Friday, 20 October 2017

Fortycubed Charity Gala Dinner

All 40 fortycubed charities represented over 35 tables 

350 people ready to have fun and fundraise


A Silent Auction including 3 holidays, yacht sailing, a spa day and a wine cellar tour.

The fantastic total raised for charity at the Fortycubed Charity Gala Dinner was just over £19,500!


Thank you to all those who came, who hosted a table,  who helped with preparations, who sourced prizes, who donated prizes, who bid on the auction or bought a raffle ticket.  #youareawesome 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

World Mental Health Day 2017 - Tuesday 10 October

A message from my sister

As World Mental Health day was on the horizon I thought it would be an appropriate time to write a few paragraphs for, to highlight and raise awareness of mental health and to remind me and the lovely friends and family who have agreed to do our bit for @fortycubed and raise our £1k for MIND, why this is so important.

When I made that plan I had no idea how poignant and relevant this post would be.  So sadly one of my son’s friends took his life on Saturday.  Even writing that today, less than 48 hours after my son told me, seems surreal.  He was 15. 

That stark information is so powerful and fits too neatly into the statistics.  We know men are more likely to complete suicide, we know the rates seem to be on the rise and we know it is often related to the turmoil that comes with mental ill health.  We also know we need to talk more and in the words of one mental health charity’s post in relation to male suicide – we need to stop manning up and find the strength to talk.    

However, there is often a reluctance within our society to demonstrate our vulnerability; how many of us have tried not to wipe our eyes in the dark of the cinema at a film designed to elicit emotion?  How many of us have apologised for tearing up, asking for a tissue, having to take a moment to compose ourselves?  How many of us have stopped short of telling someone close to us that we love them?  Or a friend how important they are and that you are glad they are in your life?   How many of us have said ‘don’t be silly’ or ‘there is no need for that’  when someone has started to cry or expressed anxiety?  How many of us have sent an emoji rather than saying the words in person?

I have no idea if this would have made a difference for my son’s friend.  And we have to accept we cannot change that, but we can hope that each time we talk and demonstrate our vulnerability as humans we open the door for others to talk; to feel understood, listened to and validated; to know they are not alone - and then be able to entertain that hope that things can be different.  They could even be good.

I am very proud to support MIND. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The story so far - 7 October 2017

Every single penny donation to the 40 fortycubed charities is much appreciated.  This evening a £20 donation to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust just tipped the running total over the £9,000 mark and I will be indulging in a cup of tea to celebrate!

Foreign Currency Drive

I am very grateful to everyone who donated their foreign currency over the last few months.  Thanks to a generous company profit matching scheme, our donations were doubled to a grand total of £1624.76 which is already being put to good use by The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

Prosecco Donation

We have had so many fabulous donations from companies for the auction and raffle at the forthcoming Gala Dinner.   However, I wanted to single out a donation from a family at my children's school.  They are unable to attend the event but wanted to contribute in another way and have donated 6 bottles of Prosecco to be used as raffle and game prizes.  There are now almost 350 tickets sold for this event!


Snapchat Geofilter and #fortycubed on Twitter

Thanks to having a teenager in the house, fortycubed has a geofilter set up for the night of the Charity Gala Dinner on 14th October at the De Vere Wokefield Estate.  If you are attending the event and don't have snapchat yet, please get the app and then find out what a geofilter is if you don't know already!

Please also look out for @fortycubed on Instagram and #fortycubed on Twitter as photos of all the charity tables will be tweeted by @fortycubed at the event.




The 40 fortycubed charities

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Link Visiting Scheme

'The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved'
Mother Teresa

The Link Visiting Scheme is on a mission!

This small charity helping local people has big plans for our community:
We aim to reduce loneliness, to promote friendship and to improve the health and well-being of our Link friends. We want to celebrate and honour older people in our community.
Loneliness and social isolation has become a huge problem in our nation and on a local level.  It can affect people of all ages, but perhaps the most vulnerable are our ageing population. It’s a growing epidemic – one that’s increasingly recognised as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. Loneliness can affect anyone but for older people it’s often associated with family members moving away or working long hours and close friends passing away. As one senior put it, ‘Your world dies before you do’

I first met Jo from The Link Visiting Scheme when our sons were at pre-school together.  Since then, her passion to celebrate and befriend older people in our community has inspired me to sign up as a volunteer.  I was 'matched' by the team to an older person with a view to us meeting up regularly.  The commitment is often just an hour or two per fortnight and in my experience, is great fun.  I have loved getting to know my Link friend and look forward to our trips to garden centres and cafes.  The Link Visiting Scheme is also looking for volunteer drivers to help link friends get to activities. 

