The weather was not at all kind to us, with rain (ranging from light to ‘downpour’) falling for most of the time and only rare glimpses of the sun. There was also lots of standing water, with many roads resembling rivers or lakes!
However, despite the adverse weather conditions, everyone remained cheerful and the miles were soon rolling by. Our bike mechanic (and route setter) Jonathan was kept busy with 3 punctures along the way, and a few other mechanical issues as well.
The route took us through some very pretty parts of the country (well, the bits we could see anyway) and avoided the main roads wherever possible, using cycle paths and country lanes, to make it a bit more pleasurable. There was no avoiding the hills though, and there were certainly a few of those along the way!
Huge congratulations to all our riders who coped so well with what were really atrocious weather and road conditions without a single moan or groan – you should all be very proud of yourselves! So well done to Judy, Sue, Jo, Line, Sam, Tim, Frances, Adam, Uzma, Razina, Iwan, Jonathan and Mark.
Many thanks to our support crew of Nichola, Sarah, Hilary and Jan who kept making sure everyone was ok, providing snacks and encouragement along the way.
Our biggest thank you is to Jonathan, who is the inspiration behind our rides, for setting the route, keeping everyone moving with repairs along the way, and acting as ‘tail end Charlie’ to make sure all were ok. Well done again to everyone who took part – we hope more people will join us for our next event!
Carol Concert 2011
The Afasic bi-annual Carol Service was held at St Andrew in Holborn, London on Thursday 15 December and was particularly special as we were delighted to welcome our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester.
The Duchess kindly gave a reading, as did jazz singer Elaine Delmar, while Afasic President John Bercow gave the main address. Young person Kelly White (pictured below left) gave a moving account of her ultimately successful struggle to find employment and the wonderful music was provided by the Brighton & Hove Youth String Ensemble and the Brighton Singers, conducted by Andy Sherwood.
The service was led by Colin Midlane and we are very grateful to Colin for once again leading our bi-annual celebration and setting a relaxed tone for the evening.
The wine and mince pies on offer were well received and from the amount of applause during the evening everyone seemed to have a really enjoyable time. Our sincere thanks go to all the speakers and performers, and we are very grateful to all the staff at St Andrew for their hard work in hosting the event, and to Lynne Smith for organising it.
There is a gallery of photographs from the evening – images courtesy of Greg Keeling.
Survival of the Fittest
Scot Greathead and Chris Wade of VideoProfiling have pledged to raise a fantastic £5,000 for the Afasic Youth Project and have a number of challenges and fundraising ideas lined up to achieve this.
As they point out on their JustGiving page, the Youth Project is “the only dedicated Youth Club you can go to in London if you are a young person with speech, language and communication difficulties. If this project closes, there will be no place in London where young people with communication difficulties can go to hang out, meet people and learn skills which they can use to become more independent and get the most out of their lives.”
The first event they entered was an unforgiving 10k obstacle race in Battersea Park called “The Survival Of The Fittest“, which took place on Saturday November 12th. The course is renowned for being incredibly gruelling, and has been described as a test of stamina, grit, speed and guts, which included ice baths and a 10ft wall! Scot and Chris completed this first challenge, and have so far raised nearly £500 for the Youth Project!
They’ll also be taking on plenty of other challenges throughout the year, and we’ll keep you updated with their progress.
If you’re interested in supporting Scot and Chris please visit their JustGiving page, or text VIDE99 £5 to 70070. If you want to donate more or less, just change the amount!
Over 200 guests attended the glittering event and were welcomed by the charity’s President, John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons.
The evening was hosted by actress Genevieve Barr, who introduced us to Abby Beverly, a young person with communication problems. Abby wowed the audience by delivering an entertaining and moving talk about her life, discussing how she overcame her difficulties to get a degree at Central St Martins in textile design.
However, for many, the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Sir Derek Jacobi, star of stage, screen and TV who was interviewed by Eleanor Oldroyd, who has been a journalist and reporter for BBC Sport for over 20 years. Sir Derek spoke passionately about his longstanding career, and even had time to answer a few taxing questions from the audience!
Derek Jacobi said “I am delighted to support such a wonderful organisation, which can make such a difference to the lives of children and young people affected by speech and language problems. It was a wonderful evening and I was very pleased to be involved. I hope that Afasic will gain more supporters as a result, to help them unlock the potential of many more children in the future.”
TV auctioneer Charlie Ross conducted our auction, and managed to prise over £13,000 from the pockets of the audience. Lots included a beautiful piece of artwork from ‘In the Night Garden’ signed by creator Andy Davenport, and a pair of special guest tickets to see QI being filmed and meet Stephen Fry and Alan Davis!
We would like to pass on a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event, through buying tables, participating in the auction, or donating prizes.
Competition on the course was tough, with the Lloyds TSB team battling it through to become the eventual winners. The GFI team (pictured above)came in second, and the Rabobank team in third.
The day was rounded off with a superb three course meal, plenty of drinks and a fierce auction, with some really special items up for grabs. Highlights included a 2010 Ryder Cup pin flag signed by Colin Montgomerie and a golfing holiday in Spain.
We are very grateful to everyone involved with the day, especially Rob Healey for all his help in making this event such a success, the team at the Shire, Reg Winch for presiding over our auction, and to all those who donated items. Our thanks also go to Richard Meade and Rabobank, Chris Hammond, Jerry Hughes, Neil Riley, the European Tour, Harlequins and George Cohen.
To register your interest in our 2012 Golf Day, taking place on September 14th, please email Jenny, or call 020 7490 9410.
All of our team successfully completed the run in time to avoid the downpour that followed!
We are very grateful to all those who took part, their supporters and all those who sponsored them, it really is greatly appreciated. As a small charity the income from this event makes a real difference to us.
Unfortunately due to the Olympics, the Adidas Women’s 5k Challenge won’t be taking place in 2012. However, we will be putting on an alternative event – so watch this space!
Many of you participated, covering distances from 2 miles to 200 miles, raising over £X in the process. A big thank you to all of you who took part.
Participants in the Coastline Challenge included Marysia Nash, Gemma Wilson and Gill Earl, who walked part of the coast between Edinburgh and Dunbar. Marysia says “Gemma, Gill and I started on Saturday 2nd April and walked about 12 miles between Aberlady and North Berwick in East Lothian. It was a fabulous afternoon and we had already raised some sponsor money. On the second weekend we walked from Portobello to Preston Pans. We got the dogs to model the t-shirts and people at Portobello prom were so taken with the models that one person gave a spontaneous donation!”.
To read more of our Coastline Challenge Success Stories, visit our blog.