I attended a meeting at the Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in London this evening for volunteers. As you know from previous postings I have been a volunteer at a number of events for Maggie’s in this past year. Some of them are collecting donations, such as the Walk the 38 or Golf Live events. Others simply representing the charity and being part of the Olympic Stadium parade.

Charitable organisations always need volunteers. People who understand their organisation, what they do and why. To speak with members of the public, promote their services and advocate their work.

For me, volunteering for Maggie’s is a no-brainer. I can’t endorse more fully what they do, what they stand for, their methodologies, ethos and care for anyone affected by cancer. For their adaptable spirit that enables people at different times with different requirements to be supported by this organisation.

I have known and know people supported through their Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Oxford, Hong Kong and Cheltenham centres. I’ve yet to hear a bad word said or a comment about their not being there or knowing what is required and when. Truly amazing and I would urge you all to have a look at what they do, tell others about them and if you’re nearby to call in and understand each of the Centres.

Tonight several volunteers and Maggie’s staff got together to brainstorm about ideas for future fundraising events and volunteer roles. We recognised that the volunteer roles take many forms. Some physical attendance such as the events I’ve done previously. Others to review leaflets or newsletters etc. Perhaps to contribute by sharing your experiences. Also volunteering services to talk about the Centres and the services. Promote their organisation. As I’ve said before, I do this all the time and will continue to do so.

If you can, do get involved or take the time to find out more about the centres and why I think they play an important part around the World in supporting people affected by cancer.

But volunteering doesn’t have to be for Maggie’s… I’m sure you’ve got organisations, charities or causes you’re passionate about. Do think about getting involved… they all need volunteers.

Of if you’re not sure who’d you’d like to volunteer for but perhaps have some time on your hands, want to get involved or even need work experience, then one of the volunteers said this site, Do-It Volunteering Made Easy, is a great place to find organisations needing volunteers – at home and abroad.

The buzz I feel when I volunteer for Maggie’s and the other charities and organisations with whom I work/volunteer/speak, is enormous.  I know I give up lots of my time (some people say too much of my time) but what I get back is way way way more!

Olympic Torch Relay

Today proved to me that I’m not actually the only person in the UK that’s excited about the Olympics. Although if you were to read the newspapers, watch the news or partake in any social network, you might well think that the Olympics is a bad thing.

I’ve heard many reasons why it shouldn’t happen. What it’s costing, whether it should happen in a time of austerity – hate to mention that when the bid was won and the plans started, when we weren’t in this state!

Whether it’s going to benefit anyone? Why wouldn’t it encourage and enthuse a new generation (and older generations) that you can participate in new sports, you don’t just have to play rugby, football or cricket!

Oooh and perhaps it might get a few people off their butts and doing something physical… isn’t that going to save our NHS a fortune over the coming years?

The transport’s not going to work and everything will take ages.  Hey doesn’t it always (no matter which country you’re in) but put on a smile, talk to your fellow queuers and join the party… the time will pass much faster!

Support your olympians and paralympians in their epic adventures over the next few weeks.

I know the security seems to be a little bit awry… but if you see anything suspicious it’s also your responsibility to act!  AND now we’ve got the lovely men and women from the forces who will be looking after us – quite frankly I will relish the opportunity to thank them for everything that they’ve done and continue to do… on our soil and abroad.

BTW, we’re under budget too.

Oh and it gives us a chance to show the world that London, England CAN do something well (apart from having a Royal family and raining a lot).

So stop the niggling Nigels/Nellies out there and turn yourself into positive Peters/Pamelas. Embrace what IS happening. Participate in the Olympics. Get excited. Get your family and friends excited.

I’ve just returned from seeing the Olympic torch travel through Wandsworth. Whilst we stood waiting for it to appear, there was lots of chat amongst the waiting crowd. Children looked expectantly along the roadway, some having dressed for the occasion in costumes, facepaints or waving flags. This is the start people… get behind it and love it – I promise you, you’ll reap the rewards by being a part of it instead of whinging about it!

Olympic tickets have arrived

I am very very excited about the 2012 Olympics being in London.  Woah, I can hear the sharp intake of breath from the readers here… or perhaps the confusion?  No really, I am.  If you believe everything you read and see in the media, I’m the only person who IS excited however.