The impact of loneliness

Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health.  Research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.   Networks and friendships also help individuals to recover when they do fall ill.  Loneliness increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and the onset of disability.

Lonely people have a higher risk of developing dementia and are more prone to depression. 


Celebrating Celia and Sue

The Link Visiting Scheme proved their matchmaking skills when they brought Celia and Sue together.  Both ladies have shared a little of their story and the impact the scheme and their friendship has had on their lives.


Sue's Story

'After watching how isolated my Mum (she lived in Germany) became after my Dad's passing, I decided to attempt to make a difference in the life of an elderly person.  Loneliness can be worse than an illness, the cause of insecurity, anger and depression and so easy to stop by just giving a little of your time.
The Link Visiting Scheme introduced me to Celia just over 2 years ago. Celia already had a few Link friends before I came on the scene and the both of us had to get used to one another. With time, the trust grew and we went shopping, visited several garden centres and had organised coffee morning with mutual friends. We shared fun times and tough times, like hospital stays and the loss of friends.
It is lovely to see the smile on Celia's face when I enter her flat and to know that to this one person I make a difference by listening to her stories of the past, sharing her worries and offering reassurance and comfort and most of all by having a good laugh'

Celia's Story

'Before I joined the Link Visiting Scheme I was lonely and unhappy.  My husband hadn't long died and I had no-one to talk to.  I look forward to seeing Sue. We have a good chat. She is just lovely. When I am feeling down and lousy, she cheers me up. She always makes me feel better. I love the parties too, they are terrific. I always have a lovely time.'

Jo and Marje from The Link Visiting Scheme will be hosting a table for the charity at the forthcoming fortycubed Charity Gala Dinner.  If you would like to make a donation to the charity as part of the fortycubed campaign please follow this link.  To find out more about the charity and about volunteering opportunities please visit the website.

Monday, 2 October 2017

The Katie Haines Memorial Trust

The Katie Haines Memorial Trust exists because of a tragic accident.  On 18 February 2010, just two months after her wedding, Katie Haines died of accidental Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning at her home.

Later the same year, Katie's husband and parents founded The Katie Haines Memorial Trust to promote awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide. 

The Vision

The vision of the Katie Haines Memorial Trust is 'that everyone in the UK understands the dangers of carbon monoxide and takes preventative measures to make sure that they do not fall victim to it, such as buying an audible alarm, having burning appliances checked regularly and taking an alarm when travelling abroad.'

Holiday Packing

I was aware we needed a working carbon monoxide alarm in our home for many years but until I heard about this campaign, I had never thought of taking an alarm with me when I travel.  Those sitting on The Katie Haines Memorial Trust table at the Fortycubed Charity Gala Dinner will get a CO alarm to take home with them.  I hope it becomes a regular part of their holiday packing list.

Zoe and Katie

It was through Zoe that I first heard about The Katie Haines Memorial Trust and she shared with me a little of their story.

'I first met Katie around late 2005/early 2006 through mutual friends, but it was only a year or so after this that we became close friends.

Katie was fun loving with an amazing smile that could light up a room when she walked in. She was a journalist for many years and was a press officer at Oxford University when she passed away. She had a love of sport – an avid Arsenal fan and played netball for Wokingham. 

I was lucky enough to attend her wedding on 12th December 2009. Katie and her husband Richard then had an amazing honeymoon in Brazil and Argentina. Shortly after returning from honeymoon Katie celebrated her 31st birthday on 31st January 2010. 

My husband and I were looking forward to hearing all about their adventure over a planned dinner date, but sadly this was never to happen. Katie’s life was tragically cut short on the evening of 18th February 2010 when she died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Since then her family set up a charity and have been working so hard to raise awareness of carbon monoxide, to ensure everyone understands the dangers and has an audible alarm in their home. 

To find out more about the charity please visit the website and to make a donation as part of the fortycubed challenge please follow this link.