Monday 3rd February 2014

My giving site closed this weekend and the grand total was just over £4,500 including gift aid. This means that Waterworks charity will be able to install a well, pump, latrines and hygiene training in 4 villages in Malawi next June. I am pleased to have gone well above my initial target of £2,500.

I will post all the details on this site when I have them. In the mean time I am working as a Global Poverty Ambassador delivering the presentation 1.4 Billion Reasons in schools, giving violin recitals to people in my local community and donating the money I am given to Waterworks and coordinating a Christian Aid Partnership Scheme in C of E local churches. Just in case anyone reading this thought I was being thoroughly lazy now!

Thank you again to everyone who sponsored me adn encouraged me to complete the project and the challenge.

Louise

Sunday 3rd November Week 50

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Week 50 Summary
I completed my challenge with 2 hours to spare!
I have got even more sponsors!

Report

I cannot believe that this is the last week of my 5050 project and my big challenge for my sponsorship is over. What a day!
I woke up at 4am and could not sleep as my brain was hyperactive with lots of ‘what if?’ questions! By 5.30am I was talking myself into a negative state so I reached out and turned my mobile phone on. This proved to be a really good move as several people had sent very encouraging texts the previous night after I had gone to bed and this really cheered me up so I got up feeling positive. There was no way I was going to let everyone down – my sponsors and the people in Malawi who need the clean water.
I had got everything ready the day before so I was dressed and ready to go swimming well before 6.30am. I was at the pool and ready to start by 6.55am, along with about 7 other people. I was absolutely delighted to find the notice I had taken in the previous day was already stuck on a board reserving me a lane for myself. 6.58am and the second life guard walked in. This is the cue to go apparently so I jumped in and I was off. Having a lane to myself was just fabulous. I didn’t have to swim round a square or negotiate any ‘splashers’ or people who occasionally decide that they will swim in the opposite direction to everyone else! The pool was warm and the swim relaxing and by 8.05am I was done – all 50 lengths. This was 10 minutes earlier than I had thought – all due to the reserved lane. The lifeguard signed my sheet and I was off to get dry and ready for the cycling.
8.55am, after some coffee and porridge, I was on my bike. The sun was making a good effort to shine and there was relatively little wind so I was flying along when I heard a strange noise and then my bike started to wobble. I turned round to see my bag had fallen off, after less than half a mile! I tried to see the funny side of this (it had never happened before), strapped it back on and I was back on my way. The first person I saw was one of my most enthusiastic supporters with her dog so I gave her a big wave and a shout and happily cycled on my way. I was looking forward to the first part of the route as I was going to Broomflleet then Kilpin where I have been several times in the car but never on the bike. It was lovely, not too cold, not too windy but sunny and the roads were quiet with very few cars or lorries. I was really enjoying the ride and was making good speed. There were times when there was a strong gust of wind and riding into the wind was a bit harder work but nothing that really slowed me down very much. True to form I did take a wrong turning and ended up at the southern side of Gilberdyke not sure which way to go!
I asked an unsuspecting chap if it was right or left to the main road to Newport and he confirmed it was right (I would have guessed that but didn’t want to waste time or energy going the wrong way!) I passed a lot of interesting brown signs on route and have got lots of ideas for places I would like to visit next year when the winter is over.
Soon I was through North Cave having done 31 miles, and on my way to Market Weighton, only 6 miles to go before my proper break. I waved to a cyclist going in the opposite direction and, to my surprise he started to cycle over the road and I saw it was Colin who had come to keep me company on what he described as a ‘boring bit of road’. I had just decided to slow down a bit as I was in good time and my back was aching a bit but that wasn’t really an option now so I pushed a bit harder and kept up. About a mile down the road it started to rain quite heavily so I stopped to put my waterproof jacket on and was glad of the assistance, holding my bike etc. By 12.10pm we were at Market Weighton and locking our bikes up outside my favourite café there. My fitness mentor and friend were already there ready to give me a pep talk and encouragement but he was impressed that I did not yet look tired. I was very ready for a coffee though, cappuccino, my favourite!
We sat and chatted for a while and then I was back on the bike ready to get home as quickly as possible before the wind got strong or it rained any harder. Well, that didn’t happen. The heavens opened and the rain came straight down in droves. I had to laugh to myself as I had been saying for the last few weeks that I didn’t mind of it rained as long as the wind wasn’t too strong. Be careful what you wish for they say! Also it seemed quite ironic that I was raising money for wells and water in places where there isn’t enough. By the time I got home at 2.30pm I was soaked to the skin. My feet were squelching in my trainers and I was dripping all over the hall. Colin took photos and videoed me and the mileometer registering 51.4 miles! By then I was starting to feel cold so it was time for a hot bath and to find some dry clothes to do my final 5 miles on foot. As I do not possess any waterproof footwear other than wellie boots running was really out of the question. I located my oldest thick souled shoes that are very well insulated, thick socks, spare waterproof jacket (well, almost waterproof) and at 3.30pm we set off with a very large umbrella to walk as quickly as possible in the teaming rain. I was feeling great and a bit cheated that I couldn’t run some of it. 3 miles down the road however I was starting to want to slow down and my hips were hurting. Fortunately we were heading back and home was in sight. Darkness had not yet descended and the rain was easing off so I just kept putting one foot before the other and thought about how good I would feel when I got home and could sit down for the evening with my favourite drink!
Just after 5pm and the ‘map my run’ registering 5.39 miles we were home and I allowed myself to be videoed wearing my ridiculous rain hat pulled right down over my eyes! De mob happy I think!!
All through the day my phone had been beeping with friends sending me good wishes and I am sure this is what helped me do it all so relatively easily and quickly. I even managed to reply to a few while cycling along.

