Cure Leukaemia recorded a record year in 2017 breaking the £2m barrier for the first time. A gross income of £2,222,720 was recorded, an increase of 50% from previous years. This success helped complete the funding required for the expansion of the globally significant Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and also secured national support from global company Deutsche Bank. All of this was achieved with just five employees.

The primary objective of 2017 was to raise an additional £1m to complete the £3.4m funding required to expand the CCH to double its capacity. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) granted £2.4m towards the project allowing work to start in May 2017. Cure Leukaemia made a commitment to raising the remaining capital by December 31st and succeeded in doing so through a combination of Trust and Foundation grants, major and community fundraising events and generous donors.

Chief Executive James McLaughlin said: “we resisted the temptation to recruit more staff when we committed to this because we knew that by utilising our multi-skilled and commercially experienced team of five staff we could deliver the additional £1m. Developing a clear strategy for our £1m Appeal was key to delivering these results.”

The expanded Centre reopened to treat patients on January 8th 2018 and has now taken its capacity for patients from 10,000 to 20,000 per year. It has also doubled its capacity for groundbreaking clinical trials for blood cancer patients that have exhausted standard care for the disease and also for specialist research nurse positions, clinical staff that are essential to administering these trials. A new day unit has also been created allowing previous inpatient treatments to now be conducted as outpatient care reducing bed and resource pressures elsewhere in the hospital and, crucially, enabling patients to return home after their treatment.

Cure Leukaemia Co-Founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE said: “the expansion of the CCH will allow the continued growth of our world-class clinical trials programme, ensuring Birmingham will continue to lead the global fight against all forms of blood cancer. It will immediately increase the number of lives saved and accelerate the process towards establishing effective treatments for all forms of blood cancer within 25 years.”

10% of the additional £1m came from the fundraising efforts of Wolverhampton Wanderers and its fans in support of their number one goalkeeper Carl Ikeme after his leukaemia diagnosis last July. When the club approached Cure Leukaemia to help with this swell of support for Carl the charity reacted swiftly to implement a fundraising platform for the fans. A JustGiving page was created purely for the ‘#TeamKemes’ campaign and a special shirt was created allowing supporters to donate £20 to have their chosen names included in the design. 1000 names were donated in just 5 days emphasising their desire to support Carl.

Running parallel to Cure Leukaemia’s primary fundraising focus in 2017 was the opportunity for the charity to apply to become one of Deutsche Bank’s Charities Of The Year (COTY) for 2018 and 2019. The process began in May when Cure Leukaemia submitted its application alongside 90 other UK charities. After a subsequent interview with the bank’s CSR committee, six charities were then put forward for the organisation’s 11,000 staff to vote for in October. Cure Leukaemia received vocal support from well-known figures in both business, sport and entertainment including Gareth Southgate, Gary Lineker, Andy Street CBE and comedian Adil Ray OBE.

Cure Leukaemia’s focussed campaign was successful in becoming Deutsche Bank’s COTY for 2018/19 alongside Rays of Sunshine. The partnership has the potential to be worth £2m and will transform the charity during that period. The focus for Cure Leukaemia now is to not only maximise the potential of the Deutsche Bank opportunity, but also see out further national support over the next two years.

CEO James McLaughlin said: “The Deutsche Bank partnership will undoubtedly prove transformational for Cure Leukaemia and the work the charity supports and it will also lay the foundations for sustained growth in the future.”

Managing Director of Deutsche Bank Birmingham Paul Anderson said: “Here at Deutsche Bank, we’re looking forward to our two-year partnership driving the progress forward and helping raise vital funds for this great charity.”