There’s a big splash of purple bringing colour to Bloxwich right now.
A few years ago a new campaign was launched by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland to promote our ongoing efforts in the worldwide drive to eliminate Polio. The purple crocus was chosen as it is generally in flower around the time of Rotary’s birthday, on 23 February each year, and the purple colour matched the dye painted on the fingers of children in other countries who had been immunised against Polio.
We here in Bloxwich planted crocuses in the garden/lawn at St John’s and All Saints, and also around our tree in the Bloxwich Park (Thanks to Tracey for the picture).
The tree, originally planted to mark Rotary’s centenary, is now surrounded by a band of the beautiful flowers. We’re just one of many hundreds of clubs around the UK who have supported this awareness campaign. This has now expanded into a worldwide crocus campaign with themed pin badges.
This year despite the terrible weather recently the crocuses have performed well and are nicely in bloom for 23 February, helping us to celebrate World Rotary Day.
Meanwhile the campaign to end polio continues; there are an ever reducing number of cases, and there are just three countries remaining where Polio is endemic. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work required to complete our goal, but it increasingly appears to be in reach, and when it is achieved it will make Polio only the second disease to be eradicated worldwide by the intervention of people.
Meanwhile, enjoy the colour they bring, and here’s hoping for a better Spring!
Another year, and another 12 days of Christmas draws to a close. For our final donation this time around, we have chosen Suzanne Payne, who is currently in training to prepare to climb Mount Edith Cavell, to raise funds for the Cavell Nurses Trust.
Edith Cavell was a British nurse, celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I, for which she was arrested. She was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage. She was 49 at the time of her execution. You can read more about her on Wikipedia.
The Cavell Nurses’ Trust, (formerly known as NurseAid), was originally set up in 1917 following the public outcry that followed the Edith’s death. Many members of the public sent donations in memory of Edith and these formed a source of funds still used by the Trust to help nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in their time of need.
They provide vital support to all UK nurses during very difficult times, offering help to registered nurses, midwives, health care assistants, student nurses and retired nurses who have given a lifetime of caring and compassion.
We wish Suzanne well with her climb of Mount Edith Cavell, a mountain located in the Athabasca River and Astoria River valleys of Jasper National Park, Canada, and the most prominent peak within Alberta. If you’d like to join us in supporting her, you can do so via the Just Giving Page. We wish her, and all the people we’ve supported this time around, all the best in her efforts.
Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) have joined forces with The Guardian newspaper for a special supplement in which Rotary and its activities are publicised. One of our pictures features in the article – Andy is there collecting tents at the V Festival. The whole article is readable by clicking the image below:
Hopefully the article will result in membership enquiries increasing – without new members it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain our calendar of activities. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us.
The page has been set up in memory of Christine Rattenberry; in the words of the page owner:
“This year (2013) Christine Rattenberry (Mom) suffered 3 seperate strokes across 9 months ranging from a mild intial stroke to the third and final one in August, which finally lead to her sad passing in October (2013). Christine fought very hard and showed true strength and courage, she never gave up, always stayed positive and made us all very proud until her last moments. Christine took an active part at Mellish and supported us all in every way, Christine was extremely proud of what her family and friends have acheived! (and still continues to do today).
I feel this challenge really fits Christine’s view on life and how she lived her own life, challenging, testing, but great fun with a huge sense of acheivement!
So dig deep, and take into consideration that this challenge will have not only her son and friends taking part but Andrew (65 years of age), widowed husband who misses Christine dearly everyday.”
The Stroke Association provide high quality, up-to-date stroke information for stroke patients, their families and carers.
Every year there are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK. That’s one stroke every five minutes. Most people affected are over 65, but anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies.
Stroke changes lives. It can have a huge effect on both individuals and their families.
You can help support the work of the charity by supporting Mellish Engineering as they take on The Major Series in March 2014. You can do so via the Just Giving page in the usual way.
With a few exceptions, we’ve generally concentrated on individual efforts in our 12 Days of Christmas posts. So for a change, today and tomorrow, we’ve picked a couple of local companies whose staff have banded together to raise funds for good causes.
Through this parachute jump, they have collectively raised (so far) 83% of their £2,500 target, and are one of the Balls to Cancer charity’s biggest fundraisers on Just Giving.