What has happened since has been most surprising and the exact opposite to what I was expecting. Firstly I did not sleep well that night and was awake for well over 3 hours doing crosswords in the night. I did not have any significant aches and pains at all but, on Sunday I suddenly felt emotionally exhausted and very sad. Fortunately I got lots of sponsor money at church and a joint birthday celebration with the choir mistress in the form of cake and wine after the service cheered me up a lot. I think the sense of relief that I had actually done it was accompanied by a bit of a ‘let down’ feeling. I think I must have made more adrenalin than I thought. Anyway I could not quite get myself together to write my blog that evening and I certainly did not want the last one to be down beat in any way so I am doing it a day late and feeling much better now.

Looking back over the year I have to admit that there are some things I wanted to do that I have not managed but, there are many things that I have done that would not have happened if I had not set myself the challenge. Firstly some very poor people in Malawi will get clean water supplies because of all the generous people who have sponsored me. I have learned a lot about world poverty, become a global Poverty Ambassador, met lots more people who are committed to the cause and made lots of new friends. I have been so encouraged by people’s generosity and willingness to help in so many different ways.

Although my specific 50 week project has come to an end my work as an ambassador and campaigner has really only just begun. I already have several ideas for next year and am looking forward to seeing how much I can achieve for the cause, as well as maintaining my new level of fitness!

I think I will keep my blog going and although I will not be writing it every week it will be good to keep a record of what I am doing and to what degree it is successful.
I will certainly be reporting next year on exactly what Simon at Water Works Charity does with the sponsor money.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED ME THIS LAST 50 WEEKS. I COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT ON MY OWN.

Next week
I will deliver some more Traidcraft orders, continue to collect sponsorship money and celebrate my birthday by having a day of rest and my favourite curry!

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

Sunday 27th October Week 49

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Week 49 Summary
I have got even more sponsors!
I led an assembly about water in the developing world for my house at school
I have sorted out all the first Traidcraft order, £500 worth, (marathon task!) and sent in a second one for £250 worth

Report

I cannot believe that this is my penultimate week of my 5050 project, this last year has gone so quickly. Next week when I write my 50th entry I will have completed my challenge, all being well, and will be starting to collect all the sponsor money that has been pledged. I actually have quite a lot in cash now which I am going to enter onto the MyDonate site tomorrow. People are very trusting!
On Tuesday I got everything set up for my assembly and to my relief it all worked fine. The technicians had kindly converted the video clips for me into a format that would work without internet access and the clip of people in Africa collecting filthy water in big plastic tubs then carrying them for miles was very effective in getting my message across. The Head of House was very supportive and suggested strongly to the students that a water project as our international charity would be a very good and worthwhile venture. I just hope they go with it when it comes to voting and making a decision.
The main task this week in terms of time, apart from preparing for my challenge, has been to sort out the Traidcraft orders. When two enormous cardboard boxes arrived in the hallway I wondered what I had done! Storage had never entered my head but I will have to find somewhere quickly!! Fortunately, after several hours of going through the items and bagging them up and costing them out for individuals one box was full of things to go. I managed to get rid of every order but one at church so the task of finding space is not as daunting now. The problem is the chocolate – it has to be somewhere that will not attract mice (church and garage out of the question!) and somewhere cool.

