Our #THEGLOVESAREON Charity was officially launched on October 13th as part of the founder’s 50th Birthday Celebrations.
This triumph is just the next exciting chapter in the inspirational story of breast cancer survivor Soraya Kelly – whose high-profile Campaign to raise awareness of early detection of breast cancer has moved into so much more.
Her brave journey really caught the public’s imagination leading to a number of new opportunities as she took the high profile Campaign all around the country – with a particular focus on schools, youth centres, and young peoples’ sports facilities.
This has led to the #THEGLOVESAREON gaining official charity status in October 2019 – nearly two years to the day after Soraya was diagnosed with the potentially devastating disease.
Now with this kudos, this exciting new project is focusing on providing opportunities for children and young people – through education, or guidance and support, from one of several well-being packages available.
This is done by working with others in a joined up approach, so that changes can be made, not just now, but in the future.
The then forty eight year old only realised she had Grade 3 cancer due to her 11 year old implants pushing out a lump.
Soraya, who underwent a lumpectomy and weeks of gruelling daily radiotherapy, then launched the courageous campaign in a bid to highlight this issue calling out to others to come and stand alongside her in support.
She also asked Barry- based school friend Sue, a qualified journalist and prolific blogger, to help her tell her tale to a wider audience.
They candidly shared her story on print, broadcast and social media – and a whole host of celebrities, politicians, sports stars, companies, community groups, cancer survivors, and those who have been affected by the disease, stepped up.
They have supported Rhoose resident Soraya by taking part in photo shoots, social media promotions and many other publicity opportunities – as well as donating memorabilia for a fundraising evening.
Many are also featured in #THEGLOVESAREON campaign advert which was launched at the Charity Ball. Inclusive and diverse, it was made by energetic University of South Wales (USW) students – with full support of the Caron Keating Foundation through the Hunniford family who are constantly in touch with Soraya.
Seventeen year-old Irish songwriter Eva Campbell composed the powerful theme song. And young mental health advocate Francesca L Bourne wrote the Rap that is also featured.
The USW undergraduates, who are studying media production, have also produced a gritty documentary showing Soraya and her many supporters journey from her initial idea right through to the success of the globally supported Campaign.
Soraya then won a Regional Award for Citizenship. And Sue picked up an Inclusive Companies Award for her work on the diversity and inclusion agenda.
The Barry duo soon realised how their drive and determination, plus their combined lived-in life experiences could help them make a difference. Soraya, who is mixed race, had a tough upbringing, and Sue, an award-winning queer activist, is a bisexual woman.
Soraya was then also offered work with the Cardiff City Football Club Foundation, and the ambition to turn the Campaign into a Charity to help our youth, was realised.
This month ##THEGLOVESAREON became an official charity which was launched on October 13th at Soraya’s 50th Birthday Celebrations.
Alivia Williamson, the daughter of their long-time friend and supporter Jane, then came on board as Project Manager to take things forward.
The first phase of work, under the umbrella of the #THEGLOVESAREON is an innovative project at Cardiff City Stadium in March/April 2020.
#FadeItOut #KnockItOut is striving to make a difference in society. It highlights four key areas focused on discrimination in sport – male domination, female domination, racism and class.
To date, the Cardiff Youth Service, South Wales Police, Welsh Guard’s, Cardiff City Foundations post 16 students as well as Newport Rugby under 18s are involved.
London organisations brave ‘Heartz Boxing’ and ‘Duffus Cancer Foundation’ have joined the campaign.
#FadeItOut #KnockItOut filming commenced on Friday 4th October at Barry Town Football Club and will continue to take place over the next year.
Filming will also takes place in Windsor at the home of the Welsh Guards Barracks, with the supporting organisations in London in late November this year.
Any individuals or organisations who would be interested in supporting the campaign, and young individuals, are very welcome.
Soraya said: “Thank you to all my friends and family who have supported me, and #THEGLOVESAREON over the last two years. I am really grateful and humbled. Please keep doing so, so we can continue to make a difference.”
What a team.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
As Chair of #TheGlovesAreOn Sue promotes the work of the Charity, who are passionate about making a difference for our children and young people through education. She is also both LGBTQ Lead, and Communications Advisor, for the collective.