On 10th June 2015 the Learning and Development Centres in Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth teamed together to host a coffee and cake morning at HMS NELSON in aid of The Neil Vines Trust.
The morning saw Naval Personnel, Civil Servants and contractors alike descend on the Learning and Development Centre to enjoy a wednesday morning pick-me-up. In order to cater for all, bacon sandwiches were also kindly supplied by the HMS NELSON Leisure and Amenities Fund. The event aimed to not only promote the charity, but also to lure people in to take a look at the services and facilities provided at the Learning and Development Centre.
The cake sale, combined with the Open Day was a huge success, with learners not only able to access advice from a number of external training providers that attended, but also attend Coaching Workshops and Education, Lifelong Learning and Resettlement briefs throughout the day. Learning and Development advisors were also on hand to answer enquiries on any aspect of Learning and Development within the Royal Navy.
The Neil Vines Trust was set up in memory of Neil, who, throughout his incredible journey remained optimistic and couragous in the face of many setbacks. Having undergone intensive treatment for 8 months, Neil was given the all clear in April 2013. Following this news, Neil set himself the goal of learning to walk again, eventually working his way up to being able to run too. Perhaps the most inspirational part of Neil's story is that he selflessly raised over £5,500 for Teenage Cancer Trust by cycling 600 miles, the distance from Lands End to John O'Groats as the crow flies, whilst undergoing chemotherapy. He also was offered the chance to be filmed as part of the 2014 ITV This Morning Text Santa Appeal, in which his video helped to raise over £1 million for the charity that had helped him so much during his treatment. Watch the video here.
The morning cake sale raised a staggering £116.82 for The Neil Vines Trust, including the sale of four copies of Neil's inspiration memoir, Powerful Beyond Measure raising the total to £148.82 with all proceeds going to the charity.
Neil's older sister, Lt Sarah Vines RN had recently handed over as Officer in Charge of the Portsmouth Centres, having been in the post for 18 months. She said, "the girls have been instrumental in organising a successful Open Day for the Learning and Development Centres and of course providing the cakes for a fabulous cake sale. I was very touched when the staff approached me to ask if they could raise money for my brother Neil's charity". Sadly Neil passed away just two months ago on 20 Apr after nearly 3 years of living with cancer. The team here had to cope without me for quite some time, so I am extremely grateful for all the effort they have put into making it a success. Sarah went on to explain, "the charity is in it's infancy but it is very heartwarming to know that there are many people within the Naval Community that want to help our family, and ultimately support other young cancer sufferers".
The Neil Vines Trust has been established to help other young cancer sufferers like Neil to enjoy special weekends away with their families. The charity will see the purchase of a fully accessible log cabin in a beautiful Cotswold location close to lakes and forests. The log cabin will be offered to families free of charge to enjoy time with their loved ones. Having experienced first hand how important time is, the Vines family endeavour to provide an environment where other young people like Neil can make unique memories that they will treasure forever.
If you would like to hold a fundraising event to support the charity please contact us.