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Meet one of our donors: Dominic Hayer

Dominic Hayer

If you've ever wondered what motivates individuals or organisations to sponsor us, you need look no further than Dominic Hayer.

We caught up with him at Goosedale, his family-run private events company near Papplewick in Nottingham. It’s a picturesque and bright location to meet – in fact the perfect antidote to a wet (very wet) day in March.

Highly enigmatic, Dominic has philanthropy in his blood. Surrounded by the banqueting and conferencing facilities at Goosedale, he becomes animated when talking about his relationship with NTU and the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre.

"Historically, my grandfather was actively involved in community projects, whether it be helping the Indian community when he first settled in Nottingham,” he says.

“One of those projects that continues to this day is the Indian Community Centre, which supports the community, elderly and the vulnerable.”

“My uncle, Michael Johal, has been at the forefront of supporting local charities and community projects for many years – I have for the last few years also started to become actively involved!”

Dominic quickly explains why the decision to support John van Geest was an easy one.

“I’ve seen the facilities over at your Clifton Campus and was immediately impressed. I’m a big advocate for Nottingham and am incredibly proud we have that kind of research happening here. I don’t think there are many charities that can compare regarding the potentially life-saving research that’s taking place at John van Geest.”

And what advice would he give to other businesses or individuals considering working with us? Again, he’s quick to highlight the many positives.

Being a family and having a business locally, it makes perfect sense to work with NTU and the relationship has been mutually beneficial

“At God’s grace we’ve been a very successful family. When you’re in a fortunate position, you have a responsibility to share that success – if not from a legal, but a moral perspective. I feel it is important to give something back as part of your daily life. Our philanthropic activities supporting NTU and John van Geest are our way of doing that.”

Another innovative ways Dominic plans to support John van Geest, is to donate 5% of all sales to NTU students, staff and Alumni, from his new Indian food delivery service. My Nava (Nava meaning fresh in Sanskrit) offers restaurant-quality food using fresh, authentic ingredients.

Does Dominic have a favourite dish?

“Without a doubt, it’s a saag dish from North India. It contains a lot of spinach,” he says.

“I used to watch a lot of Popeye as a child and have always remembered it made him strong!”

It’s not the only initiative Dominic has planned. In November, Goosedale will host an extravagant celebration event for Diwali, the festival of light. One of the key nominated charity recipients will once again be John van Geest.

“The aim is not only to raise funds but also awareness and it will be a fantastic event,” he says.


If you have been inspired by Dominic to fundraise for The John van Geest Cancer Research Centre and would like to discuss ideas, please get in touch with our fundraising team.

You can also discover further ways to support NTU priority projects.