I promised myself that I would try to blog every month – and since I have just finished the Royal Parks half marathon, that means it must be about a month since I last blogged about the Great North Run!
It’s been a pretty good month for involvement with the MND Association. I attended a focus group around creating volunteer opportunities for younger people at the Association. There were some really interesting conversations, and I’m looking forward to seeing how these develop over the coming months. The average age of a volunteer at the MNDA is 53 (if my memory serves correctly!) – so this is a really exciting piece of work to be involved in. Plus I got to hang out with some lovely volunteers!
A few days after running an auction for a different charity – CCHF All About Kids – I was back in the MND fold for an annual quiz in Tooting, organised by the lovely FACE. Sadiq Khan MP opened the show and presented the MND South London group with a cheque for £1000 and lots of money was raised throughout the evening. Despite coming second to last, we had a fab time!
Next up was a group meeting, where the South London group reflected on a really amazing year so far, and discussed exciting upcoming events. We (well, mainly Daisy!) are organising a Comedy Night at Tattershall Castle on the 29th October (tickets over on Eventbrite!) which should be a great night. We also had a visit from Ben Sharpe who is a corporate fundraiser at the Association – cue an interesting chat about the potential for getting corporate volunteers involved in our work.
Then, on Sunday, it was the Royal Parks half marathon – the culmination lots of fundraising and not a lot of training from Nick and I. The support on the day was outstanding, we saw lots of MND runners on the route, both achieved PB’s (with zero arguments, hurrah!) and most importantly raised well over our target, with almost £1200 in the pot for the MNDA.
This has been a pretty long blog, and on the surface sounds like a really positive month with lots of volunteering for the MND Association. Yet I can’t let this blog finish without a mention of my lovely Dad.
Honestly, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. The 4th October would have been my Dad’s 52nd birthday, and I was reminded of the reason for my involvement in all of the above activities. It wasn’t an anniversary, and I did feel a bit cross with myself for getting upset at first, but it was a really hard couple of days.
It made me think of all the things I’ll never have the chance to do again; buy my dad a birthday Nandos and a pint or 6, get stressed about what to buy for a present, or laugh/join in with his drunken dancing at a birthday party. And for those of you who have lost someone you’ll know that this can be a slippery slope – within seconds I was thinking about my own life celebrations – birthdays, weddings, babies…
But I reasoned with myself, and reminded myself that this is natural. I resisted the urge to tell myself to ‘snap out of it’, and I curled up in bed and didn’t get out for almost 24 hours.
So, Happy Birthday Dad. And here’s to lots more volunteering continuing the journey towards a world free from MND.