Training / Exercise
The first part of the week was as busy as ever with work and a concert on Thursday meant I did not get a lot done but I made up for it on Friday with another big swim! This week I did 56 lengths and could have carried on but the Early Birds session was ending. It was a fun morning because all the big splashers were there in force and on form! I got several mouthfuls of water and had to move quite quickly a few times so as not to get kicked or hit. I went to speak to the life guards about having a lane to myself on Friday and they told me to speak to the pool manager who was in that morning. He was very helpful and thinks they will be able to accommodate me. It will be much less stressful if I don’t have to think about dodging my way to safety every few minutes!
On Saturday I cycled to Barton and back and nearly got blown off the Humber Bridge into the river! I had to slow down going round the pillars so as to keep control of the bike!
When I got there I had a little look in a few shop windows and then cycled up and down a few hills for fun. I was going to have a coffee in a café but the sky was looking rather dark so I decided to cycle back before getting a soaking as I had not got my waterproof jacket with me and the last thing I need for Friday is a cold! I just made it in time due to a south westerly wind blowing me back at super quick speed. The Humber Bridge always gives me pleasure, it is such a graceful looking structure and the views are great. It really is quite hard work on a bike though so I felt I had had a good work out. I compared this trip to a similar ride I did last Christmas holiday when I had cycled to Barton and needed a rest before returning because my legs were so shaky. I remember I was exhausted when I returned were as on Saturday I felt quite invigorated and energised by it. I felt pleased with the obvious improvement I have made in my fitness over this last year. I do hope I can keep it up in the coming years as I really can feel the daily benefits of being fitter and stronger. I still have my off days of course but they are less frequent, as are the headaches.

Next week
I will complete my challenge on Friday!

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

Sunday 20th October Week 48

Tags

, , , , , ,

Week 48 Summary

The article that was in the Hull Daily Mail last week was in the free paper this week!

I have got some more sponsors

I have helped with the Fairtrade coffee morning and stall and run another Fairtrade stall today as well as taking several more orders for Traidcraft goods.

I have set up a Traidcraft account and put in a huge order!

 Report  

The article about my challenge is apparently in the local free paper this week but as we have not received ours for the second week running I do not know how far it has been circulated. It is certainly in the Beverley one so many people at work will have seen it!

People are starting to put their sponsor money on my giving site and it is helping me keep going when I am cycling in the wind and swimming at 7am!

The Traidcraft order took me ages. I made the amount up to £500 by ordering lots of chocolate (I can always sell that at work!) and then today I got several more orders at church totalling a large amount. I shall have to pay for some of what I have ordered now before I can order more! 

Training / Exercise

The first part of the week continues to be really busy and I am not getting much done in the way of exercise until Thursday. Friday is the big swim! This week I did 54 lengths in the time I have allocated for my 50 (75 minutes) For the first time someone asked me how much I had done. ‘That’s over a mile’ came the reply – it felt good to hear someone say it! About 10 lengths in to my swim one of the life guards put the radio on really loud and it was not radio 4! It was more pop music than talk and I was really irritated by it at first but, as I swam on I found the beat of the music quite energising and I think it helped me get a move on! Yesterday I was very tired so I just ran to and from an event in the village. I can’t believe how easy that is now – even when I am tired it seems no distance at all. Today I went out on my bike in the wind and I thought maybe the rain too but it mostly held off. I did not have a long time so I decided to do a short but difficult ride! Some time ago I had tackled a hugely long hill in a nearby village and I decided to give it another go. It really is long, and steep, and there were 2 other masochists out there trying to do it! One guy stopped about 50 yards ahead of me when I heard a terrible panting noise behind me. Another chap in full cycling clad was puffing past me sounding like every breath might be his last. He managed to keep going, albeit very slowly, but with all that flash gear on he could hardly get off and walk! I did have to walk a part of it but then I got on again and overtook the chap in front who had been walking ahead of me. We had a bit of a joke about there being three masochists out at the same time and I rode on choosing to come back the hilly route. I even extended my original route to include yet another hill. What surprised me was that, although I am still struggling with steep hills, I seem to be recovering quickly and by the time I got home I could have done much more but unfortunately I had too much work to do. The views from the top of the hills are great, if I have enough breath left to look and appreciate them! 

