Raising Awareness and Money for the Shannon Bradshaw Trust, Warrington

Archive for the ‘fundraising’ Category

Make a Difference Week at Oakwood Avenue CP School

It’s been a while since my last post and a lot has happened! I now have a grand total but before I reveal that I wanted to share what our school did to make a difference. Like Partington’s idea, we chose lots of different charities, including the Shannon Bradshaw Trust, which we raised over £2000 for with a Young Apprentice Challenge for our Key Stage 2 children and the staff took part in ‘It’s a Knockout’. I owe a huge thanks to Lisa Horton one of our Teaching Assistants who worked with my mum and had a vision of recreating this competition for our teachers. It was such good fun and the children and parents loved watching our daft behaviour, we all got the chance to act like big kids and we loved it, check out this video put together by another talented TA Jill Jaeger, she captured the fun perfectly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7yrz0ADWEI. We raised a huge amount of nearly £1000 which was fantastic!

Our MAD Week took place at the beginning of June, I’ve attached or newsletter which explains it all but it’s safe to say I was bowled over once again by people’s generosity and once again children definitely made a difference!

newsletter MAD week pdf

A Saturday ‘Stroll’ to the Summit of Snowdon

This is a long post today but then again it was a very long (but rewarding) day!!

Two weeks ago today, a group of us (6 adults and 7 children) were ‘strolling’ up to the summit of Snowdon. The word strolling is tongue in cheek because none of us appreciated just how hard it would be – struggling would have been a more appropriate word. But the thought of getting to the top, for the amount of money we were raising for charity, spurred us all on (final total revealed at the end of this blog to make you read on haha)! So did the friendship, encouragement and laughs along the way too!

We decided to take the Llanberis path as the youngest ones in our group were two amazing 7-year-old boys and we were told this was the easiest path. I’m not sure the word ‘easiest’ should ever be used in this post either! We had decided to call ourselves Mad Hatters because of the nature of our charity event and the theme of our original idea. Jill Jaeger, who has been crocheting many things for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, made us some hats for our walk which were the colours of the rainbow. The rainbow is significant for many reasons. We were trying to find that pot of gold for the charity at the end of it but also because ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ was one of my mum and dad’s favourite songs. It was played at my mum’s funeral last year and in case you haven’t guessed by now, it is in her memory that we are raising as much money as we can for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust/Community Centre.

We were staying at my sister’s caravan in Llanberis so the drive to the start of the path only took us 10 minutes. However, we underestimated how long it would take to get a group of very excited children ready for a day out on the mountain! Loaded up with water, snacks and lunch, we set off on the path at 10.30am. It has to be said that the first part of the path was fairly steep and 10 minutes in, some of us were wondering how on earth we would ever make it to the top. But the friendship, encouragement and laughter were paramount!

The half way cafe was welcome relief for a short rest and a hot cup of coffee. Alex (my niece) who is the brainchild behind the fundraising extravaganza, started with a nosebleed. It was at this point that I started to realise just how high this mountain actually was and I was worried about her. However, her response to me was to tell me off for fussing and in her words ‘I will get to the top of this mountain Jo Jo, I’m doing this for my nana Mary!’ The half way cafe was always going to be the place where we assessed how the younger two boys were doing, Ben (my nephew) and Michael (my best friend’s son). The train was fully booked so we knew there was no chance of getting to the top and coming down on that, so it was going to be walking all the way and they’re both only 7. And while they were finding it tough, there was to be a character we met at this halfway cafe that would spur them on to the top! Liam Hewer, Author of Children’s Books “The Woody Wilds”, was dressed as one of his characters Shelby Snail; he was raising money for Cystic Fibrosis, www.justgiving.com/shelbysnail/. As soon as Michael saw that Shelby Snail was climbing Snowdon, it spurred him on and there was no stopping any of us now!

Michael being spurred on by Shelby Snail!

Michael being spurred on by Shelby Snail!

For anyone who has ever climbed Snowdon, you will know that you meet all weathers along the way and our layers were constantly on and off. As we passed underneath a bridge, close to the top, we stopped for a group photo – we weren’t sure we’d get one at the top as it’s a small space and it was busy. So here is the group of Mad Hatters!

Mad Hatters climb Snowdon

Mad Hatters climb Snowdon

It was from this point on that the walk got colder and much harder. The group began to separate, as we were all going at our own pace. I had Ben with me and at one point he stopped and said ‘Jo Jo, I don’t think I can do this! My legs are so tired and I’m so cold!’ I said ‘It’s ok, we’ll stop for minute’ I layered him up and then all of a sudden the sun came out. I told him that was nana Mary lighting the way for us. At which point, he looked up and saw a seagull, which appeared to be flying along the path ahead of us. Ben then jumped up and excitedly said ‘Jo Jo, that seagull was at the halfway cafe! It is nana Mary, she’s showing us the way!’ He bounced up and down and exclaimed ‘I’ve got new energy in my legs! Let’s go!’ I’m not sure my mum would have been pleased about being called a seagull, but this emotional moment definitely gave us both the energy to carry on! The other Mad Hatters all had their own struggles at different points of the walk but again the togetherness of the different breakout groups and their support of each other pushed them on.

