Race for Life 2015

On Sunday, I’m taking part in the Harrogate 5k Race for Life with four of my friends as ‘Team Fiona’, named after my Mum. These lovely people have stuck by me since Mum’s diagnosis providing listening ears, a comfy sofa and unlimited hugs. Each of us has our own reasons for taking part so here’s a quick post to share with you all why this race is important to us.

RFLBBeth: I’m taking part in the Race for Life for Cancer Research UK to raise as much as possible for this amazing charity. In the UK, one in two people born after 1960 will get cancer during their lifetime. I’m not great at maths, but that’s half of us. In the 1970s, only a quarter of people survived cancer. Today, more than half will survive for at least ten years all due to excellent research funded by charities like Cancer Research UK. Let’s make sure this progress continues!!

RFLGGrace: I’m taking part in the race for life for two very special people I know who are currently battling cancer, Fiona and Graham. Such events raise awareness and much needed funds, uniting the nation in the battle against cancer. I will feel proud to run the race for these two incredible people and hope that our efforts will one day help to eliminate this devastating disease.

RFLHHarri: I’ve known the Barrow family all of my life. Naomi and I have been friends since we were weeks old, so I can’t remember a time without her, and Fiona, in my life. It’s very important to me to run this race to prove to Fiona that I can do it. I also want to raise money so that Cancer Research can keep researching treatments and less people die from cancer in future.

RFLNNaomi: I ran the race for life with Grace last year and it was awesome. I wasn’t sure that Mum would still be with us for the race this year, but she is and that’s even better! Whilst running this race is not going to ‘cure’ Mum, it makes me feel like I’m doing something in what can often seem like a hopeless situation. I hope that raising money for Cancer Research, will enable them to continue their work, so less people receive the devastating news that someone they love is going to die from cancer.
Sarah: The reason I’m running is because there’s no reason not to. It’s such an amazing experience to know that the money you raise WILL help people. I’ve never been involved in a charitable cause where the support for it is so unified before. Everyone is affected by cancer; directly or indirectly. So there’s no reason not to support the cause. But I want to live in a world where cancer is rare, not expected and not just accepted as what happens.

Now that you know why we’re doing this, please consider sponsoring one (or all!) of us for the race this Sunday. Any donation, big or small, helps Cancer Research to continue their incredible work. For our individual fundraising pages, please click our names. Our team page is here. You can also donate to my page by texting ‘RFLN94 £[amount]’ to 70070.

A Stick.

This weekend we took 20 six to eight year old boys on a Beaver Scout sleepover. The setting was fabulous. There was a log cabin in the middle of a wood, a place for the Scouts to camp, a wooden play area and a rustic, open church. We had gorgeous weather, the air was crisp, there wasn’t a raindrop in site and the orange leaves crunched underfoot.

After lunch, we let the boys go. They ran outside, jumped in the leaves, rolled around on the floor, and did tarzan jumps with a piece of rope. A number of them found sticks and spend ages hitting trees. Some of the sticks were drum sticks, others were lightsabers, some were fencing poles, others were a particularly special object. Their imagination knew no bounds.

Later that evening, they were all gathered around the campfire, singing songs, joining in with the older children and generally having a good time. There wasn’t a face without a smile. Once we’d got back that evening and settled them down, nearly every child slept through the entire night, not waking until 7am the next morning (virtually unheard of for a six year old!)

Over the entire weekend, no child had access to a phone, a computer, a TV or any other form of screen. Not once, over the entire weekend did a single child ask me for any of these items. Nor did I ever hear the phrase ‘I’m bored’. No child complained that we ‘made them go outside’, in fact, most of them complained when they had to come in.

On Saturday, I asked one boy what he’d been doing the morning before he came. The response I got was ‘playing on my DS’. Once we let that child out of the building, he was off like a shot, running around and enjoying the fresh air. The next day, he listed all the many electronic items he owned. Once again, as soon as we opened the door, he was running around and jumping in the leaves. But I bet when he got home, he was straight back in front of a screen.

Kids were born to be outside. They were made to run and jump. They bounce. They need fresh air and the ability to be free and run off their limitless energy. They don’t want to be cooped up indoors.

Parents seem fearful of taking children outside. ‘What if they get cold?’ ‘What if someone steals them?’ ‘What if they get run over?’. I’m not saying these aren’t valid questions, but there are solutions to these problems. Many parents may claim they don’t have time, they’re busy, or they’re just too stressed. But I can assure you; an hour jumping in leaves with your child will lower your stress levels no end.