand at the club in his name. Lady Elsie and two of Sir Bobby’s sons officially renamed the stand on the day Newcastle United visited Portman Road in September last year and the occasion was also marked by the pre-match appearance of players from Sir Bobby’s legendary Ipswich side.

Both teams ran out special commemorative shirts bearing the logo of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which were then auctioned off in aid of the charity.

Mick says: “Ipswich Town holds a very important chapter in Sir Bobby’s life and it was an honour to be part of the occasion when Newcastle came to Portman Road last September.

“It was very important for Ipswich Town to do something personal to remember Sir Bobby as his contribution to the club was immense. I think they did very well and it was a perfect day although obviously the result went against us. Now we have the Sir Bobby Robson Stand as well as the statue outside Portman Road and they are both very well deserved.

“What I think Bobby would have liked best of all though is the way he has linked these two football clubs. He was a Newcastle United supporter as a boy and you never forget that team. It was so special for him to go on and manage the club and he is a common denominator for fans of both teams.

“I was absolutely delighted to be asked by Sir Bobby’s family to become a patron for his charity. It means a lot to be well thought of by them and it’s nice that even though Bobby has gone I can continue my association with him.

“We both came through difficult times together and working hard with a very talented team went on to reap the rewards. We worked together for a long time as manager and captain and it was without question my most enjoyable period within football.”

Mick’s new role with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation will be made official with a pre-match presentation to fans ahead of the Newcastle United versus Ipswich game on 24 April. This will also be an opportunity for Sir Bobby’s family to say thank you to both clubs and their fans for their tremendous ongoing support for the charity.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has now raised over £2.4 million to fight cancer. Its main focus is the clinical trials of new anti-cancer drugs.

The charity has equipped and partially staffed the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care in Newcastle, which treated 560 patients in its first year. For many of these patients standard cancer treatment is no longer effective and they are prepared to take a chance on something new. Without the Sir Bobby Robson Centre they would probably not have the opportunity to do so.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not currently funded by the NHS.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

TRIBUTE TO “THE BEST PRESIDENT WE NEVER HAD”


The Lord’s Taverners will celebrate the life of “the best President we never had” - Sir Bobby Robson - on Friday 14 May at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, with Sir Alex Ferguson and many of Sir Bobby's famous footballing friends paying tribute.

Sir Bobby loved cricket as well as football and was due to succeed Mike Gatting as President of The Lord’s Taverners in 2007. Sadly, ill health prevented him from doing so but he remained a big supporter. Now cricket’s favourite Charity is paying tribute to one of football’s favourite sons.

Hosted by Bob “The Cat” Bevan, the event is being hosted jointly in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Lord’s Taverners. Lady Elsie Robson and sons Andrew, Mark and Paul will be attending on the day.

Tickets cost £95 for members of The Lord's Taverners (£110 for Associates and Non Members) including pre-lunch drinks reception, three-course meal and half a bottle of wine per person. To book tickets please download the booking form or contact the Events Department on 020 7821 2828.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Glamorous Dinner Dance


Seaham Hall is hosting a dinner dance in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation on Friday 30th April.

The night of glitz and glamour will commence at 7pm with arrival drinks and canap├ęs followed by a five course dinner in the Ballroom.

Seaham Hall's talented chefs have created a menu to delight the palate and the evening’s entertainment will be provided by the fabulous Taylor Moon Band with dancing until the small hours.

Tickets are priced at £50 per person with £10 from each ticket sold being donated to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and further fundraising on the evening.

To book please call Seaham Hall on 0191 516 1400 or email kelly.beetham@seaham-hall.co.uk

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

ON YOUR FEET SOLDIER!




Soldier Angela Kelly from Sacriston, County Durham, is organising a sponsored walk in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help.

On Saturday 27 March Warrant Officer Kelly and her dog, Alan Shearer, will be walking the three miles from Sacriston, the birthplace of Sir Bobby Robson, to Langley Park where the football legend grew up.

She is appealing for people to join her and as well as the walk, other activities on the day include Beat the Goalie, Guess the Name of the Toy Soldier, face painting, a brass band and an aerobics warm up.

Angela, who is based at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, says: “I’ve wanted to do this walk for some time because I really admire the hard work Sir Bobby put into his charity while he was so poorly himself.

“These are two charities which are very close to my heart because I love football and because of my role as a serving soldier.

“It won’t be anything like an army style march! This will be a fun day out for everyone who comes along and anyone like me who would like to bring their dogs is very welcome.”

The walk starts at 10.30am in Sacriston with registration from 9.45am. There is transport back to Sacriston after the walk where there will be a buffet and raffle and walkers will also receive a free goody bag.

Thanks to ongoing support, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has now raised over £2.2 million to fight cancer for the benefit of patients across the north east.

In addition to equipping the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, the charity has funded a specialist research nurse and doctor and enhanced a children’s waiting area at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

It also recently contributed £30,000 to the new Teenage Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. The Foundation will be announcing a very significant investment into cancer research equipment early this year.

The charity operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not currently funded by the NHS.

To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information on the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, please visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, PO Box 307, Heaton NE7 7QG.

SSAFA Forces Help runs SSAFA Norton House, a 'home from home' for the families of injured servicemen and women who are being treated at Selly Oak Hospital. The charity also runs family support groups for those dealing with bereavement or life-changing injuries.

