Chai ‘360 Degrees’ Manchester Dinner raises £275,000

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Chai Cancer Care, the Jewish Community’s Cancer Support Organisation raised £275,000 at its ‘360 Degrees’ Manchester Dinner on Wednesday 27th June at the Hilton Hotel, Deansgate. The room, gloriously bathed in Chai’s purple light, was full to capacity with an incredibly warm atmosphere, as more than 400 guests raised the much needed funds to enable Chai to continue its range of services in North and South Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.

Dr Ian Ellis, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Genetics, University of Liverpool, welcomed the guests and set the tone for the evening. He said: “I have been a Medical Patron with Chai for 10 years and during that time I and my medical colleagues have seen the enormous value and benefit that Chai gives to patients and their families. The commitment that Chai shows throughout the country, across all parts of community is evidenced by the services that they have established across the North of England in North and South Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.

It is your support for Chai that allows Chai to support the families that we care for in a partnership. We could not do it without Chai and Chai could not do it without each and every one of you.”

Guests were then moved, hearing from inspirational Chai client, Michal Mocton, who spoke about how Chai helped her through her cancer journey, she said: “I once heard someone say that Chai was as important to their recovery as the chemotherapy was. At first I thought this was an exaggeration but really it’s the truth. Without Chai 5 years on my family and definitely me would still be struggling.”

Two films were shown during the evening: the first, ‘What is cancer, what is Chai?’ highlighted the scope of Chai’s day-to-day work through the voices of clients of all ages and in all 11 satellite centres across the UK.

Following the film, Chai’s Chairman, Louise Hager spoke passionately about Chai’s all–encompassing embrace of professionalism, care and expertise that supports everyone who turns to Chai. She said: “It surrounds you from the moment you get in touch, from the moment you walk through our doors, or for those who are too unwell to come to us, the moment Chai walks through your door.”

Louise also spoke about the revolutionary ethos of Chai, which for 28 years has put Chai at the forefront of cancer care. We recognise that every person who turns to Chai will have their own specific needs, which is why each service is chosen deliberately so that the patient or their loved ones gets the right care and the right service for as long as they need it. At the same time, we live in the age of measurable outcomes and it is no different at Chai.

The cancer journey changes throughout, often unexpectedly, and we match those twists and turns, always with the ultimate aim to empower our clients to deal with whatever set of circumstances they may face. Be it a new diagnosis, after surgery, adjusting to life post-treatment or following a bereavement.

For many it will be a different life. A life they did not choose. But a life in which they can find meaning and purpose. And now, almost three decades later, it is indeed heartening that so much of the mainstream approach to cancer care, which has been adopted by many of the country’s largest charities, is now following our lead.”

Guests were then shown the appeal film entitled ‘The Wonder of Chai’, featuring a whirlwind of emotions and feelings, of families and relationships. The film can be viewed here:

Later in the evening, ‘The Jersey Boys’ captured the audience’s hearts with their renditions of ‘Walk Like A Man’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’.

Following the event, Louise Hager said: “The reception and support that we have been given from the North West community has been truly overwhelming! The funds raised will ensure that we will be able to increase our range of services in the North West. This has been a truly memorable evening and we are deeply grateful for everyone’s outstanding generosity.”