On Friday, I had the pleasant task of helping to hand over cheques for £1,000 to two really deserving causes.
The swansong for the Bury Free Press A Helping Hand fund saw us give money – with the support of St Edmund’s Wheel – to CLIC Sargent and to SARS (Suffolk Accident Rescue Service).
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been involved in many such presentations and at each I’ve felt incredibly humble and impressed by the generosity of spirit of those involved – both those receiving the money and also the team that helped to raise it in the first place.
This final presentation was a great example.
Fiona and Mark are both medical professionals, a GP and paramedic respectively, yet they spend their spare time on call to attend road traffic accidents where they use their expertise to give victims the early care which can save lives. They don’t have to do it, but they do.
Alison, from CLIC Sargent, is a professional fund-raiser, but she had spent Friday helping to organise a mass skydiving event. More than 100 people were giving up their Saturday to throw themselves out of a plane to raise money for the charity. They didn’t have to do it, but they wanted to.
As it was our final A Helping Hand presentation – as we go forward with our Beat It! appeal – the team from St Edmund’s Wheel were also on hand. Brian, Ian and Steve have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities of all sorts through the annual bike ride they organise. They put in a huge amount of time and effort throughout the year, planning and staging the event. They don’t have to, but they do.
They mobilise a small army of riders and marshals who give up their day and badger their friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them. None of them have to take part, but they do.
I’m continually amazed at the support charities receive, both in terms of time, when people have busier and busier lives, and financially, when family budgets are under huge pressure. The great British public, time and again, come up trumps – and no doubt they will again tonight as they pledge their money to Comic Relief, not because they have to but because they want to.