At the annual Supporters Thanks event hosted at the Mercure Hotel, Swansea, on December 18th, Popham Kidney Support, the kidney charity based in Swansea, shared exciting plans for growth and expansion. The event brought together the charity’s employees, volunteers, supporters, and partners.
In 2023, its tenth year in operation, the charity surpassed a significant milestone, accumulating over £800,000 in funds raised since its inception and is projecting that figure to reach £1 million by March 2024. It also supported nearly 4,000 people affected by kidney disease this year, including facilitating a record 59 grants totalling £7,320, helping its service users combat the cost-of-living crisis.
Popham Kidney Support’s tenth-year celebration was peppered with events to celebrate its tenth year, including the Spring Ball, the inaugural Rhoose 5k Trail Run, and its marquee event, Wally’s Way, which paid tribute to the charity’s namesake Paul ‘Wally’ Popham.
Popham Kidney Support was initially founded as The Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, in March 2013, just five months after the courageous battle and subsequent passing of Paul Popham, the father of the charity’s CEO, Joanne Popham.
A large percentage of the annual total was generated through the Big Give Christmas Challenge, which ran from November 28 to December 5, and raised a total of £6,030. The Big Give specialises in running match-funded campaigns for charities and special causes. Connecting charities with match funders and the public, it has raised over £236 million for charitable causes to date. By turning every public donation into an opportunity for matching funding, the Big Give doubles the impact of each contribution, creating an extraordinary difference in addressing the world’s most significant challenges.
An important part of the kidney charity’s future plans is continuing to expand its flagship service, Peer Support Service, to cover all Wales. In support of this development, the expansion has been facilitated by a five-year, £500,000 grant from The National Lottery People & Places to develop Peer Support Services throughout Wales. Over the next five years, the charity aims to expand its team of peer mentors to 123, ensuring that many more patients can alleviate fears, improve self-esteem and battle loneliness. In 2023, reached a total of 22 active peer mentors, with 12 more in training.
In 2023, the charity also made strides towards its target of raising £130,000 for the Children’s Kidney Centre at Cardiff & Vale University Hospital. The charity reached the milestone of £60,000 raised towards this target.
Joanne Popham, Popham Kidney Support CEO, said:
“2023 has been a very promising and developmental year for the charity. Expanding our team and reach has been at the forefront of our vision moving forward and will be our focus going into next year.
“This year has been a bittersweet celebration of the amazing work we have done over the past ten years, but also commemorating ten years since the passing of my father. I cannot thank my team, our trustees, volunteers, fundraisers and supporters for their fantastic hard work and support over the past decade and we are excited about what the future holds.”