My Heroes

Last August an air ambulance saved my life. Today I ran 5km in a bid to fundraise for such a valuable service. Lives are saved daily by the dedicated paramedic team and pilot who serve vast areas of the country and provide a vital service.

I ran alongside a girl who had been airlifted on exactly the same date as I had been last summer. She had broken both her legs in the accident she was in. Both with titanium-enhanced skeletons, pinning broken bones together, we joined family and friends and took on the challenge of the race today. Battling with the heat and driven by the knowledge that we were not just running for ourselves, but for countless others who owed their lives to the services of the air ambulance, we pushed on through the pain and ran.

It was a tremendous sense of achievement to finish the run, and express our thanks to the crew that had done so much for so many. To be able to walk, let alone run is a gift many of us take for granted, but every pace I took today was my way of saying thank you.

Air ambulances are not funded by the government, but rely on private giving. They offer a service that can make a critical difference between life and death. Without them I would not be running today.

Find out about your local air ambulance here.

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

‘No thanks, I support cancer’

I have just been collecting the Christian Aid envelopes from some of the houses near where I live as part of Christian Aid week.

Most people were very friendly and gave very generously. But one lady uttered a most confusing response “No thanks, I support cancer”.

I hope that means that she gives to Cancer Research or Macmillan, or a similar charity. Unless it was a very open admission that she advocates for the onset of terminal illness and suffering….

Needless to say, I shan’t be calling at her house again.

Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm  Comments (1)  

‘Fair trade is just a fad…’

Last week we ran out of coffee in the office. Someone was quickly dispatched to go and buy the much-needed replacement, as the next delivery was not to arrive for another week. Unfortunately the purchase was neither good quality nor fair trade.

This was brought into sharp perspective for me when I re-watched the BBC3 episode of ‘Blood, Sweat, and Luxuries’ from last week. The series follows a group of spoilt, privileged and naive young Brits as they are put to work in the vilest of conditions in Asia and Africa in order to really find out where their luxury goods come from.

This week they were sent to work on a coffee plantation in rural Ethiopia, and were put to work alongside the locals, working in the same conditions and earning the same wage, which was to cover their food and rent for that week.

The programme is well worth watching, and despite the irritating personalities of some of the young people, others have been truly challenged and changed by the experience. One girl who had dismissed fair trade as simply a fad, was so outraged at the treatment of the local workers by multinational coffee companies that she declared that fair trade should become a universal standard.

Perhaps one day it will, but for now I will continue the small battle in my workplace to make sure that we are buying and drinking fair trade.

We cannot do everything, but we must not do nothing.

Published in: on May 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,