Our CEO, Liz Curtis, looks back on a remarkable year that saw The Lily Foundation bounce back stronger than ever after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This has been a really special year for The Lily Foundation. It was our first full year of 'normal service' since the Covid pandemic, and we've bounced back stronger than ever. We've shown how resilient we are as a charity, and once again it's the generosity and loyalty of our supporters that's made the difference.
Celebrating our 15th anniversary as a charity has given us a boost, too. It's a really big milestone for us, and all the more satisfying to able to celebrate it with a full events calendar, rather than on Zoom!
The atmosphere at every Lily event has been incredible as people finally reconnect after such a challenging two years. Our first Lily Family Weekend since 2019 felt like a collective release of emotions, and a reminder of how important our events are for the patients and families we support.
There was more magic happening at our long-awaited second Young Adult Weekend, when we took 16 young adults and their carers on an action-packed trip to The Lake District. Just look at the photos from that weekend! You can't put a price on those smiles. These events are special beyond words, and it was an absolute privilege to be able to host them once again.
Our fabulous Lily Comedy Night was a comforting, cathartic blast of fun, and Lily Fight Night, our charity boxing tournament, proved well worth the wait after being postponed not once, but three times! Hats off to our brilliant boxers, some of whom had been preparing since 2020. Well done you guys, your perseverance paid off!
Lily cheering squads were out in force again as our supporters took part in various marathons, half-marathons, bike rides and other activities up and down the country. Interest in our guaranteed charity places at these events was off the charts as people jumped at the chance to shake off their lockdown fatigue.
This year also saw us strengthen our staff team, with the addition of a Patient Engagement Officer, Graphic Designer, Events Manager and Corporate Fundraiser. Katie, Bobbie, Abbi and Sarah already feel like part of the family, and with their help we can keep providing the best possible support to people affected by mito, whilst expanding our fundraising operations so we can do even more.
On the research side, it was encouraging to see our Lily-funded studies up and running again following the Covid hiatus, along with some exciting new projects. We were thrilled to launch the UK Mito Patient Registry, an online database that helps us better understand our community so we can ensure Lily services meet their needs, and Lily Precision Diagnostics, a cutting-edge diagnostic pipeline designed to plug a gap in existing NHS services for mito patients.
On a more personal note, this year I was humbled to be awarded an MBE for services to people with mitochondrial disease. The trip to Windsor Castle for the investiture capped an incredible anniversary year for The Lily Foundation, and every single member of our 'Lily family' should feel proud that our work is being recognised at the very highest level. Every one of our supporters deserves a medal, because without your generosity and commitment, The Lily Foundation simply wouldn't exist.
Speaking of medals, don't forget to check out the Lily #15more Challenge. It's a really simple, fun way to make a difference, and everyone who takes part gets a shiny, custom designed Lily medal!
Thank you for your part in helping make 2022 a really strong year for our charity, as we work together to bring positive change to the lives of people affected by mitochondrial disease. As always, our love and thoughts are with those of us missing someone special this Christmas.
Wishing you all a very peaceful Christmas and New Year,
Liz and the Lily team x