An amazing Christmas story

I’m going to tell you an amazing story about the voluntary work done by my colleague Bluebell Smith and her sister Ruby. Every year, they spend Christmas Day in a local village hall, cooking Christmas dinner for 70 lonely and isolated people, for free.

The cooking facilities aren’t great so they’ve entered a Facebook competition to win up to £5,000 of kitchen facilities. Please would you spend a minute of your time to vote for them? Just click this link and vote for “Crackers and Company”.

On the subject of fundraising, I had my 40th birthday party last Saturday. When I sent the invitations out in the summer, I asked my guests not to bring any presents, but instead put some money in to a Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity bucket. It wasn’t until last week that I realised the party was on the anniversary of my grandad’s death, and perhaps I should have had a collection for an older person’s charity in his memory instead – someone like Age UK Sheffield.

The thing is that, in Sheffield, there are some really great charities who have become almost a “no-brainer” when it comes to selecting a charity of choice, the Children’s Hospital being one of them.

Since starting here at Age UK Sheffield I’ve seen the fantastic and much-needed work done by our frontline staff, supporting older people throughout the city. To do as much of that vital work as possible, I want us to evolve to become one of those natural charities of choice in Sheffield. At the moment, it doesn’t really seem to be in our culture to ask for donations and fundraising, even though we help 13,000 older people in the city every year. Even if 1% of them (or their children and grandchildren) could raise £100 for us, that would be £13,000 that we don’t have at the moment.

So I’ve made a commitment that, during 2016, I’ll be doing something to raise money for Age UK Sheffield. At the moment I’m not sure if that will be a bake off, a walk or a triathlon. I’d really like it if everyone who reads my blog could think about whether they could do the same. We’ll have information in the next few weeks about how to make that pledge to become one of our army of fundraisers.

Finally, I read over the weekend that Chris Farrell, the Chief Executive of Cavendish Cancer Care in Sheffield, ran the Yorkshire Marathon for his charity last weekend. Chapeau to Chris, I hope his legs are feeling OK this week! You can donate to support his efforts here:


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