Meet Graham Bell, Director of Oakbridge Corporate Services, part of the Oakglen Group. He is an individual whose commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond the ordinary. In his personal time, Graham has taken on the remarkable task of spearheading a fundraising initiative for charity, demonstrating that one person’s efforts can indeed make a significant difference.
Graham Bell – Director at Oakbridge Group Limited
We sat down with Graham to find out more about his latest fundraising initiative 24for24, organising 24 events in 2024, for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us Graham. What inspired you to embark on the “24for24” fundraising initiative?
Having embarked on a similar set of challenges in 2022, I managed to raise £50k for cancer charities. I kept being asked what I was doing next and didn’t really have any idea. However, being on the receiving end of the work Macmillan do, I knew I could do nothing so came up with the idea of 24for24. While I was always going to do this, an added incentive came at our Oakglen Group Christmas party last year where our Co-CEOs mentioned that they would match anything raised by employees for charity. Hopefully this gives people an added incentive to give some more, knowing their donations will be doubled.
Which event is up first? Can you tell us a bit about it?
The first event is under the banner of the Grace Crocker Family Support Foundation 164-mile challenge. It’s a challenge to walk, run or jog 164 miles in February which is the distance between Jersey and Southampton hospital. Hopefully we can raise awareness of Grace Crocker but also raise money for Macmillan in the process. We have entered a couple of teams, though I will also be doing the full 164 miles myself which is roughly 10k a day for February.
Graham participating in the Edinburgh Marathon
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your past fundraising journey so far?
Knowing that the money raised helps people, both directly and indirectly, who have endured and suffered what cancer brings.
Can you share a memorable moment from one of your past fundraising events that truly exemplifies the impact you’re making for those supported by Macmillan Cancer Support and other charities?
Selfishly, running the London Marathon was up there, it was an amazing experience. As was being nominated for the Pride of Britain awards for Jersey, but the one that exemplifies the impact would be knowing someone somewhere affected by cancer is getting the help they need from Macmillan.
Read more about his nomination here: Pride of Britain: Graham Bell shortlisted as 2023 Channel Islands Fundraiser of the Year | ITV News Channel
Graham taking part in the London Marathon
How can our audience get involved in supporting your cause, whether through attending events, volunteering, or making donations to contribute to the fundraising goal?
Simply, by making a donation. It’s money that keeps these charities going. Though anyone who wants to do any of the challenges with me, are more than welcome. It can be a little lonely running the 48 miles round Jersey.
In facing the challenge of organising 24 events, how do you hope it will make a difference for cancer patients and their families?
I’ve always been competitive so organising something that pushes me but also makes people think about donating to a worthy charity is a win-win for me.
Graham at the Trail Monkey Double Top Ultra Marathon in Jersey
Could you share a personal story or connection to Macmillan Cancer Support that motivated you to dedicate your time and effort to this cause, aiming for 24 impactful events in 2024?
My brother was diagnosed with cancer in January 2021 and sadly passed away from this cruel disease in October 2021. Throughout those 10 months he and our wider family received unwavering support and care from these charities. I was on the receiving end of this and wanted to give something back.
We wish Graham all the best in his endeavours and look forward to watching his progress throughout the year with each exciting milestone. You can track Graham’s progress by following his hashtag #24for24 on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
If you would like to help support Graham and make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support, please click here for his SportsGiving page. Funds raised will not just be a numerical achievement, but they represent the collective goodwill and generosity of those who continue to rally behind him and his cause.
Please note that Oakglen Group will match any funds raised by Graham (and other staff) as part of our dedication to helping make a difference. Find out more here about our commitment to social responsibility and the charities we will be supporting in 2024. Our chosen organisations embody the values we hold dear, focusing on causes that make a real difference in the lives of others.