Next week

I will place the rest of the Traidcraft orders.

I am doing an assembly on WATER for my house at school and hope to motivate them to raise money to build a water tank for a school in Uganda.

I am very busy rehearsing for and playing in a concert until Thursday so I will have to do short strenuous things until Friday when I will do another big swim. I really must focus on the final preparations for my challenge now.

Getting involved

*        Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is:   https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project

*        PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.

*        Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP  http://bit.ly/15g6ttB

*        Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.

*        Visit my website: www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?

*        If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

 

Sunday 13th October Week 47

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Week 47 Summary
There was an article in the Hull Daily Mail – and it was page 3, and it was much longer than the one I had written!
http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Louise-wants-prove-s-nifty-50/story-19907601-detail/story.html#axzz2hJrbjg3G
I have got some more sponsors, upped my level of exercise, got more Traidcraft orders and contacted Radio Humberside.

Report

The most exciting thing that has happened this week is the publication of a big article about my project in the Hull Daily Mail, and it was on page 3! Apart from getting the date of my challenge wrong (it is Friday 1st November, not Monday 4th) it was pretty accurate. While the headline was referring to the physical exercise, the article itself did get across the poverty message quite well.
On Wednesday morning (the day it was published) Radio Humberside talked about it at about 7.20am but I did not hear it. Some friends however did and kindly texted me to tell me! I have contacted them at RH to see if they want to talk to me after I have done the challenge but I have not had a response yet.
I have emailed a few people the link to the article, especially the Global Poverty Project as I was wearing my GPP T shirt in the picture. They are pleased with the mention.
I have been trying to drum up more orders for Traidcraft as I am setting up an account for the church but I think it is a bit early for many people and I have to say that I agree!
Today I found out that the deadline for the Christmas shoe boxes is November the 2nd and my response was ‘do they have Christmas a month early over there?!’ Another half term job!

Training / Exercise
I am really trying to step up my level of exercise now but it is difficult at the start of the week as I work long days and seem to have evening engagements as well. Anyway, despite Tuesday and Wednesday being full on I ran to the village and back on Wednesday to buy a newspaper. Thursday I got a lift 5 miles from home and then ran / walked back as quick as I could. Friday I swam 50 lengths. Saturday I waited for the weather and light levels to improve but they didn’t so I lost a day unfortunately. I regretted that so today I cycled 19 miles despite quite fierce winds and the threat of rain.
Good to tell Hull Fair is here – wind rain, damp, dark weather, not to mention very excited students! When the wind was behind me today it was brilliant – I was easily exceeding 15 miles an hour but, when trying to cycle into the wind it was blowing me back to Broomfleet and I nearly turned round and went! When for a few seconds I dropped to under 7 miles an hour I thought I was going to cry! Anyway, on the plus side, it didn’t rain, I managed to average over 11 miles an hour and I am sure I must have strengthened my muscles. The milometer however said I had burned 92 calories – surely not! For all that effort!!

Next week
I am going to continue to aim to do some exercise every single day now.
I am helping with the Fairtrade Coffee Morning on Saturday and doing a Fairtrade Stall on Sunday.
I will set up the Traidcraft account this week and place an order for church. (I didn’t have enough orders last week but lots of people want the Real Advent Calendars this week so I think I will have enough. If not, I will just have to but some stuff, I mean merchandise, myself!)

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

Sunday 6th October Week 46

Tags

, , , , , ,

Week 46 Summary
I completed half of my challenge in half the time!
I attended a church meeting for 5 local churches and asked people to ask their church to get involved in the Christian Aid Partnership scheme.

Report

This week has been very different from how I anticipated and I am pleased to report that it has been better than I expected! Apart from completing half of my challenge distances I attended a meeting for 5 of our local churches and the people there seemed really enthusiastic about taking on one of the Christian Aid Partnership Schemes. I had made an information sheet and briefly explained the various ways in which I envisaged it working. They liked the idea of a sponsored walk going round all the churches and having afternoon teas served in them. It would be a lovely way to meet people from the other churches and help a good cause at the same time. The E.U. offer of quadrupling the £5,000 raised really seemed to motivate everyone. I am VERY hopeful of this happening and am looking forward to coordinating it after my 5050 project is finished.

