Melissa Kemp – Skydiving for Charity
Some of us may rattle a collection tin around the office, while others may hold a bake sale, but not Melissa Kemp who will be completing a Skydive in Swansea all in aid of registered charity, Anthony Nolan, on July 26th 2014.
A member of the Adline team in the Pembroke office, Melissa has recently signed herself up to be a donor to Anthony Nolan, a charity dedicated to the donation of blood and bone marrow to those suffering from life threatening illnesses and are in need of a blood stem cell transplant. After doing some research on the charity and receiving her spit kit, she found a leaflet encouraging donors to raise money for the charity by completing a skydive. Having always wanted to do a skydive but never finding a good enough reason to actually do one, Melissa signed her name to complete a skydive in Swansea on 26th July 2014, all in the name of Anthony Nolan.
But before she throws herself out of a plane, Melissa needs to raise upto £500 for the charity! So we’re asking our Friday Media Group staff to dig in deep to their pockets and donate some money and wishes of goodwill to Melissa and to a great charity.
Melissa has a JustGiving page where you can donate your money here: www.justgiving.com/Melissa-Kemp/
Jason James – Takes on the Pendine Ultra
Many of you will know Jason as one of the tech boys based in the Pembroke office, but what you may not know is that on April 6th 2014, Jason completed an amazing 32.6 miles in 6 hours and 33 minutes in the Pendine Ultra Marathon all in the name of his little nephew Frazer.
A keen runner, Jason took part in the race that began on the beach at Pendine Sands, ascending through the nearby village and then across the Sands again in order to complete the whole 32.6 miles of the Ultra. For those of you who’ve never heard of an Ultra Marathon, it is an intense running event, much longer and much more difficult than a conventional marathon. Usually an ultramarathon is set over difficult terrain from beaches, dirt tracks, mountains, cliff tops, ranging in length from 32 miles, 50 miles, 63 miles and 100 miles. Ultra running events, are not for the fainthearted.
Jason took on this challenge to benefit a very worthwhile cause which is dear to his and his family’s heart. The Downs Syndrome Association has played a huge part in helping Jason’s nephew, Frazer who was born with the genetic condition.
The Downs Syndrome Association is the only organisation throughout the UK which supports
people with Downs Syndrome at every stage of life. The Association does a fantastic job in enriching the lives of people living with the condition, offering support and help to families with Downs Syndrome. The Association has played a valuable role in Frazer’s life, enabling him to live as full a life as any little boy would dream of living.
So far, Jason has raised a total of £970.25 for The Downs Syndrome Association. If you would like to donate some money, then you are able to do so via Jason’s Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JasonJames
Sanna Duthie – Mad for the Marathons
A valued member of the Friday Ad Internet Support team in the Pembroke office, Sanna is an avid long distance runner, and this year in 2014, Sanna is competing in an amazing 3 marathons, one half marathon, a 40 mile bike ride and a triathlon all in the name of charity!
Having already competed in a few long distance running events in the last few years, Sanna has recently completed the London Marathon on April 13th. Achieving a fantastic PB of 4 hours 1 minute, Sanna raised £1600 and counting for the Royal Voluntary Services who have a large following throughout Pembrokeshire.
Sanna is now in training for her next marathon, the grueling and exciting Preseli Beast, a 24 mile off road, fell run set in the heart of the Preseli Hills in the North of Pembrokeshire. Last year, Sanna competed in the Mini Beast (or Beast Bach) which is a shorter 10 mile fell run, in an excellent time of 1hour and 55mins. This year she hopes to complete the Preseli Beast in just under 5 hours.
In July, Sanna will not be relaxing and taking a well deserved holiday like she should, but will be embarking on her third marathon of the year, The Wales Marathon held in Tenby on Sunday 13th July. Having taken part in the Wales Marathon last year, Sanna completed the race in 4 hours and 32mins, coming 5th in her category and 22nd out of all the female competitors. This year Sanna will be taking part in The Wales Sportive challenge also, a 40 mile cycle the day before her marathon on the 12th July.
And it doesn’t end there, Sanna has a triathlon in August and a half marathon in September.
In between her training, Sanna has been raising money for the Royal Voluntary Service, holding coffee mornings, drawing raffles and even holding a guess the teddy bear name competition all in order to raise money for the organisation which Sanna’s younger sister works for.
