Friday, 27 April 2018

The Story So Far - 27 April 2018

It has been a while since I gave an update on the fundraising total but with 5 months still to go in the Fortycubed fundraising year, things are looking good!  Thanks so much for all your support!


Upcoming Events

May 2018
On the first May Bank Holiday my friend Mike is taking part in a skydive to raise funds for Autism Berkshire as part of the Fortycubed campaign...and he is afraid of heights!  He is just £5 off his £1000 fundraising target.  Thanks Mike and good luck!

Join the party from the comfort of your own home! Raise money for Alzheimer's Society by joining the Fortycubed Eurovision Sweepstake for just £3 per entry. Prizes for the winners of each semi-final and a grand prize for the overall winner. To enter add your £3 donation to the Just Giving page and I will let you know which country you have drawn so you can follow their progress through the competition! Good luck!

June 2018

The Link Visiting Scheme aims to reduce loneliness, to promote friendship, to celebrate and honour older people in our community.  This year the organisation celebrates its 20th Birthday and we have hatched a plan to hold a Singalonga Sound of Music fundraising event at The Whitty Theatre to celebrate!  We want to fill the theatre with singing nuns, Julie Andrews lookalikes or any other direction your creativity takes you! Tickets can be purchased via this link. Only 170 tickets are available!

The week ending 22nd June is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week and Fortycubed will be co-hosting a fundraising coffee morning with a couple who have a grandson with Cystic Fibrosis.  It is 'Wear Yellow Day' so wear something yellow; bring a yellow cake or simply bring a shiny 'yellow' pound coin to donate and don't forget to share your #yelfies on social media!

The 40 fortycubed charities

Wednesday, 25 April 2018


My husband and I are blessed each Sunday evening with over 50 children regularly attending a youth club we took over almost 3 years ago.  The previous leaders were stepping down so that they would have the time available to start fostering children.  We should have known then that our experiences would change our lives and our perspective on the 'youth' in our community.  

Mental Health

So many of my blog posts have touched on mental health.  It pervades every single one of the charities supported by Fortycubed at some level.  When anyone suffers from domestic abuse, a miscarriage or cancer for example, mental health challenges will be faced by the individual and all those who love and care for them.  

I have already written posts explaining my personal reasons for supporting Mind and my sister shared the heartbreaking story of teenage suicide in her own community.  I am also raising funds for Place2Be, a mental health charity that focuses on younger people and works closely with schools to support the growing numbers of children struggling to manage their personal mental health challenges.  

The Shocking Statistics

  • One in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years (three in every classroom) has a mental health problem, and many continue to have these problems into adulthood.
  • Over half of all mental ill health starts before the age of 14 years, and 75% has developed by the age of 18.
  • Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years.
  • NHS England estimates that poor mental health costs the economy, NHS and society £105 billion a year in England

Place2Be believes that children are less likely to suffer from serious mental health difficulties in later life if they receive support at an early age.  Issues raised by children receiving Place2Be services are wide-ranging and often complex, including bullying, family breakdown, dealing with anger or anxiety, bereavement or friendship issues.

The Other Side of the Story

Our experiences with the youth club have shown us that when you make judgements at the surface level without seeing and valuing children as individuals, you can miss the full picture.  Please take 3 minutes to watch this film produced by Place2Be and consider making a donation towards their work.

Monday, 16 April 2018


When you embark on a challenge like Fortycubed it doesn't matter how confident you may feel, it is vital to have someone who will always be in your corner; always encouraging you and always believing in you.  I began this blog with a post about my mum without any thought that during the Fortycubed year I would also have to say goodbye to her best friend and sister, Ann who over the last 20 years stepped in as surrogate mum to me and surrogate Granny to my children.

We all miss Ann terribly.  It was only after she died I reflected on our 40 year relationship and realised that we had never argued.  Apart from not being able to share more time with Ann, I don't have any regrets.  She was a bridesmaid at my wedding; held the fort through the birth of each of my children; she visited us every week; we took her on holiday and made the most of every moment with her.  Ann had a wonderful time at the Fortycubed Gala Dinner.  

Ann wore crazy colours and had an awesome jewellery collection.  She loved to play the recorder, the ukulele, to sing and to read.  We had a shared love of listening to The Archers.  Ann taught me to make her famous Lemon Drizzle Cake.  She sewed on all my children's club badges; loved me through my miscarriages having had 7 of her own; collected lost cuddly toys; rummaged through charity shops for anything black while I went through my teenage 'alternative' years; rebelled against me and bought a Netflix subscription for my teenager and also appreciated a good Snapchat filter!

In keeping with Ann's thoughtful and thoroughly kind nature, she left 'suggestions' for her funeral where I had the honour of being a pallbearer with her husband, son and my brother. In my grief, I have been comforted by the knowledge that Ann has as many people who love her on the other side of this life as she has left here on earth.  

Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...