Another exciting thing is that the Hull Daily Mail contacted me and came to photograph me on Friday – not long after I had completed half of my challenge distances. I wouldn’t say that I am looking forward to seeing an article in the paper, and even less so the picture, but I am hoping to spread the word about world poverty and motivate people to do something about it. One of the journalists ran me on Thursday an asked me lots of questions so I do not know what they will print.

Training / Exercise
I did a couple of short runs before Friday but I had not done much swimming or cycling in the last two or three weeks so I was a bit nervous about doing half of my challenge on Friday. I woke up at 4.30am and did not sleep very well after that. I was more anxious than I had expected so adrenalin got me up early and I was ready to go to the pool at 6.40am. Just at that moment the heavens opened and I could have cried. It was dark and the thought of cycling in the pouring rain for nearly three hours was not motivating me to start the day! The rain was so heavy that I told myself that it could not last long.
I arrived at the baths just before 7am and was expecting to have to wait for them to open. I walked straight in and by the time I got in the pool at 7.04am there were already 7 people in there! So, it is good to know that I can start in good time on the day!!
I used my lap counter to record 26 lengths (I would rather swim an extra length than walk the length of the pool!) and had to negotiate a few people swimming in the wrong direction and the men sploshing about in the usual enthusiastic way. I really must ask for a lane to myself on the day.
I was home well before 8am, had some breakfast and got ready to cycle. I wished I had checked my tyres and got everything ready the day before so I will do this before the challenge day. The sky was looking dodgy but the temperature was warm so, I packed my waterproof and set off at about 8.30am. I didn’t know exactly where I was going but I knew that I wanted to go to Broomfleet. It is a lovely ride with quiet country lanes and I saw more people and dogs than I did cars. I got there relatively quickly having got wet from one quite heavy shower. Having arrived my milometer said it was only 10 miles so I decided to follow the Route 65 sign down a rough track. I found myself at Little Weighton Lock and then had to study the map for some time before working out what I was going to do next. I was very grateful I had the map with me or I would have been very lost. I went to Newport and North Cave and, by the time I found my way back (having consulted the map and ‘phoned a friend’!) I had got wet twice and was starting to feel tired. Also I had done 28.5 miles (due to having got lost, at least twice!) My average speed was over 12 miles despite some strong wind and rough tracks but I had been out nearly 3 hours so had obviously spent a long time consulting the map. The map was also very wet and I am going to have to iron it.
After a quick cup of tea I decided to walk / run to the shops and back and buy a couple of things I needed. I had plenty of time to complete everything in 6 hours so I made off with a shopping bag. My legs were a bit wobbly at first and still wanted to do a cycling motion so I walked fast and then run a bit. The shop was having a bit of a sale so I bought quite a few items and then my bag was heavy so I didn’t run as much as I would have liked on the way back. I was all done by 12.40pm and felt quite exhilarated for the rest of the day. Saturday afternoon was a different matter, it was the worst time as I was so tired I had to have a sleep and I didn’t achieve much all day. I was surprised that even my brain felt tired – must have been the map reading! I had got up early though to walk to the Prayer Breakfast in the village and back so I had loosened up my muscles. Today, Sunday, I feel great and have walked / run 2 miles and cycled 9 miles. Maybe I will get addicted after all!

Next week
I am going to do some exercise every single day now.
I will chase up the 1.4 billion Reasons requests again.
I will set up the Traidcraft account and place a big order for church.

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

Sunday 29th September Weeks 44 & 45

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Weeks 44 & 45 Summary
I was very ill in week 44 so that is why I did not write my blog, (the first time I have missed a week) then I had to prioritise getting ready to go to Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
I attended a number of seminars and fringe events regarding International Development and world poverty and learned a lot. It was an amazing experience and brought all the various aspects of my life together in a way that I did not expect.

Report

After 3 days of feeling very unwell with a very unpleasant sickness bug I had to set about getting ready to go to Brighton for the Labour Party conference as I was the delegate for our CLP. I had been looking forward to this for some time but I have to say that it exceeded all my expectations and I enjoyed it immensely. The main reason for this was that I was able to attend events which covered all my interests and it brought many parts of my life together in a way that I could never have predicted. I did not imagine for one moment that I would be writing about the conference in my 5050 blog in fact, it had been my intention to keep it separate. In the event however it became impossible to separate it as my interest in world poverty dictated much of what I chose to do outside the conference hall. At one of the presentations someone commented that politics are all about your beliefs and I found this to be very true. I really felt ‘at home’.