The Royal Voluntary Service is a well established volunteer organisation which works hard to enrich the lives of older people and their families throughout Britain. In Pembrokeshire the RVS has a wide prominence across the county with volunteers based in Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Pembroke, Crymych and Eglwyswen. The volunteers aid the older members of the local community, providing them with some help, support and company from time to time. The volunteers are ordinary members of the public and offer a valuable service to every community.Visit their page : www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk
Although Sanna must have all her money raised for the RVS collected in June, you are still able to donate to her Justgiving page and help her raise money for a worthwhile cause. We wish Sanna all the luck in the world for her up and coming races. If you would like to sponsor Sanna, please donate to her Justgiving page:www.justgiving.co.uk/sanna-duthie
Laura Coleby – Volunteer for Age UK and The Children’s Society
Laura Coleby joined Friday Media Group in 2004 and is now a Divisional Director, based at Sayers Common. Outside her busy FMG role she finds time to volunteer for two charities, and has done so for a number of years. She believes passionately that volunteering brings personal rewards, as well as benefiting others. “I really wanted to give my time to UK-focused charities and I love the involvement I have both at the Children’s Society shop and as a mentor for Age UK,” says Laura.
Laura’s mum manages the Children’s Society store in Shoreham, and Laura is often found here helping out. “It’s a friendly place and I really enjoy getting involved with managing the stock, collecting donations and dressing windows” says Laura.
As a mentor for Age UK, Laura regularly visits two elderly ladies who live on their own, and a couple who are living with the challenges of dementia. She keeps in regular phone contact with them, and makes visits to their homes at least once a month, to provide company and a link to help if and when it’s needed. Her time is often spent taking them shopping, having a cup of tea at the garden centre, and giving advice about the benefits they might qualify for such as grants for bills and rent.
“It’s extremely rewarding for me in so many ways,” says Laura. “My lovely friend Phyllis makes amazing jam and cakes and we have a real laugh together. She’s very appreciative of my time, and of course I’d like to think people will be there for me when I’m her age.”
“There are so many fantastic charities out there, doing really valuable work, and always looking for people with a bit of time to spare,” says Laura. “It’s good to know that through the Friday Media Group Foundation we can raise awareness of volunteering opportunities, and make it possible for FMG staff and business partners to give a bit back.”
Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone, through information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research.
The Children’s Society runs over 36 children’s centres in England and has programmes nationwide, helping children and young people who are struggling to cope.
Caz Webb – Supporting The Sussex Snowdrop Trust
Caz Webb is an account manager with Spidersnet, who supports a really worthwhile local children’s charity – The Sussex Snowdrop Trust. She also travels regularly to Egypt and supports the local community and gives regularly to children in the area of Alexandria. Caz now hopes the Friday Media Group Foundation will get involved and help her raise awareness and much-needed funds for the charity she’s involved in.
For the Sussex Snowdrop Trust Caz has helped as a steward at the annual Sponsored Dog Walk at Arundel Castle, and also volunteers one or two days a month, helping families that might need transport to hospital appointments, help with childcare or a hand with cleaning or ironing. The Snowdrop Trust provides ‘care at home’ for children with life-threatening illnesses, and in her Family Volunteer role, Caz is able to give some time to children coping with illness, as well as allowing tired parents some respite time.
“A neighbour introduced this charity to me and I felt it was something I really wanted to give some time to,” says Caz who sadly lost her brother to Leukemia when he was aged 13. “I know how painful it is to lose a family member, so this cause relating to children’s cancer is very close to my heart,” she says.
“We’re all short of time, but just helping out where you can and spreading the word – particularly for these smaller charities – can really make a difference.”
This is a unique charity providing Care at Home for local children who have a life-threatening illness or who may be terminally ill.
Based in the Chichester area of West Sussex, The Sussex Snowdrop Trust provides Care at Home by children’s community nurses and nurse support workers. The charity also provides emotional support which is met by Snowdrop Counsellors. There’s also financial help for families coping with the day-to-day problems of caring for a very sick child.
Visit the website for more information about becoming a Family Volunteer, helping out at events and donating. www.thesussexsnowdroptrust.com
Jack Stonehouse – Community First Responder
Jack Stonehouse plays a key role in the FMG marketing department as a Search Marketing Executive, ensuring websites are attracting traffic and performing well in search engines. But a voluntary role outside work takes him far from the challenges of digital technology, and into the very real world of emergency medical assistance.
