The importance of Gift Aid

Donate more without paying more

It sounds like magic but it’s true, you can donate more to RAFT at no extra cost to yourself - all thanks to Gift Aid. This is a special programme which is a great deal for all UK taxpayers and RAFT.

Let me explain.

Gift Aid increases the value of your donations as it allows RAFT to reclaim the tax that you have already paid on this money. For every £1 you give to RAFT, we can claim 25p from HMRC making each £1 worth £1.25. If you pay higher rate tax and make a donation through Gift Aid you can claim some tax back too through your self assessment form.

RAFT’s fundraisers are always looking out for donations which could be Gift Aided. Donations need to be pure donations, which means that you can’t receive anything in return so it excludes, for example, the purchase of raffle tickets. Gift Aid is always at the foremost of the fundraisers’ minds - why not test us out to see if we are as ‘on the ball’ as we say we are? Please make a personal donation to RAFT and we will be sure to ask you to sign a Gift Aid declaration form.

For all those of you who are planning to raising sponsorship for RAFT this year by run marathons, jumping out of planes etc., please ask your sponsors to Gift Aid their sponsorship. RAFT can provide you with bespoke sponsorship forms or you can set up a page on JustGiving,, and the Gift Aid will be collected on RAFT’s behalf.

Don’t ignore a good deal for you and for RAFT, please consider Gift Aiding a donation.  If you choose to make a donation via this website (the pink button on the main pages), you will be automatically asked if you wish to Gift Aid your donation.

DofE and RAFT’s tomorrow

 In a perfect world there would be a way of bringing young people into the RAFT fold. Not only would this help teach young people about the importance of charity work and empathy for others; it would also ensure the long term future of RAFT.

You know what? This is an almost perfect world and the method out there is called the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme.

Designed for people aged 14 to 24, DofE candidates find themselves helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills and having fun while they go after three awards. Those who have tackled the awards say that along the way they picked-up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

If your son or daughter – or yourself for that matter – are pursuing a DofE Award, please have them look into volunteering to raise funds for RAFT.  Likewise, if you’re a DofE leader or you know one, please have them look into RAFT.

We have a programme already set-up which should make it a breeze for leaders and should be fun for candidates. For more information, please contact Amanda Bailey on 01923 844588 or

Our 15th Annual Clay Pigeon Shoot

This years Clay Pigeon Shoot was that extra bit special, it was our 15th. This event has really blossomed over the past years and has become very successful and always is a fantastic day. Not only is it a fun filled day but much needed funds are raised for RAFT’s exciting work into burns and wound healing.

All our finger crossing paid dividends as the sun made a grand appearance for the whole day, despite the very wet week we had been having.

There was a new element to the Clay Pigeon Shoot this year. Fundraiser Lisa was selling Jokers to the teams. This cheeky little joker card entitled the teams to double their entire score on one stand and one stand only. This was extremely popular as you can only imagine how competitive each team gets! Although, on the other hand they may have taken pity on Lisa as she was wearing a very ‘fetching’ joker’s hat.

Even a few of the RAFT team took part in the shooting, it was very funny the next day as they were comparing their beautiful bruises!

After the shoot, our teams sat down for a lovely meal and our auctions and raffle took place. Following the wonderful generosity of guests on the day, the RAFT Team was able to raise just shy of £65,000 which will go towards our vital research.

A very BIG THANK YOU to everybody who supported us. We really cannot do this without you, you make the day so worthwhile.

We hope to see you again next year.

Meet the RAFTers: Laura

There is no such thing as an average day at RAFT - that’s why I love coming into work!  As a Community Fundraiser I am responsible for helping anyone who wishes to raise funds for our important research.  This makes my job so varied and interesting, with different supporters doing such a broad range of activtities to help us. For example, I may be presenting RAFT’s work to a Community Group or inviting people to our own events.

I love my job! 