Firstly, at the Women’s Conference on the Saturday there was a lot of talk about gender inequality including the problems of domestic violence. While there are serious problems in this country they are of course much greater in the developing world and this was acknowledged. It was pertinent that it was the world day of peace that very day.

The next day, Sunday, I chose to attend the church service as it was about modern day slavery. The focus was about people trafficking. I was shocked to discover the extent to which this occurs. There were fair trade and information ‘stalls’ and Ed Miliband came to do a short speech in which he talked about poverty in this country and the world. He said that it was important for Britain to continue to help and support people in the developing world even in times when we ourselves are having to make cut backs. I was very happy to hear this!

The next day, Monday, Ivan Lewis talked about Britain’s role in Europe as a leader, particularly when it comes to aid and international development. He talked about long term development and sustainability and said that he was in politics to help poor people. Music to my ears!
Later that day I attended a seminar on ‘Britain’s Global Role’ and was pleased I did as it was excellent. Speakers from the morning were there and it was good to experience them answering people’s questions. They talked about the EU and Britain’s role in many areas including peace, defence and foreign aid.
A fringe event that evening entitled ‘The Big Pay Debate’ was hard to follow as they were using corporate language but I got the gist of it. One point for discussion was the pay differential, something that greatly interests me. I already knew that the differential between low and top earners is growing fast but I did not know that it is not so great in say, Germany. We really are letting a few wealthy people do what they like at the moment and I feel Labour will look for a model that tries to redress the balance. More good news!
On Tuesday I went to a Prayer Breakfast at St. Paul’s Church before conference started and this was very well attended by people of all denominations. It was focusing on social justice so was right up my street. It was excellent with a wide variety of speakers and prayers. Some of the prayers that people contributed in the open prayer space were very heart warming. It was good to see so many people concerned about the same things that worry me.
After conference I went to a Co-Op Labour event sponsored by OXFAM. This was all about International Development and I was totally reassured that Labour would do as much as they could for International Development. The CEO of OXFAM explained how the world issues were really the same as local ones – people’s concerns are the same the world over and it is our duty to do everything we can to help. Social justice across the world!
I also attended a number of fringe events about education issues so, the five days in Brighton really did bring most parts of my life together, apart from music! My politics (definitely socialist), my huge concern for world poverty, my work as a teacher – concern for the future of education and my profession – and my Christian life. Underlying them all is a desire to make the world better, fairer and defend the most vulnerable. This is what the Labour party is all about. I am immensely proud to be a part of it.

Since returning I have been to the 3W shop and spent all the profit from the last sale at church on more fairly traded goods!
Finally on Saturday evening I tuned in to some of the live stream Global Citizen Festival in America. It was a concert (with music not really to my taste!) but it was good to see people talking about world poverty and so many people there supporting the cause. Maybe the GPP will organise something similar here? I think people are starting to realise though that this is a long term issue and we are not going to raise enough money in one event to sort it!

Training / Exercise
I did very little for the first part of week 44 as I was too ill to even get out of bed for two days! On arrival in Brighton, however, I walked everywhere apart from the station to my hotel (I did not have time to do this). My hotel was a good 20 minutes from the conference centre and the other venues were all further away. I had to do a lot of dashing about to get form one event to another but, even on the last day I did not get a taxi but dragged my case to the left luggage and then later all the way up the hill to the station. I really did do a lot of walking and all very quickly. The days were long and I prioritised going to as many events as I could as I may not get this opportunity again.
After my return and a day of recovery I went to early birds to try out my new lap counter! It was great. I was able to swim up and down thinking about the exciting week I had had instead of trying to remember how many lengths I had done. I managed 42 in just over an hour so I should be fine to fit in 50 in 80 minutes on the challenge day – as long as I’m there for when they open!

Next week
The main thing I am going to try to do this week is do half my challenge – i.e. 25 lengths, 25 miles on the bike and 2.5 miles run / walk. In half the time of course – 7am to 1pm on Friday!

