At 10 years old, we also passed the £10 million pound mark – £10.5 million in fact, thanks to our fundraisers’ efforts and commitment. That meant being able to open our very first research centre in 1995, and providing millions of pounds in funding to hospitals in Bristol, London and Manchester.
By 1995, we’d raised enough to open the first Paul O’Gorman Centre, which needed £2 million to establish and run it for its first five years. Our funding meant that more clinical and lab-based research could take place, speeding up research into developing vital new and more effective treatments for children with leukaemia.
The new facilities also helped more children to be diagnosed more quickly – improving their chances and giving scientists and doctors more understanding of the disease.
Today, this first Paul O’Gorman Centre, together with other centres named after him, is at the forefront of advances in researching and treating childhood cancers. We have donated over £4 million to help run the Centre, and we’re committed to continued support for its vital and groundbreaking work.
In 1996 we began to fund more vital research, this time in Bristol, into the environmental causes of childhood leukaemia.
Over £1 million went to The Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol, where children with leukaemia and cancer from across the South West are treated. In 1997 we began building the Paul O’Gorman building in Bristol, to provide the highest standard of treatment for children and their families in the South West.
By 2000 we had also helped to fund the Royal Free Hospital in London, the new Northern Institute for Cancer Research, and The Christie Hospital in Manchester, where a Young Oncology Unit provides the different types of care that teenagers and young adults need.
Fundraising continued to grow throughout the decade, with support from celebrities including Phil Collins and Linda Robson. At our 10th fundraising Ball in 1998, we welcomed 1,200 guests, and over 60 celebrity friends, including Des O’Connor, Chris Tarrant, Ainsley Harriot and singer Paul Young, posed with a giant cheque for £3 million that would later be donated to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.
10 years after we began, £10.5 million had been raised; more than £4.28 million in 1988 alone.
The 1990s saw fundraising efforts going from strength to strength, with some of our most loyal supporters raising hundreds of thousands of pounds. In 1991, Gerry Cottle’s Circus donated the proceeds from the first night of their tour, and with Jeremy Beadle as ringmaster, the event was such a success that it was repeated for the following two years.
In 1994, we moved to our offices at 51 Great Ormond Street, where our team still works to save and improve young lives, and in 1995 we raised, for the first time, over £1 million in a single year – in fact, £1,558,470 was raised in that year alone.