If you want to organise an event or do some fundraising for RAFT (and you can find a whole range of ideas on our website, then get in touch with Laura for help.  All you need to do is call her on 01923 844017 or via email  She will either talk through your ideas or provide you with some of ours. 

At RAFT we are dedicated to helping anyone who wants to help RAFT raise funds and/or awareness.  We will stay in regular contact before, during and after your event.

Charity Disco in aid of RAFT

Members of Social Buddies had a great evening at their recent charity disco to raise funds for RAFT.  The disco was held at The White Bear in Ruislip and Soul Selection kindly provided the music for free.  Over 100 people attended and a brilliant time was had by all socialising and dancing the night away until 1am.

Through our fundraising at the disco and the five-a-side football tournament a couple of weeks ago we have already raised £700 for RAFT’s research and have other ideas in the pipeline to continue to support the vital work they do - including a fancy dress sponsored walk!

Su Gregory - Event Organiser at Social Buddies

Footie Funds for RAFT

The members of local group Social Buddies are going great guns to help raise funds for RAFT.

This weekend saw Eamon and John, members of the group, arrange a charity 5-a-side football tournament at Goals in Watford.

Four teams of 5 from the Social Buddies group took part in the event on Sunday, and after a fun, but competitive afternoon which was enjoyed by all (despite one of the team dislocating his shoulder and having to go to hospital) there was a prize giving and buffet.

A huge thanks to Eamon and John, all those who took part and those who came along as supporters - their fantastic fundraising efforts raised £200 for RAFT’s research.

This brilliant amount will be added to the fundraising efforts of their forthcoming Charity Disco event scheduled for 28th April at the White Bear pub in Ruislip. RAFT would like to wish them all the best of luck for a very successful event.

Eamon is now even thinking about organising a fancy dress charity walk in order to raise even more funds for RAFT. What a superb idea!

Belinda’s Quiz Night in aid of RAFT

My Quiz night on Tuesday 22nd March was a big success!


Held at the Frog Pub in Clapham Old Town.


Johnny Zuccarelli the pub Manager was very generous  with drink vouchers, raffle prize donations and helping out on the night.


Everyone said it was so much fun and we really had a great turn out.



The Quiz Master Peter Williamson was fantastically entertaining and kept the night running along.


The Raffle Prizes were a big hit too, with such attractive prizes, this brought in over half of the money raised.


Total raised : £690 on the night for RAFT!



This really helped top up my Virgin Money Giving page as I am sure you can see I am now over my promised Marathon target for RAFT


Belinda Aloisio J



'Bambi on Ice' - RAFT Runner Matt Hicks explains…

Hi, my name is Matthew Hicks and I am delighted to say that I will be representing RAFT at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon, raising funds on their behalf.

The training has been going well and I have worked myself up to 15 miles, with just over 6 weeks to go to the big day. I seem to be running about 4 to 5 times a week so I hope that all this effort is going to pay off. One of my friends is also running the marathon (also for RAFT) so we have been running together which is certainly better than running on my own. It also makes the run a bit more interesting! The cold spell which we had in February certainly made training a bit tricky - I was doing well not to fall over! Bambi on ice seems to come to mind!

The fundraising is going well and currently have raised about £500 to date. The Just Giving Site makes it really easy to donate and my friends and colleagues have found this really useful. Some people still prefer the good old fashioned paper form so I have also been circulating that round.

If anyone would like donate, then you can do so via my Just Giving site here

Northwood Area Women’s Club – a multinational women’s club


Over 50 years ago a small group of American women who had accompanied their husbands on an overseas posting got together over coffee and cake. They continued to meet regularly to provide support to each other and share interests. In gratitude for the hospitality they received from the host country they undertook fundraising for a local charity. Today, women from all corners of the world meet at the Northwood Area Women’s Club for friendship, fun and fundraising. Each year, members nominate and vote to select a locally based charity to support. This season the club is delighted to be supporting RAFT.


