At the start of this year, as Covid restrictions were lifted, we wondered if our supporters were ready to participate in real, live charity events again. We should never have doubted you!
Thanks to your incredible support, 2021 turned out to be the year The Lily Foundation bounced back stronger, better and busier than ever!
Our events calendar was a huge success, as old favourites like Lily Golf Day, Comedy Night, and Italian Night at Bagatti’s made their return. Even by Lily standards the atmosphere at these events was special, as friends and colleagues were reunited in person after a year of zoom quizzes!
Our charity ball returned in style too, attracting almost 400 guests and raising over £85,000 for young adults affected by mitochondrial disease. In a moving reminder of why we do what we do, some of these young people took the stage to speak out about their experiences. This was Lily at its best – not only raising vital funds and awareness, but giving those affected by mito a voice.
More support, more awareness, more research
We were very proud to announce at the ball the total amount our charity has raised to date: £7.5 million! Around a third of that total has been invested in research, and as mito centres and labs reopened in 2021, our mission to develop effective treatments resumed. This included not just existing Lily-funded projects, but several exciting new studies, the successful applicants to our postponed annual grant call.
Many of our supporters said how happy they were to see the return of Lily sports challenges, as mass-participation events resumed across the UK. We're predicting a strong response to our 2022 Commit to Get Fit campaign, with guaranteed places for Lily participants at iconic events including the London Marathon and Great North Run.
Making a difference
2021 also saw The Lily Foundation achieve the milestone of supporting over 1000 patients and families affected by mito. This is a clear indicator of how awareness about mito is increasing, and that clinical screening and diagnosis is improving with it. As our mission grows, we're expanding our team of staff, and look forward to welcoming some new members to our amazing Lily family in the new year.
Last but not least, 2021 saw our charity recognised at the very highest level, when our CEO and co-founder, Liz Curtis (Lily's mum) was awarded an MBE for services to people with mitochondrial disease. As Liz said at the time, this honour was not hers alone, but a recognition of the incredible achievements of everyone involved with Lily – staff, friends, families, supporters, volunteers, researchers and partner organisations – who work so hard to make a difference.
We head into 2022 knowing that whatever challenges lie ahead, we can navigate them together and emerge even stronger on the other side. Thank you for your continued support, and on behalf of everyone here at Lily we wish you a safe and relaxing Christmas and a very happy New Year.
The Lily Team x