He volunteers as a Community First Responder (CFR) for Seaford First Responders, a charity closely affiliated to the Ambulance Service. This means Jack goes on call, for around 20 hours a month, and responds alongside the local ambulance service when a medical 999 call comes through.
The Seaford First Responders are a group of around 11 people who make themselves available to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency very quickly – often before the ambulance. They are highly trained to use specialist medical equipment – defibrillators or emergency drugs – and deliver life saving treatment in these ultimate life-or-death situations.
“The quicker the response to 999 emergencies, the higher the survival rate, and that’s the main objective for CFRs,” says Jack, who says he’s able to stay calm and controlled in situations that would faze most people. “We aim to get there within 8 minutes and deliver the emergency treatment that’s needed. So it can be very rewarding, although unfortunately in some cases nothing more can be done.”
Jack says most call-outs are to help people who are suffering heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks, but there are also road accidents victims to attend, as well as people who have suffered severe accidents in the home.
To qualify for this highly responsible role in the community, Jack had to pass a 3-day intensive CRF course. He also has past experience of life-saving and first aid training, having volunteered as a lifeguard in Seaford for several years, and worked for the RNLI in Bournemouth.
Each CRF carries a Responder Kit in their car, and all this specialist equipment is paid for and maintained by the charity, although the drugs are supplied by the ambulance service. “It’s an amazing service to be involved with, and hopefully with some help from the FMG Foundation we can raise awareness, and help with the essential fundraising for Responder Kits,” says Jack.
When a 999 call is made to ask for help with a life threatening event the ambulance service will despatch a Community First Responder in addition to the ambulance.
The schemes operate as community partnerships with local ambulance service trusts. Having someone in the community who has been trained in first aid and can reach the patient quickly makes all the difference.
Community First Responders do not replace the ambulance but live in the local community and can deliver life saving treatment before the ambulance arrives.
Locally there are Community First Responder teams in Alfriston, Hassocks, Peacehaven, Newhaven and Seaford. Between them they have answered thousands of calls and have helped save many lives.
Friday Media Group’s Liferaft Challenge Team – Supporting Sail 4 Cancer
Nicky Tucker – Boats Business Manager
Sarah Dowden-Smith – Sales Executive
Laura Coleby – Divisional Director
Jo Wood – Spidersnet Sales Executive
Melissa Hooker – Supermum and Nicky’s mate.
In November 2012 a team of Friday Media Group staff undertook to spend 24 hours in a Liferaft. This was part a worldwide campaign organized by Sail 4 Cancer, and designed to raise awareness of the 1,000 people who are diagnosed with cancer every 24 hours. The campaign came to the attention of Nicky Tucker, Boats Business Manager at Friday Media Group, and she immediately enlisted a team to take part in the challenge with her.
“Within three days of the initial idea, my team of five were in place, fundraising pages at the ready, social media and publicity planned, and the liferaft was booked, courtesy of Ocean Safety, at a ‘mooring’ reserved at Port Solent Marina for 15/16th November,” says Nicky.
The Highs and Lows
Once the team set foot in that raft, that was it, for 24 hours, she explains. There were plenty of lows during the challenge. “Because of the water and condensation that got into the liferaft, sleeping was not an option, and of course all of our belongings were soaked,” says Nicky. “We attempted to make good our surroundings by laying the thermal crinkly sleeping bags and emergency blankets over the top of everything on the bottom. All this did was turn our home into a giant, soggy crisp packet. Not fun!”
But there were highs to the challenge too. “The support that came with the challenge was amazing. We didn’t have a designated support crew, so relied on friends and family to drop by, and roped in nearby boaters and passers-by, to hand us our kit and keep us company.”
The team survived the challenge – chatting and laughing through the long hours – and their amazing achievement raised a great deal of money – close to £2,000 in total!
Sail 4 Cancer was the first charity in the UK to stage such an event in 2003. Since then, the event has been slowly gathering momentum. Commenting on the challenge, Sail 4 Cancer’s Chairman, Graham Precey, says: “In the same way that Liferafts provide a lifeline when something goes badly wrong at sea, Sail 4 Cancer’s days out and short breaks for families affected by cancer provide a lifeline in often very difficult circumstances. They provide hope and give families something good to look forward to during arduous treatment schedules.”