‘Team Arlo’ up for top award after cycling from Leeds to Liverpool for Anthony Nolan

Lockdown has been a challenge for fundraisers but this team from Garforth found a way around it. Catherine Scott reports.
Team Arlo was formed to raise £1,000 for Anthony Nolan in the end their target exceeded £9,000Team Arlo was formed to raise £1,000 for Anthony Nolan in the end their target exceeded £9,000
Team Arlo was formed to raise £1,000 for Anthony Nolan in the end their target exceeded £9,000

A team of fundraisers from Garforth are set to be honoured by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, at a digital awards celebration this month. The team who go by the name of ‘Arlo’s Army’ have been shortlisted for the Group Fundraiser of the Year award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2020.

Paul and Jodie Brown’s two-year-old son Arlo was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia, known as juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia, in May 2020. Chris Tudor – a close friend of the family – and his colleagues at Tudor Financial Consultants and Tudor Sales & Lettings in Garforth decided that they wanted to help in any way they could.

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With fundraising opportunities limited due to coronavirus restrictions, they looked for a way to safely fundraise when Arlo was unexpectedly diagnosed with leukaemia in the middle of a pandemic. They organised a mammoth cycle from Liverpool to Leeds. The team cycled 143 miles in 18 hours, battling wind, rain, mud and a fair few punctures.

“We all underestimated just how difficult 143 miles in the wind, rain and mud – along with a few mechanical issues along the way – would be,” admits Chris. “But the main thing is we all managed to complete it for little Arlo and the battle that he is currently fighting. It makes it all worthwhile.’

Arlo’s army set themselves a target of £1,000 but with support from friends, family and local businesses, they raised an incredible £9,753.

And then last summer, Arlo’s family received the amazing news that a donor had been found and he was able to have his life saving stem cell transplant in August. Arlo is now home and recovering well.

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“Having spoken with the team we all feel really humbled to have been recognised for our efforts,” says Chris. “When we started out, we never envisaged that we would receive the support we did nor did we expect to be nominated for an award.

“We just want to thank eventing involved in not only helping us raise such a significant amount but also raise awareness for such a great charity.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “It is remarkable to see how many people support our work to find a match for those in need of a stem cell transplant. Without them, none of our life-saving work would be possible.”

The Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards are back for their eighth year and will recognise the outstanding achievements of the volunteers, fundraisers, clinical supporters and donors who help the pioneering blood cancer charity save lives.

The awards ceremony is usually held at the Tower of London, but with mass gatherings unable to take place there will be a digital celebration instead at 7pm on Thursday at www.anthonynolan.org/awards

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