Wow, what a night.
Such an honour to attend the National Fundraising Awards 2016 which celebrates excellence in Fundraising. We were there because of the efforts of Felix and all of those wonderful people who have supported him and his amazing fundraising efforts since his diagnosis in January.
Yet again, we still marvel at the fact that we can now do these things. We kind of underplayed the whole event because we still cannot 100% be sure that our plans won’t change at the last-minute because of Felix’s risk of infection. So, 36 hours before the event started, the plans started to take shape. It was full steam ahead. We would be taking the train to London with our posh frocks and suits, boiled sweets for the journey and anti-sickness just incase.
And here we are, home again. Buzzing, so very happy and shattered! So, what became of the whole event? Well, as you can imagine, it was a whirlwind of emotion, pride and reflection. Felix led us through the winding passages of the Jubilee Line, Central Line and DLR with the confidence of someone who had been living in London for years. Rufus admiringly followed showing total faith in his brother’s new-found confidence whilst Talia keep a careful eye on me tottering around in my ridiculous high heels. Dylan proudly walked us into the event with his head held high and spoke with love and compassion about how we came to be at The Troxy on a school night. I relished the atmosphere of celebration, achievement and altruism within the context of our last 12 months. We met the most wonderful, inspiring, witty and intelligent people who have all given something above and beyond the call of duty in this last year.
For everyone I spoke to, the fundraising and need to make a change was the result of a catalyst. Quite often this catalyst was one borne from hardship, trauma or loss and in some cases it was a desire to change the world around them; for them, for society, for the future. It was this that struck a chord with me the most. We, as a family, have made changes recently with the aim of providing us with greater flexibility, more control and a different pace of life. We have supported Felix’s fundraising efforts and continue to make plans to raise more money in the future. We never used to do this sort of stuff. It is unlikely that we would’ve made these changes without our catalyst. Yet the impact of these changes have already affected our way of life for the better, for all of us and others.
I now have more time to listen and consider the world around me. On a daily basis I see that the world is full of talented people with huge potential who are waiting for their catalyst. They seem to want and need change as I have done in years gone by, but have felt powerless to do so. I suppose, I wish that we had been able to make the changes without our catalyst because we now know the enormous good that can be achieved. Watching and listening to the stories shared last night filled me with awe and admiration. The young lady who won Young Fundraiser of the Year raised over £110,000 for Haven House Hospice whilst the wonderful woman I met who was in the running for Best Volunteer Fundraiser, made a deal with herself to wear pre-loved clothes from Cancer Research Shops in order to raise money and awareness.
I suppose, what I am saying is that if you don’t have a catalyst then make or fake one. There is so much to achieve in the world and so much hidden talent in us all which is just kicking and screaming to be let out. What can be achieved is mind-blowing. This time next year it could be you.This time last year the thought didn’t even cross our mind.
Thank you for having us last night. It meant the absolute world to us and saw all of our stars shine with achievement, pride and love for each other. One proud moment for Mr & Mrs Brown.