Despite what’s in the press about the cost, about the transport, about the _____ (fill in the gap), I truly truly believe that hosting the Olympics will be fantastic for the UK.  I also believe it will be (or should be) an inspiration to this and future generations to know that no matter what, you can achieve your dreams.  You can do it.  You do have the confidence and capability to do ANYTHING you put your heart and soul into.

I’m not sporty (or not these days) nor do I watch a great deal of sport or know all the rules. What I do love about sport though is the ability to work as a team or in solo sports the determination and drive.

In 2000 I was fortunate enough to be living in Sydney Australia and attend their Olympics.  Even there (where they are soooo much more positive) there was negative press and media before the Olympics started.  However as we all know now the Sydney Olympics were simply awesome.  The Olympic village and facilities that remain are used by schools, sports clubs and adults.  There’s a legacy of youngsters coming up through the ranks knowing what it means to be a part of the Olympics and I’m quite sure in London this year, we will feel their drive and enthusiasm as the Aussies reach for gold.

In Sydney, despite only getting a couple of tickets via their ballot, I was able to attend 8 events in the end as guests of others or buying tickets from friends who didn’t want or couldn’t then go.  I didn’t mind.  I was happy to go to as many events as I possibly could.  Each of them were amazing for so many different reasons.  The location.  The sport.  The laughter.  The inspiration.

So, it was a no-brainer that I was to apply for tickets to the London Olympics.  I was fortunate enough in the ballot to receive tickets to 3 of the 7 events I applied for.  The tickets arrived today.  Yippeeee

Now I just need to work out the logistics in picking up and dropping off my nephew and niece who will be joining me for two of the three events.

If you’ve got the chance to get to the Olympics or Paralympics, whether it be at the event itself or watching it on a big screen with others, please please please do it.

PS  Oh and if there’s anyone reading this that has a spare ticket to ANYTHING, I’m your gal!

Olympic Park for the Gold Challenge





Up early and excitedly making my way to the new Olympic Stadium in East London.

I’ve been honoured to represent Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres in a parade of charities and organisations involved in the Gold Challenge event.





I think the pictures speak the many words… except to say that when we walked through the athletes tunnel, went from light to dark and echoing in the tunnel could hear the roar of the crowd, then from dark to light as we entered the stadium, it really was A-mazing. I really felt that as I came through the tunnel, I could achieve anything, particularly with the support and encouragement of all the people cheering me (errr us) on.





We then went on to parade around the track in the stadium. I was able to touch the track that athletes will achieve their dreams in July but also for future years and generations to come. Where spectators will formulate plans to train harder to be at the next Olympics Games. Where it will inspire people, encourage and give confidence.





I can’t wait for the real Olympics and am so proud to have been part of the team who warmed up the track for the real Olympians!


Olympic ticket confirmation

I’m currently doing a **happy dance**.

For all those people who said that noone would ever get tickets and all those doubters out there, I did!

I’ve today received my notification email to say that I’ve been allocated the following:

2 tickets to the volleyball at Earls Court.
3 tickets to the Modern Pentathlon, Equestrian in Greenwich Park
2 tickets to basketball in the Basketball Arena

I’m v v v v pleased with that selection. Probably only 50% of what I applied for but that’s OK. I’ve tickets that allow me to take my nephew and niece to THE London Olympics. They get to be part of this fantastic event and celebrate it with me. I can’t wait. Bring it on.

Olympic tickets go on sale

For once I was up with the larks, coffee made and drunk, breakfast foraged for and disappeared. I anxiously waited by my computer for THE moment.

What moment you might say? Perhaps it’s passed you by?

Then the clock ticked over, it’s time!

The first time to be able to put in your request for 2012 London Olympic tickets. I am soooo ready for this. I clickety-click away and put in for quite a few events. In fact I’m sort of worrying that if I do get them all, just how I’m going to pay for them. But then again the likelihood of that is very little.

I remember doing this when I was in Australia. Dave and I put in for quite a few events each and we ended up with 2 pairs of tickets each. We did of course manage to obtain other tickets or go along with others who had a spare. I saw 8 different events in Sydney, truly amazing.

I’m not sporty. I like sport. I like watching it. I play a little. I don’t understand the off-side rule (despite it being explained a squillion times). I don’t know who all the players are or where anyone is in any particular league.

But I love being a part of something amazing. I love cheering on the underdog. I love seeing how a game/match/event changes in a heartbeat. Mostly though I love the ‘possibility’.

What an incredible event. I can’t wait. I wonder what tickets I’ll manage to get. My application is in…