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

Sunday 15th September Week 43

Tags

, , , , , ,

Week 43 Summary
I sent my article to a journalist at the local paper and she has shown interest in it!
I have had another request to present 1.4 Billion Reasons – yeah!
I added the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation to my list of talks in the Hull and District Speaker book.
I ran another Fairtrade stall at church today and took more orders for C……. cards (too early to say the ‘C’ word yet!)
I have almost enjoyed running for the first time in my life!

Report

I was delighted to hear from the local journalist to say she is interested in my article. Also this week I was pleased to get another enquiry about the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation. I must follow all these leads up next week.
The Hull and District Speaker Book has now gone digital so I sent an email with details of the presentation and hope to see that in the book very soon. One of the new speakers was my headmaster at Junior School. I would love to hear him speak.
The Fairtrade shop in Beverley where I have got all the Fairtrade goods I have needed for the last six years or more is closing so, instead of taking goods on sale or return I bought them. As I am not guaranteed to sell them I bought things that I like so if I am left with them I will be able to buy them myself! This could prove costly but, after the stall this morning, I can say that I will not have to buy chocolate, shame! I have made enquiries about setting up an account with Traidcraft so that I can purchase goods direct from them and make some profit for the church from now on. I have been very happy to support the 3w shop and to try and keep it open but, as it is closing after 11 years of trading, I might as well take the opportunity to help the church, as well as all the people in the developing world who make the goods of course.

Training / Exercise
I have continued to do some form of uneventful exercise most days but, on Thursday, I woke up feeling surprisingly well after three very busy days, evenings and late nights. After an hour or so I still felt fine so I decided to go for a run down to the river and back. It was about 9am and I expected to see lots of people but it was really quiet. I only saw two other people, one a jogger who appeared from behind some bushes near the river and made me jump, and another chap who appeared to have just emerged from his camper van near the railway line. Apart from this it was just me and the birds! It was cool and misty and was the perfect temperature for running. I missed seeing the dogs but, because there was no one about, I did not feel I had to stop running (I usually do as I look so odd when I run!) I seemed to have much better control over my breathing than usual and could keep going for long stretches of time before walking for a bit. I was actually starting to enjoy the sensation of running. This was a first for me! The only downer was when I got back I glanced in the mirror to see that my hair looked like the wild woman of Borneo – whoever she may be! I refer to my hair as my damp meter so I can assure you that Thursday morning was a VERY damp morning!
On Saturday I woke up at 6.30pm and did not feel at all like swimming. I spent a good 20 minutes having an argument with myself as to whether I should go or not. In the end I made a huge effort to get up, put on my swimming costume, get dressed and go. I arrived at 7.10am in the pouring rain only to be told that the pool was not open due to lack of chemicals! I was not at all happy. I told the receptionist how much effort I had made to get there and could have had another hour in bed. She did not seem very sympathetic, probably as she was there even earlier working!! Anyway, to make the visit some use I got the name of the manager as I am going to see if on the day of my 5050 challenge I can have a lane to myself for my 50 lengths. She seemed to think this was not an unreasonable request so I am hopeful. I have also ordered a ‘lap counter’ at last as swimming will be considerably less boring if I can be planning things in my head instead of trying to remember how many lengths I have done.

Next week

I am going to follow up the journalist contact and the people interested in the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation and try and get firm dates booked. I am not sure if I will have time to do much more, apart from exercise for my challenge of course, as I am going away for 5 days and will be very busy. I will hopefully have the opportunity to meet some new people and maybe interest them in the issues around world poverty, who knows?

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 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.

Sunday 8th September Week 42

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Week 42 Summary
I have attempted to write an article about my project to send to the local paper!
I have done some form of exercise most days and I am certainly able to run further without stopping!
I have booked to go on a full weekends GPP training in a few weeks’ time and have had a request to present 1.4 Billion Reasons – yeah!

Report

My main achievement has been to write an article about my project for the local press. This may not sound very much but it took me ages and I am still not entirely happy with it. I am just hoping that it will be good enough to capture the journalists’ interest and they will sort it out for me and give it some sparkle!
Another thing that has taken me ages is applying to attend the GPP training in a few weeks’ time. I was looking into all the transport and accommodation possibilities as it is in London and will be expensive however I do it. Finally, having decided to invest in this I went on line to book only to find that there may be the opportunity to stay with another ambassador! I do hope this comes off as it will be really good to get to know someone else with the same kind of aims. Also I had to complete a survey about what training I wanted so I was quite specific about what I would like to be able to do under the GPP banner. The main thing I want to be able to do is to deliver a 10 minute TASTER for the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation as this is the length of a school assembly and a ‘sermon slot’.
The highlight of the week was probably the telephone call from Hull College to find out when I am available to present 1.4 Billion Reasons. They got my details from the Teach Meet in July so that was well worth doing.

