Category Archives: charity

Limb difference awareness month


A strange time of year

The run up to Christmas is always busy but this year everything feels very strange. It’s sad that mum isn’t here and dad is struggling. Its wonderful that Layla-Jane grows a little every day and that Tommy is just so amazing.PicMonkey Collage

Its very much sadness and joy all mixed in.

Fundraising from the Dearne, trying to publicise our den book (On Amazon here )have been highlights but I must say thank you to my amazing friend Sharon @elaronndy for her funny account of den building for adults – please take 5 minutes to read it will make you smile.


I’ve worked hard on my sewing and gone from completely awful to maybe I could give this to a good friend as a present as they will understand and love me anyway! But I will keep working at it.

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The Christmas tree is up! Thanks to Zoe Whitaker! This is as festive as it gets as Tony is definitely from the ‘Bah humbug’ school of Christmas.


I hope you all have a good week running up to the holidays, remember your loved ones and those who maybe need a bit of a hug J x

Sometimes …

…you encounter an amazing group of people. This morning I had the privilege of thanking a group of around 1,000 pupils who had ALL, along with staff, parents and the community, raised £5,600 to build a classroom in Kakuma Refugee Camp.

A mud built classroom in Kakuma refugee camp

The classrooms such as the one above are in a desperate state and often house classes of anything up to 200 children.

The morning was a mixture of reflection, pride, celebration and empathy. The concentration on the faces of all throughout the assembly was inspirational. I went with Simon Devine who thanked the school on behalf of the WorldWide Education Project and spoke about how this school is putting their value words into action. These are not random words to make walls and planners pretty they are a set of values to live by! The values of determination, inclusion, enthusiasm were what had lead to this amazing achievement.

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Assembly at The Dearne ALC

I am proud of all of them and felt very emotional. A special thank you to Ben @thebenhorbury who had the vision and determination to see this through. The spontaneous singing of Happy Birthday to a valued member of staff just reinforced the sense of community. There will shortly be a ‘Dearne ALC’ in Kakuma and these young people have really made a difference – thank you all x

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An alternative to Christmas Cards

I’ve tried to ignore the impending chaos and panic that Christmas inevitably brings. Yesterday my neighbours decorated the outside of their house with lights. I am groaning – it’s too early! It will however, shortly be December so I wanted to propose an alternative to Christmas cards. I won’t be trying to remember who lives at what number, sending cards from ‘Number 2’. I won’t be sitting up late writing cards to catch the last post. I simply am only going to send cards to grandchildren, children and parents. I will wish everyone a ‘Happy Christmas’ and make a donation to the  #classroomchallenge  instead.


You are more than welcome to download this and use it too!


The video below is a clip of the children singing to us as we left the classroom x


Making a difference 

Six months ago I was invited into the Dearne ALC to talk about my experiences at Kakuma refugee camp.I was hoping that they would support us in our bid to raise money for classrooms there. We had witnessed appalling conditions and taught classes of over 200 children.

  I’ll be honest though I didn’t Know how much these pupils could raise as I knew it would be hard for them.  How wrong I was! These kids and staff are awesome. They listened in silence – I knew they were hooked. I just didn’t know how far they would take it. I’m sitting here awestruck literally having received a text today that said ‘we’ve done it’

Fund raisers, soaking teachers, summer fayres, cycling in reception and a current total of £5608 will build a whole classroom. This is life changing not only for the children in Kakuma but also for the children at the Dearne. What an achievement, pupils, staff, parents and community all working together to make a difference.

I hope that this is one of their ‘lightbulb moments’ a moment of pride, a sense that they can make a difference.

This is a classroom that was built following donations since our return from Kakuma and thanks to these amazing people there will shortly be a Dearne classroom In the middle of Kakuma

Thank you from the bottom of my heart you amazing people xx


There is another way

The 14th Nov has been ringed in my calendar for months! The Big i Foundation Ball and the launch of ‘There is another way’. Sleepless nights, spreadsheets, food allergies, seating plans, last minute changes, table decorations, auction prizes, invoices, daily e mails from Ian, Nina and Crista (all mixed in with the imminent arrival of my granddaughter) meant my stress levels were high. But do you know what I really did have a Ball. The reason? People! The people who are part of the ITL family are amazing. Support, hugs, smiles and sheer energy from people who want to make a difference. I don’t know yet how much we raised but I do know it will make a difference. Having been to Kakuma earlier this year I know how much is needed.

Big i Foundation There is another way

As well as raising money it was the launch of ‘There is another way‘. If you are feeling even slightly jaded or worried about education then read this – it is so refreshing. Uplifting!



I’m feeling my age this morning – too much dancing I suspect but so worth it! Thank you to everyone who helped, donated prizes, bought auction lots (even genuine copies of newspapers 🙂 ) sang, decorated and basically made me realise that yes – there is another way x

Big i Foundation There is another way

Big i Foundation There is another way