Having recently completed the ASIST course (suicide first aid) I am acutely aware of the high incidence of suicide here in the UK, as in other countries. I am also conscious of the impact that it can have on families and friends. Many of us personally know people who have been affected in this way.
So it was particularly timely to read today of a nine-year-old from Southend, Essex (UK) who – two years on from his father’s suicide – has only just managed to come to terms with the loss, and has now begun a fundraising bid in his memory.
Ben Gotts suffered from severe depression, and despite having a deep bond with his young son Mason, took his own life in 2011, shortly after being released from a mental health unit. Mason and his mother Lisa were devastated by the tragedy, and it is only very recently that the young lad has felt able to visit his father’s grave. On doing so, he was disappointed to see that it was marked simply by a small plastic sign, whereas all the surrounding graves had headstones. He made up his mind to rectify this, and is planning to raise £1000 for “a big black headstone” with the inscription “Thank you for being my daddy. I love you loads.”
So he will be undertaking a 12-mile beach fundraising walk this month, from Shoeburyness to Chalkwell (and back), on what would have been his father’s 41st birthday. A touching tribute, and one which definitely deserves support. To sponsor Mason, call Lisa (07453 323410) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any excess funds raised will be donated to Southend Mind.
And while we are on the subject of suicide… if you ever get the chance to take the ASIST course (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), I would highly recommend it. One day you might come across someone contemplating suicide, and you could perhaps be instrumental in saving their life, if you have been suitably trained. Check out LivingWorks’ main (Canadian) website at www.livingworks.net for further details.
Photo credit: PA
Virgin London Marathon has announced that for every runner reaching the finish line in this Sunday’s race, £2 will be donated to a fund that has been set up for victims of Monday’s bombings in Boston. Following the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, One Fund Boston was created on behalf of the three fatalities and more than 180 injuries; and with 35,000+ people due to take part in London this weekend, the UK donation is likely to be around £70,000. Prior to Sunday’s race – which ends at Buckingham Palace, and will take place amid high security – there will be a half-minute’s silence, and all runners will be wearing black ribbons. Many are also expected to cross the finish line with their hands over their hearts.
I don’t often do this… but I received an email today, requesting help with publicity for a charity event coming up in a few weeks, here in the UK, and I thought I’d share it with you on Generosity News, even though it’s not actually about young people. It may be that some of you will be willing to take the very simple step requested below, in order to give this nevertheless very worthy cause a bit of a boost over the next day or two.
The email, from Ed Lester, of The Abundance Index, was headed: “Let’s make something magic happen!” Here’s what it said:
I really need your help with something.
I just had a visit from my mother. Apparently my only sister is VERY cross with me.
The reason for this?
Well my sister’s one of six nurses in the UK who are taking part in a sponsored bike ride.
174 miles across The Hadrian Cycleway–some tough terrain. All of this for a worthy charity…The Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
They’ve put together a Facebook page, a website and everything.
My sister, needless to say, is deeply hurt that I haven’t been in and “liked” her FB page.
Only problem is, nobody told me she was even taking part in this event. I didn’t know till 5 minutes ago!
Once I found out, I rushed straight into my Facebook account and clicked the like button on her page.
But do you know what I found sad?
Such a noble and extreme effort these amazing nurses are making and they only have 15 likes on their page
So I figured together we can put that to rights!
Would you mind very much, going to this page on Facebook and clicking like?
I think together we can get this number way higher. Maybe even 1000 likes over the next few hours.
The great thing about this…
My sister along with everyone else in the UK is currently sleeping through the night and will be unlikely to be awake for a few hours yet.
Imagine her face lighting up (should she indeed see her FB likes counter go up to 1000 or more)!
Please pull out all the stops to help me make this happen.
The guys will be delighted, and I’ll be back in the family good books too!
It’s greatly appreciated I can assure you
Have a wonderful day!
The Abundance Index
PS If you want to further support Claire’s efforts and The Rosemere Cancer Foundation, there’s a link from their FB page to the actual website where you can find out more and even make a small donation.
When the summer arrives, most teenagers will be relaxing, enjoying their holidays with mates – especially if they have just come to the end of their high school education. But eighteen-year-old Charlotte Adams from Southend, Essex (UK) will be heading off to India for a month, to work with the charitable trust Emmanuel Ministries Calcutta (EMC) … which for nearly thirty years has been offering rehabilitation services for single parents who live on the streets; setting up and running health centres; and working in orphanages and slums, fighting poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy.
Charlotte, who currently attends Southend High School for Boys, has to raise a total of £2,200 to make the trip. So far she has achieved just over half of this from fundraising and savings out of her part-time tutoring job. Now she has started selling her personal belongings on eBay to raise the extra funds: so far she has sold a significant percentage of her own wardrobe, as well as various other items.
Christian-motivated EMC is inspired by the belief that “each individual has intrinsic value and deserves respect and dignity”. This is something that we believe, too, here at the Chreda Foundation. We also believe that young people have much to offer the world, and it’s great to see this latest example of the kind of selfless activities that so many of them are engaged in. This is exactly the kind of altruism that we will be seeking to encourage when we introduce the Chreda Prize at the end of this year.
Photo credit: Terry Ife
Ten-year-old Chloe Bamsey from Exmouth, Devon (UK) is walking three miles tonight to raise funds for charity. After hearing at Brixington Community Church how scarce food was in Africa she started fundraising for the charity DevonCHAPs (Communities Helping African Projects), originally aiming to collect around £30. But from midnight tonight the pupil from Littleham Primary School will start a 3-mile walk during which she hopes to raise nearly £200 in sponsorship.
Chloe, who has an 11-year-old pen pal in Africa and hopes to work with poor communities in Uganda and Malawi when she is older, says: “I have never walked at midnight before so it might be a challenge, but I have got to do it for the poor people…how lucky I am: I can go into my back garden, run around, and go and see the sea…in Africa they don’t have a lot – it’s sad. [But it’s] amazing how the money you raise can help them.”
To help Chloe with her fundraising efforts call her mother, Beth Dance, on 07964 950013.