Firefly Glows at Business Awards
We are delighted to announce that Firefly was shortlisted for the Third Sector Organisation of the Year award at the Doncaster Business Awards ceremony, sponsored by Doncaster College and hosted by Doncaster Chamber.
Since losing his fiancé to cancer in 2014, Ian Bacchus has dedicated his life to transporting patients undergoing cancer treatment from Doncaster to Weston Park Cancer Centre in Sheffield.
Every day, over 50 patients and their carers travel to and from Weston Park – the region’s only specialist cancer centre – for treatment, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and blood transfusions. A team of highly dedicated volunteer drivers cover over 4,000 miles every week, and in doing so, help to ease the psychological, physical and financial burden faced by patients and their families.
The Firefly initiative was originally set up in 2006 by Denise (Dee) Dunn, who recognised that cancer patients (including herself) had great difficulty attending and financing appointments at Weston Park. Dee made a commitment to create a free service for future hospital patients, thereby helping to reduce not only the financial burden associated with regularly travelling long distances to a city centre location, but also the levels of stress and anxiety experienced.
After Dee passed away, Ian retired from the Army to honour the promise he made her, ensuring that the service would grow and help more people in need. Since that day, he has worked tirelessly in order to give the Firefly operation the time and dedication it deserves.
Speaking of the service, Nicki Lee, Clinical Specialist Radiographer at Weston Park Cancer Centre said: “Firefly is an amazing charity run by amazingly dedicated people. They work closely with us and adapt their service to our and the patients’ needs.
“We always get positive feedback about the service, patients really do appreciate not just a means of getting to Weston Park, but the peer support on the journeys and while waiting for the return bus. We just wish all our patients had access to a Firefly service in their locality.”
Firefly relies on donations from the public, alongside support from Weston Park Cancer Charity to keep the service running.
Samantha Dixon CEO at Weston Park Cancer Charity commented: “We are absolutely delighted that Ian and his team of volunteers have been recognised by Doncaster Chamber for their commitment to growing a successful charity.
“As cancer rates continue to rise, this has placed an unprecedented demand on the Firefly service, yet Ian has responded with extraordinary drive and determination, which has enabled him to fulfill the dream that Dee established – to help many more people in need. He should be incredibly proud of his achievements and on behalf of everyone at Weston Park Cancer Charity; I would like to thank him for his unwavering dedication.”
If you would like to find out more about the Firefly service or to support Ian’s work, visit: www.facebook.com/FireflyCIC