’50s-Style Dance Party Aids Kidney and Coeliac Patients
Nicola Walpole is on a mission. As a dietitian, she works at the Leicester and Corby Renal Units in Northamptonshire and also supports people living with coeliac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system assaults its own tissues. But, even when Walpole isn’t on the job, she’s labouring to ease the suffering of renal and coeliac patients.
In February, she held a Charity Rock and Roll Night in aid of Northamptonshire Kidney Patients Association (NKPA) and Coeliac UK. She feels the highlights of the night were watching all ages dancing together, and seeing all the classic 1950s outfits and hairstyles.
The event was organised to help raise money for her charity place in the London Marathon on 21st April of this year.
“So far I have arranged a Gluten Free Food Fair, a Live Band and Curry Night and [this event],” Walpole says of her fundraising efforts. “The next event will be a Vintage Rock and Roll Ball and a Vintage Auction in a marquee at Wellingborough Golf Club on 7th June. I have raised £1550 so far, and would like to raise £2500.”
Walpole’s passion is fueled by the commitment of Coeliac UK and NKPA.
“Coeliac UK rely entirely on donations to help raise awareness and knowledge, improve diagnosis rates and provide support for people with coeliac disease,” she explains. “Money is needed to continue the fantastic work they do. [This] includes funding research…and providing educational resources and literature for health professionals and people with coeliac disease.”
She goes on to say that her renal units service about 180 patients, aged 18 to 99 years, who each attend three times a week for life-saving treatment due to end-stage renal failure.
“The effects of renal failure, medication and a very restrictive diet can have profound effects both physically and psychologically,” Walpole clarifies. “Although NKPA is run largely by people with kidney disease themselves, they work tirelessly to try to improve the lives of people within the East Midlands Network, and their support is extremely valued amongst patients and staff.”
Walpole has worked tirelessly to advertise her events, and has spoken on local radio, distributed flyers to rock and roll clubs and local businesses, and contacted the local newspaper, as well as advertised her fundraisers on Facebook. She believes that the flyers and word of mouth were the most effective methods.
As someone who spends so much time planning fundraising affairs, Walpole has some solid words of wisdom for those undergoing the same process.
“Try not to get overly concerned about poor ticket sales ahead of the event, as I have found they sell well a week before. [Also], try not to reserve tickets for people on the door unless you already have the money for [those] tickets.”