8. Vlog Time

Vlog Time #45 – Book Launch Date

First a quick vlog…

Now your formal invitation…

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There is a Facebook page for the event so please feel free to come over and show virtual support even if you cannot physically make it, though of course I would love for you to all be there to share cake with me xxx

A - Z Challenge 2013 · Blog Challenges

J is for Joseph Salmon

20130210-230657Today is a very special letter for me as it is the first charity I ever actively took an interest in helping, don’t get me wrong have done the whole couple of quid via direct debit bit before but this was the first charity I went out of my way to attend fundraisers for and right now am selling raffle tickets for.

Some of you may have read a little about the charity here when I attended the Comedy Evening last year. I am not going t go into too much detail about what happened to them here partly as I have asked Neil – Joseph’s dad – a couple of questions and secondly as I think it deserves so much more than just a quick post here.


Okay so here are the couple of brief questions I asked Neil…

Your charity is a little different to most in that rather than offering support it offers actual financial help to those who have lost children, what made you decide to take that route?

After Joseph died, we spoke to other people who had also lost a child and it became clear that whilst there were several charities for emotional support, there wasn’t anything for the financial side of things. In particular, funerals and headstones which are a considerable cost for which, as parents, we don’t plan for.

When a child dies many of us – me included – automatically empathise more with the mother in most cases, do you feel dads are expected to handle grief better?

I think we all, male or female, handle grief in different ways although many Dads will feel reluctant to show emotion and will try to be “the strong one.”

What fund-raising events are you most looking forward to this year? Will there be another comedy evening?

We have a busy year of fund-raising ahead including another Curry Night at the Shama and a Casino Night at the Woodman, Thunderbridge. All the details of our upcoming events are here –


Now you guys know that I have been nagging you for signatures on Charlie’s Petition but now I have a bigger favour to ask…

I simply ask that if you can spare a pound or a dollar you help raise a little money not only because this is an amazing charity but also to help some personal friends of mine help a charity which was there for them in their darkest hour.  Allow me to introduce you to Harley..


Sorry if that seemed a cruel trick to play but it was that sort of cruelty that fate played upon one of my best friends Debbie, you see Harley was her first grandchild, his existence was discovered shortly after she lost her mum to cancer and was the shining star that gave the whole family something positive to focus on in a time of pain. Debbie’s daughter had an fairly easy pregnancy nothing to concern anyone, forty weeks came and went and Harley was in no rush it seemed to leave the safety of mummys tummy, everything was normal no need for concern.

Ten a couple of days before she was due to be induced, the post went up on Facebook that labour had started, Debbie was so excited at the prospect of meeting her grandson for the first time, and I sent her a message and headed off to work expecting to return to photo’s of a beaming family.

Instead I returned to silence, no returns to questions on her wall asking about progress, no pictures, then I saw the inbox message and it was heartbreaking.  Not only had my friend lost her grandchild but she had had to hold her daughter in her arms while a pain tore through her that she could not fix.  Harvey never took a breath or opened his eyes but no child was ever so loved as he was.

Everyone knows how expensive new babies are, they take ever penny preparing for their arrival, not only did the family have to face the shattering of their dreams but also now worry about how to give their angel a decent send off, and that is where Joseph Salmon’s legacy steps in and embraces not only the grieving parents but their whole family.  They understand not only the pain but the practicalities, they are the charity you never want anyone to need but are eternally thankful for if you know a family they help.

Harvey’s dad Blair is running the Manchester 10k Raising money for the Trust if you can give anything please please I beg you do so, help the Joseph Salmon Trust help more families whose nightmares have come true.

Blairs Just Giving Page

A - Z Challenge 2013 · Blog Challenges

H is for Hospitals

20130210-230657This post is a day late I am afraid and the reason is – partly – we had yet another hospital trip yesterday.  Admittedly the rest of the day was spent visiting my parents and grandma as I have to take the chance when the schools are closed and I am not working to fit visits in.

I have had both good and bad experiences with hospital, my first memory of a hospital visit was going to see my dad after he had a burst stomach ulcer, all I really remember of that was the huge tube coming out of his belly.

The next was to visit my grandad shortly before he passed away, I remember how tiny he looked in the expanse of white that was the bed.

The next visit was to casualty after slicing part of my thumb off chopping tomatoes, and the doctor telling me I had cut the nerve endings off so I shouldn’t be complaining it hurt.

The next visit was my longest stay with me as a patient, the emergency caesarian that brought my daughter into the world 7 weeks prem.


A week later and after a few setbacks for both of us we headed home and I did not see the inside of a hospital until…

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Since Jacks birth in 2008 both he and I have been no strangers to hospitals, he has fought meningitis plus had an operation to remove is adanoids, constant visits to ENT, Paediatricians, Orthoptists, Speech Therapists and Physiotherapists.  For me two spinal operations plus on going Physiotherapy.

