In the absence of our Charity Day this year due to covid limitations we are asking for your generous donations to support our selected charities in these particularly hard times. Please see below for details and a write up on the wonderful people that run the charities. We are asking people to dig deep again for our five charities.
Have a look at how handsome Joe Wickes’ efforts were made to look a little more ordinary.
How a casual friendship and a chat over a breakfast table turned into a marvellous charity.
Read about Craig Revel Horwood’s connection with one of our charities.
Also how another of our charity workers backed the Pet Shop boys and more.
How one of the workers, who has her own disability, deals with life.
During the first period of lockdown Joe Wickes carried out 90 one hour keep fit broadcasts excluding weekends. A marvellous achievement and he received a well-deserved MBE for his efforts.
During the same period Giles Hobart who runs TAG (Teenage Activity Group – www.tagyouthclub.org) in Ham carried out 122 one hour fitness sessions every day online to the disabled children who attend the youth club. He also works for Tfl full-time. He is a miracle worker. A human dynamo
Giles had an accident during one of his sessions. He has a large vehicle, required because his stepson is severely disabled and wheel chair bound. The boot lid came down on Giles’ head. On the way in the ambulance, with blood pouring down his face, he continued with his online session number 98. When he finally got to the hospital he had to have 12 stitches in his head.
In the end even he became ill from sheer exhaustion but carried on with the online exercise class from his sickbed. We believe that Giles also deserves an Honour and who knows maybe he will get one.
Two ladies run Express CIC: Annette and Tracey, providing information and support to autistic people and their families.
They said of the MGC Just Giving Page last year ‘You were indeed the only club support we received last year and it was very much appreciated.
‘We met when our eldest children started primary school together and we became firm friends. We share an eclectic taste in music, comedy and gin! We also conquered the Moonwalk together where during our hours of training an idea was born… ‘
‘In 2012 we set up Express CIC to provide information and support to autistic people and their families. What started around a kitchen table is now the ‘go to’ organisation for Kingston and Richmond families.
Annette’s youngest son was diagnosed autistic at 15 months old, he is now 16 and attends an autism specialist provision where he is thriving with the right support. Tracey’s brother is autistic with severe learning disabilities. Tracey also has other autistic members of her family and she has worked with autistic children and their families for over 15 years.’
What marvellous women! To see more about this marvellous charity click here: Express CIC – Welcome To Express.
Parkinson’s CAN Dance (parkinsonscandance.com) (started its life in 2015 and has been offering weekly dance classes for people with Parkinson’s ever since. During the pandemic, classes have continued online, ensuring that participants could keep dancing, whatever the circumstances.
The classes are hosted by BalletBoyz dance company, founded by Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt. Quite recently they produced a televised production of Romeo and Juliet: ‘Beyond Words’.
Meeting as students at the Royal Ballet School, Michael and Billy have since worked at the cutting edge of dance, their stage and screen work earning them multiple awards including an Olivier and an International Emmy! The BalletBoyz studio, where Parkinson’s CAN Dance takes place, has played host to many greats in the world of dance including Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, whose choreography for the show Fourteen Days saw the all-male BalletBoyz company clog dancing on the stage at Sadler’s Wells.
The classes are led by a wonderful team of specialist teachers and musicians who bring the room to life. Teachers, Rebecca Trevitt, Billy’s wife and Annie Breckell, who is married to Charlie Stayt, the BBC 1 breakfast presenter, were both members of the Royal Ballet Company, dancing at the Royal Opera House and around the world, before bringing their love of dance and movement expertise to community and educational settings. There is also live music during the classes and no melody that musician Nathan Tinker can’t play, the studio soaring with music from Singing in the Rain to Don Quixote each week – there’s never a dull moment!
One of our members and another one’s wife take part in the classes and another member is in the queue to become a part of it.
At the last Charity Day held two years ago both Charlie Stayt and Mike Bushell attended and stayed on for a few drinks afterwards. Mike is the BBC presenter who has tried a thousand different sports
Mike put a trip to the BBC studios in Sale, where the BBC breakfast show is televised in as an auction item.
Ellie Constable is one of the community fundraisers for the Shooting Stars Hospice (www.shootingstar.org.uk) but before that:
‘I trained professionally as a dancer. My favourite dance job was at the Royal Opera House as a backing dancer for the Pet Shop Boys wearing an inflatable red fat suit (look it up if you don’t believe me). I also worked back stage for various ITV television productions including The Royal Variety Performance and Tonight at the London Palladium.’
Ellie also ran the London Marathon in support of Shooting Stars. Because quite a lot of people do it running a marathon seems to have become almost demeaned; well it shouldn’t be. I remember running 7 miles once and that because my wife had driven home from the stables where our daughter had a pony. I was so cross!
It’s all fascinating to hear and Ellie would have looked great irrespective of the fat red suit.
Finally we took on board a new charity support that the Mayor of Kingston actively promoted: KCIL (Kingston Centre for Independent Living – Kcil – Kingston Centre For Independent Living).
Each of our charities are given a tenure of five years and we took on Kcil before lockdown commenced.
Jason Lamont, CEO
Jason Lamont is KCIL’s new CEO. He started his role during the pandemic and didn’t actually meet any of the team face to face until his 2nd week! Thankfully, things are improving now that the lockdown has eased.
Before coming to KCIL Jason built and managed a network of health care recruitment agencies supplying care and nursing staff right across the country and has managed organisations that provide care services for adults and children with complex needs. In his last role he ran a charity that established a school and medical centre in Bangladesh from scratch!
When not at work, he enjoys running marathons and not surprisingly Mo Farah is his big hero.
Amelia Berren, Senior Independent Living Advisor
Amelia is also quite new to KCIL and is KCIL’s senior Independent Living Advisor, supporting people to live independently though essential information, support and guidance about benefits and Direct Payments. Previously, Amelia managed a community Personal Assistant (carer) service, making sure people got the support they needed to live independently in the community.
Amelia describes herself as friendly, patient and laidback and admires people who overcome obstacles to achieve things in life and who do not let their disability or illness stop them realising their ambitions. As a deaf person, Amelia has plenty of personal experience of overcoming obstacles with good humour. She says she never has her sleep disturbed by music, foxes, thunder, or anything else! And when people are yelling at her Amelia says she can just switch off her cochlear implant!
Footnote: Giles did not receive an honour this time around. Perhaps in the New Year’s honours list