Anyone interested in taking part in the walk should contact WO Kelly on 0783 7021 914.

Friday, 5 March 2010

THE FIRST SIR BOBBY ROBSON ‘TRIBUTE SHIRTS’ ARRIVE IN AFRICA




Football shirts left in tribute to Sir Bobby Robson after his death in July last year are now being received by children in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Around 6,000 football shirts, scarves and flags were left by fans at Sir Bobby’s former clubs - Newcastle United, Ipswich Town, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham – in an incredible outpouring of affection and respect for the former England manager.

Many feature touching personal messages regarding Sir Bobby and they are now being distributed by a number of charities - KitAid, the RAF’s Taking Football to Africa and Beyond Appeal, Coaches Across Continents and CAFOD – to benefit disadvantaged people in Eastern Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

The first shirts distributed overseas have been delivered to Gambia where they are being used by The Association For Child Education (TAFCE) - an education and vocational skills project set up by local people in Kerewan.

A delivery has also been made to a project run by Don Bosco Homes, which helps street children in Liberia.

Sir Bobby’s youngest son, Mark Robson, recently helped the charity KitAid box up hundreds of the shirts ready for distribution overseas. He plans to visit Kenya later this year to see the benefits the shirts are bringing at first hand.

Mark says: “It’s truly amazing to hear the stories about how much a simple piece of football kit means to these children.

“I’m very much looking forward to helping deliver some of these tribute items so I can see for myself the difference it is making.

“As a family we were taken aback by the response to dad’s death – it was all on such an incredible scale. Tens of thousands of pounds was donated to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in his memory and the scenes with all the football memorabilia at St James’ Park and in Ipswich were just incredible.

“We are very touched that so many people thought so highly of him. I’m sure my dad, above all people, would be very happy knowing these children are enjoying playing and following football because they have a football shirt of their own.”

Since its launch in 1998, KitAid has distributed 100,000 items of football kit to 35 different countries.

The charity’s founder, Derrick Williams, says: “We’re really pleased that the first shipment of Sir Bobby Robson shirts has arrived in Gambia and the reaction from the children who received them was superb.

“They love anything to do with football in the UK and they are now all following the English teams with even more interest.”

For further information regarding KitAid please visit www.veoliawater.co.uk/kitaid.

Friday, 19 February 2010

SIR BOBBY ROBSON CANCER TRIALS RESEARCH CENTRE CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY




The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre is celebrating its first anniversary this week – a birthday it shares with the man who was so instrumental in raising the money required to equip it.

Sir Bobby Robson would have been 77-years-old this week (18th Feb) and a year ago he officially opened the cancer drugs trials centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Over the past year, the Centre has treated 560 patients from Cumbria, Northumberland, Teesside, Tyneside, Wearside and County Durham. It helps ensure people in the north east have early access to treatments for cancer, which are often so new that they are not yet available through the NHS.

Professor Ruth Plummer, director of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, says: “Opening this Centre a year ago has made a huge difference to the lives of people living with cancer in the north east.

“Patients here have tried standard cancer treatments which they have found are no longer effective and they’re prepared to try something new.

“It’s a wonderfully warm and positive place to work and I count myself very lucky to be part of the team here.”

Sir Bobby launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation after request for help from Professor Plummer.

She asked for help raising £500,000 to equip the cancer drugs trials unit and amazingly that initial target was reached in just seven weeks.

Professor Plummer adds: “It was an incredible occasion when we officially opened the Centre last year. We all sang happy birthday to Sir Bobby even though we had some very high profile guests including England manager Fabio Capello!

“Sadly Sir Bobby is not here to celebrate with us today. We couldn’t have achieved all we have for cancer patients in the north east without him. He’s a great miss and we’re very grateful for the incredible legacy he has left us.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre treats patients on clinical trials of new cancer drugs. These include early trials of drugs which are just starting to be used in people as well as those which are further on in development and being compared to standard treatments for effectiveness.

This means cancer patients from across the region can choose to participate in trials and have an opportunity to try new treatments as they emerge.

Thanks to ongoing support, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has now raised over £2.2 million to fight cancer in the north east.

In addition to equipping the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, the charity has funded a specialist research nurse and doctor and enhanced a children’s waiting area at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care.

It also recently contributed £30,000 to the new Teenage Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and will be making a very significant investment into cancer research equipment early this year.

The charity operates within the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and a wider cancer research network to provide services not currently funded by the NHS.

Lady Elsie says: “My husband was very proud that this Centre carried his name. He put so much into fund-raising for his Foundation and I think he enjoyed managing a team again.

“It certainly wasn’t easy for him given his own fight against cancer at that time, but he was determined to do what he could to help other cancer patients in the north east.

“My three sons and I are very committed to continuing fund-raising in Bobby’s name. We’re lucky to have the help of wonderful patrons like Alan Shearer and Steve Gibson and the football clubs in the north east and in Ipswich are all being very supportive of our efforts.

“Bobby said though that it was the man in the street who really made the difference. He was always so touched when strangers at the match would give him a £10 note to put in the Foundation with no thoughts of thanks or recognition.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has contributed to my husband’s charity by fund-raising or donating money. With continued support we’ll keep going to help all those people who sadly have to go through the hard fight against cancer like Bobby did.

“Every day experts like Ruth move us closer to more effective treatments and one day we’ll beat this terrible disease.”