Thursday, 1 June 2017

Charity work, a week for reflection & understanding the bigger picture.

I think it is safe to say that since the Manchester terror attacks I have felt very uninspired. Last week seemed to just drift by with each day a new reminder of an awful loss, and I suppose as we headed into half term I was well and truly ready to just stop. Here we are on Thursday already and I had every intention of writing, but to be honest, just haven't bothered. That's OK though. That's the beauty of this type of work. As much as I have to say sometimes it's not worth spending my time on as I can be doing other things. This week's other things have been a bit different too and those activities themselves have been so inspiring; mentally and emotionally, that actually getting round to writing has been really difficult. It wasn't until I was just taking a picture for Instagram that I realised I had written posts which I had forgot to publish but I wanted to note down a few other things before I put them online. 
For me, even though Raph has been off school and we have really been enjoying going swimming and chilling at home, 2 days have been spent with Rob in a working capacity. Aside from blogging I work for a tiny bespoke watch company in Lincoln just taking pictures and working creatively with them in website development and watch design. It is really nice, but only part time for me. Rob on the other had works more and is a watchmaker for the company, hand making beautiful bespoke English watches. As part of our roles we were also doing some social events this week which the business was sponsoring which meant we travelled across to North Wales on Sunday and down to London on Wednesday. I feel I had to write about my other side of work as I just had to talk about the charity we have been involved with. Please don't get the wrong idea, there's so much you could write about charities, and these guys haven't endorsed this blog post in any way, but after spending 2 days with organisers and supporters I feel so privileged to have been in their presence and learn more about work that happens with veteran soldiers in this country. The ABF Soldiers' Charity works in continuing support way past their initial intervention with soldiers. This is the Army's charity, helping not only soldiers but their immediate families, and what we have found out about how they have helped veterans personally is amazing. This charity meant nothing to me before this week. Honestly, I knew the business had worked with them before but I hadn't met any of the team and had not attended an event, but since meeting these people who just ooze kindness and compassion I have felt so inspired. They were so genuinely kind and having listened to two very powerful testimonies from ex-service men who were injured in the line of duty, but have made unimaginable progress in life, it really opened my eyes into just how amazing people can be. Not only does this charity have some of the kindest people driving it, I just couldn't believe how they had time for everybody, and I mean everybody. 
I think having a hit from two events also has really opened my eyes and truthfully exhausted me at the same time. I think I could just fall asleep now if I closed my eyes, but if I did it would be with a truly happy heart from what I have seen and heard this week.
In complete contrast to last week's emotions with the bombings, then seeing armed police everywhere, then hearing about people who give there all to protect this country, I feel so much more respectful and privileged to live and work alongside humans who really are the salt of the earth. True inspiration that has touched my heart.

I just wanted to write a bit more about what we actually did in Wales and London as it is worth sharing. Rob was invited to play in a golf tournament in Wales, so we drove across for the day. It was a long way, but by the time we got home late Sunday eve we had decided that we wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. Rob was on the organiser's team and I walked the course with them gathering footage for work and it was just wonderful. We met lots of veterans that day, many of whom had spent time in Lincolnshire, so we automatically had a great connection. That was an amazing day.
In London, Rob again was offered the chance to play cricket in a charity match where the teams were captained by England legends Mark Ramprakash and Simon Jones. Being an avid cricketer, Rob obviously jumped at this chance and I am so glad he did and that I was able to be there to witness it. I was incredibly proud of him as I knew he would have been nervous, but as opening batsman I just stood in awe of him and my heart was bursting with pride. It was again, a wonderful day of watching sport and talking to so many who were there to support the charity. What was more amazing about this cricket match was that it was in the centre of London, just off the hustle and bustle of the busy streets, A hidden cricket pitch with the backdrop of tall office blocks and beautiful apartments. 
Here are some pictures, it was truly awesome.

{Rob and Mark Ramprakash}

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