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28th May 2020

Ricky Williams: Tats Fantastic

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During lockdown, supporters have stunned us with their fundraising creativity including our own graphic designer, Ricky Williams, who has created a very unique raffle to raise money for people with lung cancer. The prize? A 2x2inch of his skin and specifically the power to pick the tattoo that goes on it…

“It’s safe to say I’m built for comfort rather than speed, so completing a run was never going to be at the top of my list when thinking how I could fundraise.

Those who know me, especially my colleagues in the marketing team at the charity, know I can come up with pretty left field ideas! So, I thought to myself, “What am I good at?” The answer I came up with was “getting tattooed”. I have a fairly decent collection of them already, so I thought why not get another and raise money at the same time.

I always like my tattoos to have some meaning attached to them, so if I could have one to commemorate this very strange time in our lives when the charity needs it the most, then I think everyone’s a winner.

I created a JustGiving page and used that to sell raffle ‘tickets’. For £3, your name goes into the hat once, or for £5 it goes in twice.

Who will win…?

I’m definitely more nervous about the draw than I am about the tattoo itself. There’s a real mixed bag of people who have donated, ranging from my mum and colleagues to an ex-girlfriend and my best mate of 15 years (who knows too much about me…).

It’s safe to say there are certain people I would prefer to win over others. I did put a caveat in place that it had to be something I could have on show in public, and that it had to be black/grey, as none of my other tattoos have colour in them at all.

My ex-girlfriend has ‘joked’ she’ll pick her face if she wins, whilst my older brother is threatening to come up with something as offensive as possible; some choices really could make the rest of my life a little awkward!

But that’s exactly why people have decided to support me in this. I just hope the winner is in a good mood when they find out and I haven’t done anything to annoy them recently!

I think the worst thing would probably be a word that was intentionally misspelt, because it would genuinely annoy me every single day and I know people would have to correct me each time they saw it.

“Oh, do you know that’s misspelt?” Yes. Yes I do!

If it were up to me, I would want to get something that immortalises the charity in 2020; it’s our 30th anniversary after all. Maybe the circles from our logo, a trumpet for Roy, or even our ‘Inspire’ magazine’s logo as it’s such a big part of my work-life. Part of me would even consider getting Paula, our chief exec’s name or face to forever stay in her good books!

This is more than just a charity…

I know there will be some people who think this idea is pretty crazy, but this gives me the chance to do something a bit different for the most amazing charity.

I love working here. It’s given me the opportunity to work with some incredible people and meet even more incredible ones – the people we support and who support us. I honestly don’t know where I would be without the charity allowing me to do what I do creatively.

But most of all, it allows me to rally behind a cause that is incredibly close to my heart. Like many of us who work here, I have experienced the devastation of this disease first-hand when my grandad passed from lung cancer.

We were thick as thieves – or just “thick” according to my nan!  If me getting tattooed means support for someone living with lung cancer, someone like him, I would do it every week.”

Ricky drew his tattoo raffle on Wednesday 27th May. Watch the video to see who won and we’ll let you know what they chose for him!