Cherry Fayre – Enrolling the kids

Cherry Fayre – Enrolling the kids

What an amazing event by Axminster’s “Light up Axminster” in aid of raising funds for community’s Christmas lights. I first made contact after I was approached by Cindy Furse who runs the group and organised the idea and was bringing together activities. I decided being involved would be a great opportunity to gain exposure for the 70/30 campaign. After speaking with Sara and spinning off idea after idea we came up with decorating cupcakes, arts and crafts and face painting. I do have to say Sara was amazing and arranged all that we needed to cover the 2 days. I’d like to think her inner child.

Day 1: First day of the Big Picnic. Emily and I laid out all our cupcakes and decorations and let the young people loose and what a hit it was! We were completely packed. We were stationed between the spit roast pig and the outside bar which I initially thought would be awkward, but really didn’t make a difference. In fact, I hardly noticed for all the cake crumbs and icing. The kids pigged out and then hyperly skipped over to the enormous bouncy castle! We asked for donations and made about £6.75 pence – shame, but it wasn’t really the point, as we were making our presence known. A great evening was had by all.

Day 2: Again, Emily and I had our Arts and crafts stall plus face painting. Sadly our original face painter pulled out so we had to advertise for a replacement. In the end my Ex partner did an hour and a friend did the rest. Noah set the trend by having his face painted like a tiger and looking just great! The chair was never empty; butterflies, lions and tigers… they all looked amazing! Emily and I concentrated on our community poster with arts and crafts and, as the day progressed, it turned into an amazing piece of work with so many talented children full of expression getting involved.

“It was incredible to see so many happy faces filled with such pride. The day was incredible – a buzz with excitement; there was a constant supply of children, some coming for the first time, others returning two or three times!”

We lead an extra stall with material on 70/30 that people browsed over, flicking through leaflets whilst engaging in odd conversations about the Campaign.I now feel confident that our next meeting there will bring a few newbies along. After the event, we made the local paper and our we’re thrilled to say our art work made a massive impact on the community and now takes pride of place in the local Co Op for all to see. Success!

Today we are mostly Prawns and Sharks

Today we are mostly Prawns and Sharks

“I wake up early every day…

…open my bedroom window and breath in the beautiful Devon air. My son joins me and mimics my actions. The next 10 minutes is spent copying each other’s exaggerated breathing in.”

We make a drink and read his favourite book, ‘The Tiger who came to tea‘.

Image result for the tiger who came to teaWe have the words perfect. It doesn’t matter that it’s our millionth time reading it or that we know each and every word, it’s the fact we are doing this together. Noah likes to reminds me if I haven’t done the right voice and we laugh about it together. This paves the way our day will manifest.

Its times like these that, as a Father I realise how precious these moments are and how, there is no Brexit, no bombings no violence and anger no elections.

We read and dance, make silly singing videos. We invent games that normally means one of us hiding and the other making a dinosaur sound.

All very different from when I was a child and arguments and drinking ..hiding for the wrong reasons.

So involving myself with WAVE Trust and becoming an Ambassador for their 70/30 campaign in 2016 just confirmed that if every person did a little bit of something that stops child abuse from ever happening then there will be more children enjoying these precious moments with their parents.

It hasn’t always been easy with the campaign and if I said I have spoken to 500 people of which 10 have done something to promote the campaign, then that leaves 490 people who could have done something but chose not to for one reason or another.

My proudest moment was talking at the House of Lords in London and about my own childhood experiences and it was at that very moment, as I wiped my own tear, I really felt I was a part of something big; a movement that is going to change the lives of many, many people.

I campaign alongside people who don’t get paid and choose to make a small difference to a very big problem.

“1 in 5 children are still being maltreated in this country alone”

It breaks my heart, but through the campaigners I work alongside and the great team at head office our vision is becoming a reality. My plan for the future is to talk to the other 490 who didn’t have time or were busy with other things and see if I can invite them to hear my words.

As this week is #VolunteersWeek2017,  I ask you to take 5 mins out of your day to check out the 70/30 Campaign on Facebook (www.70-30.org.uk).

And don’t be a part of the 490 people who didn’t have time to listen. Instead, be a part of the 10 who are doing something to make a change for our children and theirs.