A - Z Challenge 2014 · Blog Challenges

A to Z Challenge 2014 – C is for Charity

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C  As you know the last couple of weeks I have been fairly quiet, those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook will have seen the picture of me from last Saturday attending the annual Casino night for the Joseph Salmon Trust, you can read more about that charity from my J entry of A – Z last year here.

The previous weekend here in the UK it was Sports Relief and across the country thousands of people were ritually humiliating themselves to raise money to make the world a better place while having a great time doing so in the process.

My contribution this year other than contributing financially by buying Onesie’s and T-shirts was to film the exploits taking place at my day job. then edit it together.

I did whether I should share it here after all I am behind the camera not actually on it but I am so proud of my colleagues for their efforts and how willing they all were to join in that I think you will get a kick out of it as much as we all have.

 

What is the most exciting thing you have done for charity?

A - Z Challenge 2013 · Blog Challenges

R is for Running (And Running Late)

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(Altered due to late finishing and publication)

Turn the clock back a little under thirty years ago and my Sunday morning would have been spent pounding  the pavement.  Don’t get me wrong it was not by choice, I did long jump and did not go happily to to the conditioning session intended to build up stamina I did 15 steps in my run up and could not appreciate the need to run a couple of miles.

The thing is once you have the option taken away from you it becomes more appealing.  Since my spinal problems I no longer take my health for granted and I now know just how precious it is.  I tried finding some picturess from the athletics club I belonged to but like many things it is long gone.

As I write this the world has been rocked by the events at the Boston Marathon and the London one is due to be run tomorrow (was run yesterday) thousands of people line up with one aim, not to win medals or break records but to achieve something while representing those who no longer can represent themselves and raising thousands of pounds/dollars for charities.  I know both causes close to my heart will be represented on not only the London start line but that of other races throughout the year.  Hours spent pounding the pavement in wind and rain to do those precious angels proud, and I know the families of those helped by both charities The Joseph Salmon Trust and Charlie’s charity Cords4lifeUK will continue to contribute to helping these charities help more people.  I wish neither of these charities had to exist, I wish that both boys were playing in a school playground right now not looking down on their families and smiling at the legacies created in their name, but both not only exist but are needed and do great work.  I don’t know if I will be fit enough by next year to join either of the teams on the starting lines but I do know that I want to be and that before I turn fifty I intend to run at least one 10k race for each charity.

Maybe I will even get fit enough that I will experience the thrill of lining up one Sunday morning to begin those 26 miles that are not about the Elite runners they are about the masses saying we just want to give something back and make a difference.

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.

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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 –

http://www.thejosephsalmontrust.org.uk/?page_id=561

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..

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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