This is a relatively new charity, whose primary is to raise male cancer awareness and to support male cancer education and research. One of the primary issues health professionals face when looking to men’s illnesses is the tendency for men not to report health issues until the symptoms are quite advanced. This makes treatment more difficult for most if not all cancers, and reduces the likelihood of survival/recovery.
The charity has a helpful guide for men to check for testicular cancer.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to join us in supporting the staff of ERR towards their target total, you can of course do so by donating through their Just Giving page.
For Day 9 we have a combined effort with a page set up by Stephen Moreton. The event was a ‘Halloween Howler’, and was a sponsored cycling event supported by local cycling clubs and stores, to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening inherited disease, affecting over 10,000 people in the UK. You can’t catch or develop cystic fibrosis, it’s something you’re born with and most cases in the UK are now diagnosed soon after birth.
It is vital that people with cystic fibrosis receive appropriate healthcare, enabling them to live longer, healthier lives, and this is one of the aims of the Trust.
Stephen and his colleagues have so far raised just over £300, but more is always welcome, and you can add to that total by visiting their Just Giving page and clicking the Donate button.
Our selection for day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas is a little different in some ways. Julie Teale set up the page in 2009, but she and others have continued their efforts since then. As is often the case, we find it much easier to use her words:
“Our lives changed forever on the 15 September 2009; this is the day that our precious 23-year-old Daughter Zoë was taken from us by a silent killer called ‘SADS’.
Zoë was only 23 when she died suddenly in her sleep. She worked as a fitness instructor and was fit and healthy prior to her death. As far as the family are aware there have been no cases of sudden death or cardiac problems in the young in either of our families.
Zoë spent the day before her death with her sister, and the evening laughing and joking around with her family and best friend Ben. We were all unaware of the devastation that was to come; she didn’t have any symptoms of any illness. Zoë died suddenly in her sleep that evening.
The family were only made aware of ‘SADS’ (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) after Zoë’s death. We also learnt that tragically 12 young lives are lost each week as a result of this, recent research not yet published has increased this figure to 36, the numbers of deaths may be higher because records are not kept and coroners will often pass deaths off as natural causes due to the time and cost factor of researching further to find specific causes of death.
It was more distressing to learn that lives could be saved if children were screened with a simple ECG scan, this would detect conditions and allow them to be treated, again costs and lack of specialist cardiologists prevents this from taking place.”
So Julie and others have dedicated time and effort in memory of Zoë to raise funds for the CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) Charity to fund the cost of ECG screening sessions for young adults throughout the West Midlands, to help save lives and prevent other families going through this tragedy.
The combined efforts of those involved have taken the total raised so far to just ove £69,000 – a truly brilliant figure, and one which we’re pleased to be able to add to in a small way today. If you’d like to add more, you can, as always, do so via the Just Giving page.
For Day 7 we are supporting Barbara Brown, who has set up a Just Giving page to raise funds for the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, a charity we have supported though this initiative in previous years, and which Rotary clubs in the area have worked with on other projects.
The Newlife Foundation are ‘the specialists for special children’. They provide help and equipment to meet the needs of disabled children and the needs of their families and carers.
Barbara is hoping to raise a figure of £5,939 – this precise figure would be enough to buy a specific piece of safety equipment, a Safespace, for five year old Kenzy to sleep safely. Kenzy – whose twin sister has no health issues – was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of three; more recently he has experienced seizures and is being monitored for epilepsy. He currently sleeps in a standard cot but has no awareness of danger and injures himself on the sides, which he also climbs over – causing disruption in the bedroom he shares with his older brother who has Cerebral Palsy.
We’re glad to be able to add a little support for this, and hopefully bring it to the attention of a wider pool of people who may like to add to the total via the Just Giving page.
Christmas is generally a time of celebration and joy, but for some, this won’t be the case. Sadly, each year cases of domestic abuse tend to increase during the holiday period.
Many charities and people work tirelessly to aid the victims, usually women and children, both at Christmas and throughout the year.
They provide practical and emotional support to women and children affected by domestic violence and homelessness, encompassing a range of support services to help those affected move forward and begin a life free from abuse. They also provide a 24 hour free helpline.
We hope that nobody reading this ever has cause to call them, but we know that there will always be some people for whom the service and support offered will prove invaluable. If you’d like to make sure that support remains available, you can join us in supporting them via Marion’s Just Giving page. To date Marion has raised just over £3,300 of a £3,725 target – a fantastic achievement.