Join the British Red Cross in celebrating the extraordinary things that ordinary young people do in the UK every day to help others in their communities: nominate a young person aged 25 or under for the charity’s annual Humanitarian Citizen Awards. You have until the 14th of July to vote HERE for those groups or individuals you feel selflessly make a difference to the lives of others in their community, through:
- First aid (“young first aid heroes who have stepped forward to help when needed, performing life-saving acts or responding to small-scale incidents”);
- Volunteering (“young people who give up their own time to help others, in whatever capacity”);
- Community action (“young people – or groups – who make a positive contribution in the community”); or
- Fundraising (“do you know anyone who’s been using their imagination and energy to raise money for a good cause?”).
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5th October 2013.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
Award winners with West Dorset District Council chairwoman Gillian Summers.
Throughout January, and into mid-February, residents of West Dorset were invited to nominate young people and groups from the county who had made a difference to their community by voluntarily giving of their time to help locally. The achievements of the nominees were then honoured a fortnight ago at an event entitled ‘Chairman’s Awards: Young Volunteer Champions’, held at the West Dorset District Council Offices, South Walks House, Dorchester.
The Young Community Champion award, for an individual aged 13-18, went jointly to Jess Element from Dorchester and Jacob Neal from Beaminster. Jess supports local young swimmers, is an active member of numerous swimming groups, clubs and sessions, and now trains and teaches regularly. Jacob cares for his mother and is an adult leader with the Scout Association, where he has been volunteering for the last ten years.
The Senior Young Champion award, for an individual aged 19-25, was won by Freddie Higgs from Cerne Abbas. Freddie is a young adult leader at Cerne Valley Youth Club and Cerne Abbas Scout Group. Freddie took full responsibility for running the club and its fundraising activities when the leader fell ill last year.
The Youth Group Champion award went to Sherborne Skate Park Group, who campaigned for three years to keep their skate park open, while they raised £187,000 in order to replace it with a new modern one.
In presenting the awards Council Chairwoman Gillian Summers said: “I want to congratulate all the people nominated for Young Volunteer Champion awards. We had so many worthy entries. I am delighted to thank these fantastic young people in this way for the help they have given to their community. It is brilliant that so many are prepared to give their time to make a real difference.”
For more information visit www.dorsetforyou.com/young-champion/west-dorset.
Shrievalty Award recipients with High Sheriff Harry Vane, at Durham Castle
At an annual award ceremony in Durham (UK) last week 21 young people were recognised for what the Northern Echo newspaper described as “courageous, selfless and community-spirited actions”. These were the recipients of the Shrievalty Awards, which were presented by the outgoing High Sheriff of County Durham, the Honorable Harry Vane, in the Great Hall of Durham Castle. Individuals and groups were among the award winners, many of whom had “overcome adversity” in order to benefit others within their local communities.
One group of youngsters was responsible for reducing crime on their housing estate – 16-year-old Charnie Lamport, her 12-year-old brother Joshua, and their cousin Callum, also aged 12, came forward as witnesses in a case involving anti-social behaviour of youths, just prior to Guy Fawkes Night, last November. As a result, the perpetrators were arrested and charged with the offences, with the result that the disorder issues on the estate have now been virtually eliminated.
Another group recognised at the event was Darlington’s ‘Signing Stars’, represented on this occasion by three of its members – Hope Harvey, Jodie Fyfe and Elaine White. Signing Stars is a sign language choir from Humersknott Academy, which performs choreographed signing and singing for pensioners’ tea parties and raises money for children’s treatment charities at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
A 17-year-old – Lauren Read – was one of the individual award winners. A sporting enthusiast from Teesdale, she has given more than 700 hours of her own time, inspiring and supporting other young sportsmen and women in Barnard Castle and Bishop Auckland.
VIPs present to encourage and support the award recipients included four former High Sheriffs; the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon; four Chief Constables (two of whom are currently serving); and three Mayors.