Fundraising is incidental to the wonderful varied programme of meetings, outings, events and interest groups and takes many forms. Raffles, take place at the monthly general meetings. As do the biannual pre read book sales and the occasional tombola or auction. Speakers who promote books or other products are asked to donate a percentage of their sales or goods to our fundraising. The Bunco evenings and the shopping group donate a fixed proportion of the money collected. Specific fundraising events e.g Guided walks are arranged and the payment of outings and visits is rounded up to boost our fundraising.



Xana Conceicao our fundraising coordinator who is from Portugal says that it is both a delight and a privilege to work in partnership with RAFT “It is not hard work at all. The membership is so supportive donating gifts, suggesting ideas and readily participating in the fundraising activities. Everyone is really enjoying it”

Xana Conceicao, Fund raising coordinator

Christine Tyler, Vice President


A ‘typical’ week for a Community Fundraiser

Since taking up the position of Community Fundraiser back in 2010 (having worked at RAFT for three year prior as a Secretary/PA), I didn’t quite realise what a varied and exciting role this would be for me.

No two days at RAFT are the same, there’s no such thing as a typical week, and that’s what makes getting up for work each day so easy.

Take just this week for example…. on Monday evening I went and presented locally to Harefield Tenant’s and Resident’s Association’s AGM meeting. Having lived in Harefield for five years (only having recently moved to Buckinghamshire), not only did I enjoy presenting to those present about RAFT, but I also found their AGM meeting very interesting and informative about the various going’s on in the local area.

At this meeting I was the guest speaker and was kindly invited to make a 15 minute talk about the research work at RAFT, which was well received by all, including two community support officers who were in attendance… that was a new one for me, having never presented to our police force.

Tuesday saw the deadline for applications for the position of Fundraiser – Maternity Cover (yes I am going on maternity leave at the end of June, but will be returning to RAFT next year). Time was spent looking through the various applications and creating a short list with my colleague on candidates to interview.

My day also included speaking at length to Kate at our new PR company, Wavelength about a post press release for our wonderful team at Parachute IT who finally managed to complete their skydives in aid of RAFT about having to cancel the event three times due to bad weather.

Mid week saw me involved in a meeting regarding our website and the various ideas that we have around updating it. I am responsible for making most of the updates to our website and so this meeting was most productive.

Last night I was delighted to have the opportunity to present to another local group, this time the Rotary Club of Elthorne-Hillingdon at Uxbridge Cricket Club.

I had a most enjoyable time, starting with a drinks reception (only Lemonade for me at the moment though!) and then a dinner with all the members of this Rotary group. A 40 minute presentation about RAFT then followed with the use of visual aids from my PowerPoint presentation.

I was thrilled at the response, with lots of questions being asked and lots of interest being shown to our work. Many are as a result keen to attend our Open Evening in May to learn even more from our scientists.

I was overwhelmed at the end of the evening to be presented with a cheque for £2,000 from the various fundraising efforts the Rotary club had been involved with which they had highlighted to be spent on RAFT’s research.

Thursday (today) is a day of catching up on emails, making funding applications and brainstorming some ideas around how we encourage younger people to get involved with RAFT.

I do know my plans for tomorrow; I’m off to visit the Just Giving offices in Paddington to help them with user testing on the charity account. RAFT is kindly being provided with a cash incentive to help them and I was only too pleased to oblige.

I’ll be back in the office in the afternoon to discuss brainstorming ideas with other staff members about the engagement of young people with RAFT and also to see one of our lovely volunteers Enora, who is kindly coming to RAFT to help envelope up our latest newsletter which will be sent out next week to our supporters.

As for next week……. I know already that one of our marathon runner’s is holding a quiz night to raise funds for us; I’ll be attending an awards ceremony with the hope that RAFT wins the National Council for Work Experience Awards 2012 and I will be on the interview panel for the Fundraiser vacancy.

Another busy week in the life of a Fundraiser!