I cannot believe that it is now a year since I completed my 5050 challenge, it has passed very quickly. While I think that I could probably still swim 50 lengths, cycle 50 miles and walk 5 miles in one day, I could not do it as easily as I did last year. The advice I received from my mentor was excellent – I had no physical after effects whatsoever. Having said that, mentally I suffered quite a down time for several months afterwards due, not to the physical part of the challenge, but the effort I had put into the rest of it. The world poverty issues weighed heavy on my heart and I began to feel that I was largely responsible for doing something about it. There are of course very many people who are working to overcome this problem of world poverty both under the auspice of many charities (both as paid workers and volunteers), and those working individually like myself. I am sometimes still frustrated therefore at the relatively slow progress being made. I know that in the last few years the number of people living on the equivalent of £1 a day, or less, has reduced form 1.4 billion to 1.2 billion, but it is still far too many to my mind.
Anyway, to update briefly, I have continued to give violin recitals and talks to raise money for Water Works. I was delighted to receive an email from them at the end of March stating that the total I had raised had now gone over £5,000 which meant that 5 villages would benefit rather than 4. This was a real highlight in my year.
I’m just writing to thank you again for your fantastic support for Water Works. On the BTdonate scheme, you raised £3,335 which with gift aid (less BT’s fee) increases to £4,007.69. You have also sent cheques totalling £1,152. I am in the process of claiming gift aid, where you indicated, it is applicable. The money you have raised will pay for the construction materials for a water pump (£75) and latrines (£12 each) and also the hygiene education programme (£400 each village) in 5 villages with an average size of 50 households.
As well as updating our website, we are promoting the charity via Facebook and Twitter. I would like to give you a mention on the facebook page to acknowledge what you have achieved in your sponsored challenge and to encourage other people to do something similar.
It’s great that your “House” at school have voted to raise money for Water Works. I have attached a flyer that they might want to use.
I am going out to Malawi on June 12th and will send you a photo album of the villages you have helped when the project is completed in October.
Best wishes, Jeff
So, I am still getting bookings from local groups and I am enjoying engaging ever more people in the poverty debate. Two churches actually took me up on my offer of presenting 1.4 Billion Reasons and playing my violin to make an evening of information / entertainment! I have found out more about the work of Oxfam and Christian Aid, I attended a training day for Christian Aid volunteers, played in an instant Messiah for MAP and helped with the FERN event to celebrate Yorkshire becoming a Fairtrade county. This involved me baking fairtrade, vegan, gluten free, chocolate flapjacks and blowing up fairtrade balloons amongst other things. (FERN is the Fairtrade East Riding Network.)
The Christian Aid Partnership scheme which Hunsley Churches Together is supporting, and that I am overseeing, has made a good start with well over £1,500 of the £5,000 already raised. A big sponsored walk next May should ensure that we raise the money well before the 2016 deadline. The Fairtrade stall at church and the Fairtrade coffee mornings are continuing on a monthly basis with profits now going to the Partnership Scheme.
On the fitness front I am continuing to cycle and have done a few good rides to places around 10 to 15 miles away. The most difficult was the Selby to York ride. I got the train to Selby and then had to drag my bike over the footbridge, bumping into an ex pupil on the way. He recognised me many years on, and in my cycling helmet, and kindly offered to help! Finding my way to the old railway line was not easy but worth the effort. I got to my course in good time but confess to getting the train all the way back from York! I continue to get lost even when less than 15 miles from home. The 15 mile journey to Blacktoft became well over 20 as I missed a turning and did a massive circular to eventually get there late, hot and bothered. I have nearly worn out my 4th mobile phone so I think I had better get GPS on my next one! Some of my best rides have been with ‘Breeze’ rides. These are organised cycle rides for women. We meet locally and ride around the area chatting, often stopping for a coffee on route. It is great. I always feel loads better and have discovered some new places to ride, some even include hills! Plus we have an expert leader who never gets lost!!
This next year is an exciting one for me as I move from the world of permanent, relatively secure employment to the more varied, yet slightly scary one of temporary appointments. I am hoping that I will be able to combine making a living with more charity work as the year progresses. My only plan is to continue to take every opportunity I can to make the world more like the place I would like it to be. Now that sounds more scary than when I announced my 5050 challenge!
- Please buy Fairtrade whenever there is an option! Traidcraft and Tearfund Christmas catalogues are very good. If you live near Hull, please visit the One World Shop.
- PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: globalcitizen.org and sign up.
- Visit my website: louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
- If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 4 Billion Reasons presentation then please let me know. Age 16 and above is ideal but I can adapt it for KS4 students.
Thank you for reading my blog and for your feedback and support. If you are reading my blog and have not given me feedback, please do.