What a wonderful month is Movember!
Check out my playlist of moustache songs for Movember-click this link!)
Movember involves being sponsored for the growing of a moustache throughout one month, to raise awareness of health issues, such as prostate cancer, mental health and associated charities.
My original Movember page is here
This month (December 2013) I ran the Santa Run (10k dressed as Santa) for the brilliant charity War Child
A fantastic charity, and what better time to support their work helping the children who are victims of war than in the run up to Christmas, as we in the privileged West indulging in our annual orgy of consumption and consumerism would do well to remember.
I may have completed the race, but it’s not too late to sponsor me!
So be of good cheer, and don’t be a Scrooge- please sponsor me for this years Santa race to help the work of War Child.
It’s a great fundraiser, and a really fun event in which to participate or take part. It’s a surreal site to see so many Santas sprinting off , all raising money for good causes. I completed last years race in Greenwich which I ran for Greenpeace) ,and I’m looking forward to Santa Dash 2015!
Below are some photos from last years race, and this years event in Victoria Park.
Playlist of music recorded for WarChild
Sunnyside Community Gardens are a precious (although small) piece of Green Space in Hillrise ward, the Northern tip of Islington. The physical location is opposite the only significant Park in the ward, Elthorne Park, and separated from it by a quiet part of Sunnyside Road. I have campaigned for years to close that stretch of Sunnyside Rd, green it over and create a larger green space-see my YouTube clip here
But Sunnyside is more than just a physical space. Sunnyside provides a range horticultural and other services,notably helping and supporting residents with learning difficulties.
The fire of July 2013 that burned the Community Gardens building beyond repair was devasting news, reported in the Islington Gazette here. (See also this report in Islington Tribune )
However, the local Community has rallied round, and until such time as the Insurance settle, and we can rebuild, services will continue. My call for the Council to provide a portakabin was picked up by Cllr Lorraine Constantinou, and with help from Mullaley, a portakabin duly arrived.
We set up a support group on Facebook
And local campaigner Carl Quilliam organised an auction in the Royal Oak pub, where I was proud to be auctioneer at an event which saw generous donations from residents and Councillors Stacy, Horton and Constantinou. And then of course there were the numerous residents who turned out to bid for the lots, and buy the raffle tickets.
But it didn’t stop there. Local residents group WHPARA donated £100 and publicised the event, and prizes were donated by other local groups including Islington Boxing Club and Caxton House.
Local MP Jeremy Corbyn also offered tea in The Commons as a raffle prize.
And there were contributions and help from many more-too numerous to mention (but maybe a quick plug for Archway with Words who donated tickets for a very interesting forthcoming community event )
So from this adversity we have found a real community spirit, and hopefully (if you will forgive the cliche) we will see a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
In total, the auction/raffle raised over £700, but there is of course a long way to go.
letter to local paper
Sunnyside Gardens Playlist here
Thanks to M.Heath for the photo from auction.
Why I resigned from Lib Dems and why I cycled to Brighton for Reprieve
As a believer in open justice, I fundamentally opposed the Crime and Security Bill which earlier this year introduced secret courts
I resigned my membership of the Liberal Democrat Party over their Parliamentary support for the bill, having campaigned against it within the Party and at their Conference.(speech here)
During the campaign, I was struck by the excellent campaigning work on this issue by Reprieve, a charity I have long admired for excellent campaigns on justice and death-row cases.
I have therefore decided to attempt the London to Brighton Cycle race on September 8th to raise money for Reprieve. Please support the excellent work of Reprieve
Link to sponsorship page here
Islington gazette article here
UPDATE I finished the race (75 miles including my return cycle to start in Clapham) and would like to thank everyone for their support and sponsorship