Then more recently as you know my dad has had a two month stay in hospital, I have seen almost every department going over the years fr one reason or another and while most doctors and nurses do an amazing job, there are some whose bed side manners leave much to be desired.  Doctors and nurses who make the patient feel stupid for bothering them and are clearly in the wrong job.  The NHS is far from perfect but from friends experiences better than systems in some other countries but there do need to be changes.

Why are our Facebook walls full of children needing to raise money to be treated abroad? Why in terms of medical research are we so far behind other countries?  I know that we have increases of population and people are living longer therefore using more resources but we have to start making changes and looking at long term solutions rather than short term savings.  Things like Umbilical Cord Donation (don’t worry am not giving the full lecture here) is ruled out as too expensive, but how much is a child’s life worth? Taking emotion out of it and put in from a financial view point the cost of a child’s life is actually extremely valuable, not only does saving a life negate expensive pallitive care in the final weeks or months but also consider the life time of potential that child has. No one knows what that child could grow up to be, a doctor, a scientist, and Olympian, they could inspire millions or just work in a shop, paying taxes and contributing to keep our country afloat.

Yes we are on the verge of ending up with an aged population with a too-small workforce to support them and the reason is we are letting too many of our children die to save a few pounds now.

A - Z Challenge 2013 · Blog Challenges

C is For Charlie


How could C stand for anything else than our little hero who has changed so many lives around the world.  I know many of your here followed Charlie’s journey with me and so wish it had had a different outcome.  It requires strength to create something positive from such tragic circumstances and that strength overflows in Charlie’s family.

They are in the process of registering Cords4LifeUk as an official charity and continue to fundraise to help promote the benefits of cord donation, I know by now all my UK followers will have signed the petition by clicking on the picture of Charlie at the side of this page but if you have a friend or two who you think would sign, share the link with them. I asked Joey Beard, Charlie’s dad what all the support has meant to them.

“1st of all thank u for doing it ……. The support we have received has been amazing and has really helped us as a family through a very difficult time”  Joey Beard

Charlie’s mum and sister along with a couple of family friends have been in the recording studio this week and have released a 6 track EP to raise funds to continue ensuring that Charlie’s Legacy becomes a reality.  Please go take a look, you can have a little listen before you buy to let you appreciate this is actually really good quality stuff.

http://rubberbandaid.bandcamp.com/   this is the link for the EP and warning when you listen to The Best Two Years have your tissues ready this was sung by Charlie’s amazing big sis Ellie and the words are truly heartbreaking yet you will find yourself smiling through the tears remembering this truly remarkable little boy taken far too soon by cancer.  I will post links at the bottom of the page for those who are new to this blog and have not read all Charlie’s story for now I will leave you with a taster which is just Kelly Worth (watch out for that name in the future) singing what has really become Charlie’s song and on the EP she sings this with his mum Fiona.

You can read more about Charlie’s journey on FB and support the family via Twitter @Cords4LifeUK

More details can be found on my interview with Claire Halliwell who set up the Cord Donation petition and on other posts here on my blog if you type Charlie into the search bar plus the lovely pic of him will take you straight to the petition if you click on it.

Me And Mine · Questioning the World · So it's Saturday

Quiet Spell

Okay guys  you know how much I love you all, but I will be getting further behind on your posts over the next few weeks but it is in a good cause.
As I have mentioned last year I turned 40 and made some changes in my life I also started on some personal quests, the novel you are all aware of but the other I have been meaning to mention but unsure if it really belonged here but sadly matters have been pushed back to the fore by recent developments and now I really hope you will help if you can.

Let me introduce you to Charlie

This is the picture of Charlie I want you to hold in your mind as we speak he is my friends great-nephew, last year he battled cancer and we thought he had won.  He went home and all was well for the first time in his short life he could run and play like any other child but cancer is and does not cruel give up its victims so easily, this is the other side of Charlies life once more,

Any and all prayers are welcome, but this is now where I explain why I shall be concentrating on my writing.  Last year in a joke with my hairdresser about how quickly my hair grows we decided to do a charity chop I would grow it for a year hopefully get a few sponsors to raise money for a children’s cancer charity and send the hair away to be made into wigs for cancer suffers.  I had plodded away at growing the hair intending to post the link to raise money this month on fb rather than here on my blog but this morning I received news which has changed it all. The chemo has failed and Charlies only hope is treatment abroad which of course requires funds.  While his mum and dad plan various events I am changing my fundraising page to split the proceeds and as soon as I have that sorted I shall provide the link incase anyone is in a position to add even a dollar or two as every bit will help.

But the other thing I shall be doing is getting the short story collection done and working out a way to ensure 50% of anything I may make on it also goes towards helping Charlie get the treatment he needs, obviously the sooner this happens the better while he is stronger his chances are so much better, I shall continue posting and reading when I can but I need to do this.  Please visit his fb page and give him a like if nothing else, the support his family have received has been great but they are such wonderful people they have set up a charity, not only for their own son but to help all other children in the same position you can find their page here Save Baby Charlie Beard-Harris

Thankyou in advance for his extra likes and I shall keep you all posted on his progress