The evaluation that made me cry!

Project evaluations have been known to make people cry for all of the wrong reasons! Yesterday I was working on one that made my eyes well up for all the right reasons.

Cash for Kids is an initiative from Bauer Radio, which is a group of radio stations. Every year stations across the UK raise millions of pounds for local children and young people who are suffering from abuse or neglect, who are disabled and have special needs, or who simply need extra care and guidance.

Cash for Kids fundraising days are heavily promoted on the stations. Presenters encourage local businesses, schools and community groups to raise as much money as possible. One the reasons the Cash for Kids days are so successful is because Bauer builds the campaigns around inspiring stories and uses real voices of children and parents who have benefited from the support of the chosen charities.

For the last two years CLIC Sargent, the charity for children and young people with cancer, has been one of the beneficiary charities and I have supported them with their story gathering. Every interview with a young person or parent and each conversation with a child is inspiring and I am always amazed by the courage with which they speak about their experiences of cancer. There is always warmth and emotion in their voice when they describe their relationship with CLIC Sargent.

But some stories just stand out. This year, one of them was the story of six year old Georgia. What made this one different was her Mum is a paediatric community nurse and she had previously worked on a bone marrow transplant unit. When she was given the name of the consultant she would be seeing she didn’t need to be told the news. She knew he was a paediatric oncologist. Her friends have been treating her daughter. She described how her insider knowledge meant there were 10 worst case scenarios going through her head at any one time.

Rock FM in Lancashire followed the story of Georgia in the lead up to the fundraising day, which took place a couple of weeks ago. Obviously it’s impossible for me to listen to nine or 10 radio stations at the same time so I have to wait a while for the stations to hear the highlights. Yesterday I read this:

“The most amazing news of the day was a call from Georgia’s mum to tell us that Georgia’s scans had come back and she is currently clear of cancer. Georgia spoke to Darren on air and told us, ‘I’m fine, I’m going to do my homework and watch Scooby Doo!’”

Wow! Imagine being a listener who heard it live on air?! Georgia gets a special mention on the Rock FM website and the station raised an amazing £22,000.

Some evaluations are great to write!