We’re delighted to be working with Dean Ward – Managing Director at DCW Group – to run a serious of online events focused on solving the housing crisis. But outside of his day job Dean has a passion for fundraising with a particular focus on raising funds for Breast Cancer Now. Over the coming months we’ll be sharing a number of articles highlighting the work Breast Cancer Now are doing…

I’m Claire Griffiths and I’m an Associate Director and Practice Manager of Pentan Architects, a private Architectural company based in Cardiff.  I have worked within the construction industry for over 25 years and have known Dean from DCW Group for a couple of years now. 

Aside from my ‘day’ job, I have been involved with Breast Cancer Now on a voluntary basis for over 10 years, my time nursing on a Breast Ward having inspired my role with the charity.  Prior to becoming the Practice Manager at Pentan I worked as a Staff Nurse caring for patients (both male and female) undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

I became really interested in the effect on body image following diagnosis and it was also extremely evident to me both the physical and psychological impact a diagnosis can have not only on the person in receipt of the diagnosis, but also upon those around them.  For some, the hospital admission is sometimes just the start of the journey and the help, support and guidance provided by the charity could be considered a lifeline for those requiring help and support along the way.  The free services on offer include ‘Call our Helpline’, ‘Email our Nurses’, ‘Someone Like Me’, ‘Moving Forward Sessions, ‘Younger Women Together’, Becca App.  It is great that support is offered in a variety of ways and to meet the different needs.

In 2010 after holding some ‘pink’ fundraising events at Pentan Architects I was invited to join the Wales Events Committee.  I am immensely proud to be part of an amazing team made up of passionate individuals from various walks of life.  We all bring something different to the table and take pleasure in planning fundraising events across the City.  In addition to this role with the charity, I am also a Public Health Volunteer.  The role enables me to play a small part in spreading breast awareness by attending organisations to promote breast health; highlighting the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and how to reduce the risks, which is so very important.   

I love getting involved with the charity wherever I can, be it taking part in various Pink Ribbon walks, Cardiff Half Marathons, walking the equivalent of a marathon along the streets of London overnight or climbing Ben Nevis.  I have taken part in numerous bucket collections at various events.  Such collections not only enable us to raise invaluable monies for the charity, they are also a fabulous opportunity to reach out and speak to people – raise the awareness of the charity and the services provided.  It means so much when someone approaches me and tells me that they have benefitted from support provided by the charity.

Due to my nursing experience I have always been passionate about the care side of the charity and proud to tell everyone of how the charity provides care and support for those going through this here and now.  Following the merger I was lucky to be invited to attend an event at The House of Lords.  Part of the day enabled me to learn a lot about all the research which the charity is undertaking. This further ignited my passion and drive to do all I can to help.

Joining the charity has proved so very rewarding.  Not only have I thoroughly enjoyed planning events and doing a very small bit to help others, I have personally gained so very much more.  I have made so many amazing friends along the way.  I am both proud and honoured to volunteer for Breast Cancer Now.

Dean has been a great support in my fundraising and he is keen to get more involved with the charity and thank you so very much for your kind contribution.

Find out more about Breast Cancer Now here: https://breastcancernow.org/about-us/breast-cancer-now-in-wales