Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Let's talk Candlelighters

My train was a little late this morning. This is not uncommon and often leads to a sense of "mild frustration" from passengers, me included. But not today.

The reason for the delay was that a group of local kids, each dragging heavy luggage, were clambering excitedly onboard at Shipley station to begin their school trip.  The platform was lined with doting parents waving at their smiling sproglets. 

As all of this was going on, I was leafing through the latest Candlelighters newsletter, which dropped through my letter box earlier in the week.

Each of the children who shot past me to find their seats looked wonderfully healthy, and their parents looked like they hadn't a care in the world (probably because they were about to get a few days off). 

But in my newsletter, the parents, kids and staff - whilst equally smiley - had more obvious challenges to deal with.

Formed more than 40 years ago, Candlelighters is run by parents of children who have - or have had - cancer, and the medical staff who treat them here in Yorkshire.  Every penny the charity receives goes towards enhancing the specialist ward in the Leeds General Infirmary, equipment, play therapies, clinic areas and funding research into childhood cancers. 

This year, spare monies have been spent on trips for parents and families to Center Parcs, seaside trips to the coast, extra bedside tables, chemo ducks for every child, a remembrance event and birthday presents.  Cash is also being set aside for a family Christmas party.  £10 will pay for a gift.

This is where all the cash so many kind people have donated to my Great North Run fund will go. 

As I write, it totals £848.  My target is £1,000 - simply because it has an extra nought in it. 

I'd love it if we could get there before the starting gun fires at 10.40 on Sunday morning.

Once again, here's the LINK.