Shortly after passing the stone which would indicate we were nearly there, it got a whole lot windier and scary! The path to the summit looked narrow and dangerous, especially with the wind and younger people. At this point I asked if he wanted to go on up to the summit. He squeezed my hand tight and said ‘Of course! I’m doing this for nana Mary! Come on Jo Jo’ He reminded me so much of my dad at this point, so loving and supportive of me – and I was the adult!

Mad Hatters raising awareness of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust at the summit of Snowdon

Mad Hatters raising awareness of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust at the summit of Snowdon

At exactly, 1.42pm, we reached the summit. The first of the Mad Hatters up there were Lucy and Beth (daughters of my very good friends, Jane and Joanna, from work). They both hugged Ben and I, and I cried! When Jane made it up, we hugged and there were more tears. I share an office with Jane and for this past year she has been amazing support for me on a daily basis (as has everyone from my Oaky family). Joanna, determined as ever, climbed up and a few of us squeezed in for a photo with the banner I’d carried up. ‘Mad Hatters Made it. We climbed Snowdon, in Mary’s Memory for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust.’

After a short stop in the cafe at the summit, we began the journey down. None of us had expected that to be as hard as it was but we made it back down in a couple of hours. It was safe to say that night we all slept soundly.

Every single person who took part in this climb, myself, my niece and nephew Alex (10) and Ben (7), Antonia and her two children Ella (9) and Michael (7), Mags and her son Patrick (9), Jane and her daughter Lucy (13), Joanna and her daughter Beth (12) and not forgetting Steve, our friend, achieved an amazing thing on Saturday May 16th. Not only did we overcome personal fears and difficulties but we also raised an amazing amount of money for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, with the very latest total being £2287.78. I know we would have made my mum very proud! Thank you so much to Antonia, Mags, Jane, Joanna and Steve, for your support, love and friendship! And your children, Claire, Antonia, Mags, Jane and Joanna, were an absolute credit to you all!

It’s onwards and upwards to my next fundraising event, Make a Difference Week at Oakwood Avenue Primary. This event is set to take place week beginning 8th June, and is raising money for other charities as well as the Shannon Bradshaw Trust. However, this week will focus on our children also taking part in charitable acts and thinking of others through acts of kindness and thoughtfulness.

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Partington Primary’s MAD Week plans

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The newsletter advertising the fundraising extravaganza

The first fundraising activity has been planned!! One of my best friends, Anita, is the headteacher at Partington Primary and she sent me plans for their fundraising extravaganza a huge part of which involves raising money for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust. I was simply blown away by her idea and am blessed to have such a good friend. I have no idea how much money will be raised during this event but am so excited as it’s a large primary school.

The MAD week stands for Make a Difference and they are focusing on a variety of charities. During this week, children will be learning about the work of different charities and how children can make a difference to the lives of others. Anita is going to send me pictures and possibly a video next week of the event!

The competition is on for me too because I am deputy of a primary school in Warrington and we too are planning a MAD (Make a Difference) week for different charities, one of which will be the Shannon Bradshaw Trust. Ours is taking place on the week beginning 8th June, so we’ll know what target to try and beat!

Children in Reception and Nursery raising money for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust.

Children in Reception and Nursery raising money for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust.

Homework challenge is for children to individually raise money by coming up with an activity. The most money raised by each child in each year group gets a trip to Toys R Us as a way of saying thank you!

Homework challenge is for children to individually raise money by coming up with an activity. The most money raised by each child in each year group gets a trip to Toys R Us as a way of saying thank you!

Bonner’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Idea

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Family fun at my 40th Fancy Dress party

Mum has 4 grandchildren, to Claire, and they meant the world to her and her to them. Charlotte is now 21, Laura 18, Alex 10 and Ben 7.

Alex, mum’s 10 year old granddaughter, desperately wanted to raise money for The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, in particular the Community Centre, and had many ideas of how to do this. So with this in mind, Claire and I, and her grandchildren wanted mum’s birthday, 1st January, to mark the start of a New Year full of fundraising events which are to be organised and led by children, with the support of adults, in aid of the Shannon Bradshaw Trust (monies from this can also serve to carry on mum’s hard work in the Community Centre).

The idea is that our friends and family along with their child/children, or children they know, come up with an idea to raise money. This can be as small or as big as they want, bringing adults and children together in fun! Their fundraising activity or event is to take place at the start of 2015, up until May 31st 2015. This blog is going to keep everyone updated of those fundraising events as people are going to e mail me their pictures and events with money raised.

This fundraising extravaganza will then finish with a ‘Bonner’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ on Saturday 13th June 2015 (the nearest Saturday after mum’s first anniversary) from 5pm at Poulton Park Golf Club in Warrington. The celebration event will be free for the children as a way of saying thanks to them for their fundraising and the price of adults’ tickets will cover the cost of the venue and food (to be confirmed soon). It will be fancy dress with the Mad Hatter’s Tea party theme (obviously it is optional but the more people dressing up, the more fun it will be).

Alex and I are climbing Snowdon with other adults and children so watch this space for those pictures. If you have any questions, just leave them on this page. For anyone reading this wants to start a fundraising activity please do and let us know what you’re doing- the more creative the better. For anyone reading this who has and  started their idea, I want to thank you so much in advance of keeping our mum’s memory alive! It means a lot to me, Claire, Charlotte, Laura, Alex and Ben and she’s finally got her way by involving us all in her charity work!!