Fundraising Award

In May 2009 representatives from Boobs & Brass were invited to the annual reception given by Breast Cancer Campaign at the House of Lords and were delighted and honoured to receive an 'Outstanding Achievement' award for their fundraising for the charity.


house of lordsI was delighted when Maggie Betts invited me to the Breast Cancer Campaign's annual “thank you” reception at the House of Lords hosted by the Baroness Morgan of Drefelin. Maggie, along with fellow founder member Jane Nichols, Margaret Nutt and I were representing the players. I thought it would be just yet another fun new experience thanks to 'Boobs & Brass'! We knew we had been nominated for a fundraising award but that was about all.

After travelling through Whitehall in a stretch limousine, we arrived at Black Rod’s garden entrance at 6pm & waited to be photographed & searched. Fortunately we all passed the first hurdle – although for some reason Jane’s ID photograph was huge & chopped off the top of her head! We were then invited into the Cholmondeley Room, handed glasses of wine or orange juice (guess which I chose?!), and fed canapés for the next hour whilst all the guests mingled & chatted. We met fellow fund raisers, researchers, campaign staff and supporters. At 7pm the speeches and awards ceremony started. It was interesting hearing about the current research being undertaken & gratifying to hear that although more women are being diagnosed with breast cancer, the survival rate is improving all the time. We were then introduced to a lady called Kirste who has been living with breast cancer since 2005. She was a true inspiration. Her speech was funny, emotional & upbeat. She brought home that although breast cancer is a life sentence, thanks to research it is no longer an automatic death sentence. She was so grateful to everyone who has helped raise funds & explained what a difference it can make.

Awards were presented to a group of researchers, businesses & individuals. It was then announced that 'Boobs & Brass' had won an award for raising over £18,000 in 2 years & was funding a research project in Leicester. Everyone clapped & the four of us were very proud to take to the stage (without instruments for a change!) for the presentation.

Afterwards we continued to mingle with the guests but this time everyone wanted to know more details about the band & what we did – we were beginning to feel like celebrities! It was very humbling to be thanked by numerous ladies who have suffered from this disease. Without exception they all said that knowing that people are supporting them makes such a difference.

After the reception we met our husbands in the local pub (what a surprise!). Kirste was also in there and Maggie was able to invite her to speak at our November concert. 

I have been a player in 'Boobs & Brass' since the first concert & have really enjoyed meeting new friends, playing in new venues & being part of the team. It wasn’t until yesterday though that I realised that a few females with brass instruments could make such a huge impact on a lot of people who have crossed swords with breast cancer. We are raising awareness of the campaign with our “saucy” name, making people talk & share experiences, collecting money for research – all this whilst having fun ourselves.

Please support Maggie and Jane – all the rehearsals, concerts, marching practices & hours of travelling really are worthwhile.
Marion Vine