Training / Exercise
I September started well with me running every day. I could really tell I was getting better as I could keep going so much longer before having to walk. Also I was not feeling so tired and was even starting to enjoy the feeling of moving along at a faster pace.
There was one day when I was just too tired (shock of returning to work probably!) and another day when I had a really bad headache but every other day I have run and today I went a bike ride along the foreshore and it was spectacular. I was reading the notice about the water sports and fancied having a try until I looked up the prices! Maybe I will suggest they have a taster day as I might not like any of them in reality but the little sailing boats look fab.! As I need an anti-sickness tablet to go on North Sea Ferries however this might not be such a good idea!!

Next week

I am going to try and make contact with as many of the local papers and press as I can. At the moment I cannot think of many but there must be quite a few. I am hoping to get some coverage to raise awareness of the issues and to hopefully gain a few more sponsors! While I will easily make my target amount it would be nice to get the whole 50 I originally intended (I had 43 at the last count I think)

Also I need to contact the lady who puts together the Hull and District Speaker booklet and find out why I have not been asked to update my ‘talks’ this year. I am really looking forward to adding the GPP presentation.

Getting involved
 Please see the end of last week’s blog for ideas on how to get involved and to find out more about my 5050 project.

Sunday 1st September Week 41

Tags

, , , , ,

Week 41 Summary
I had a really stimulating meeting with my GPP Ambassador friend from Leeds. We had a great idea sharing session.
I have received a few more positive emails from people who will support me in my GPA role, i.e. be part of my Starter for 10 team. I only need one or two more now.
Three people who I did not expect to sponsor me have donated on line so my total is already looking very healthy, two months before I complete the challenge!

Report

It was great to meet with another GPP Ambassador and talk enthusiastically about what we are going to try to do next academic year in involving the next adult generation in world poverty issues. We came up with lots of ideas, some of which we can share and implement while others we will have to suggest to the GPP leaders and get permission before going ahead. We both agreed that it is much easier, and more fun, to work with someone else. To start with, making a time and sticking to it helps a lot!
I have made some bookmarks detailing the Fairtrade Coffee mornings and took them to church to be distributed.
I have started to make plans for a Fairtrade wine and chocolate tasting event next February.

Training / Exercise
I have been away this week and had planned to go running before breakfast but I was so exhausted with all the walking, most of it up and down hills, this particular plan did not happen! I do feel as though I have had a good workout though as I was walking a lot either in my MBT style shoes, flip flops (it takes a lot of muscles and effort to keep them on my feet!), or carrying our friends’ child or pushing a buggy with 2 children in it. Oh, and does digging and building sand castles count as exercise? At 9am and being first on the beach it certainly felt like it! I did not go swimming as the temperature of the sea was only suitable for feet, and then not for long!! I will get back to cycling and swimming this week. With only two months to go now I am really going to have to step up my pace.

I went for a quick MOT at the doctor’s surgery and the nurse said that I was the fittest person she had tested for some time. This really booked me up and made me feel more positive about completing the challenge I have set myself.

Next week

I think I will have to try and get some local publicity about my project by writing an article about it. This is difficult as I don’t really know what to include.

Getting involved
 Please read week 1 of this blog to see what my project is about and consider sponsoring me. My giving page is: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/5050project
 PLEASE become a GLOBAL CITIZEN. Just log on to: http://www.globalcitizen.org and sign up.
 Complete this questionnaire on the fashion industry for the GPP http://bit.ly/15g6ttB
 Consider being one of my GPP supporters – you can email me via my blog if interested.
 Visit my website: http://www.louiseturner5050.moonfruit.com and make more suggestions?
 If you know of any groups that may like to see and hear the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation then please let me know. Age 16 and above is ideal but I can adapt it for KS4 students.

Thank you again for reading my blog and for your feedback and support. If you are reading my blog and have not given me feedback, please do.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers