Category: Fundraising


I did the March On Cancer last night here in Liverpool. It was a great evening, and a great evening for the event to take place. Crisp and clear without being too cold. Hundreds of people took part – each with their own story. Of course their are many more stories – stories of those who lost to cancer and stories of those who survived and who live with the disease still.

It was fitting for me that the march started and finished opposite the Atlantic Tower Hotel – that is a very memorable part of my story – my reasons for doing the march:

Before I actually moved to Liverpool, Helen, my late partner who died of cancer in 2011, and I had a great night out in the city centre. At the end of it, she suggested we stay in town, and we ended up having a crazy, wonderful night at the Atlantic Tower. I have never forgotten that night, and the pledge we made to each other that one day we would go to Paris together. We did eventually get to Paris in 2010. It was to be our last shared vacation. Helen – and Jacquie (my wife – also lost to cancer in 1999) – were so much in my mind last night of course. Each, in their time and their own way, have brought out the best of me.


The march was not the end of the effort. People are fundraising for the week ahead of the Stand Up To Cancer broadcast on UK TV’s ‘Channel 4’ on the 17th October. The aim is to raise £15m for Cancer Research.

I am very proud to have played a tiny part in the initiative. The JustGiving page will be open to accept donations until 1 November. I hope that maybe some of you reading this will find it in your heart to have a look and maybe donate to this great cause.

Finally (almost), check out my photo album on Facebook – photos taken last night, before, during and after the march.

Here are the links used in this post again:

Well this is just a quick catch up after the other day’s mention of World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day 2014

I only caught some of the afternoon activities yesterday. I stood at the PSS market stall as planned. It was relatively quiet – apparently it had been pretty busy in the morning. By the time I got there the weather was that kind of changeability that goes with the climactic territory of the North West of England in October – from bright sunshine to absolute downpour and back again. Definite ‘rainbow’ weather.


Afterwards I went up to PSS’s office in Seel Street and had a fantastic time looking at the art created by PSS service users and meeting and greeting visitors to the exhibit.

There was very much more going on throughout the day – it is a real inspiration,  and so valuable in raising the profile of Mental Health, Wellbeing and the services that are available. It also continues the battle against the stigma that still exists about ‘the invisible diseases’ like depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disease. The stigma has been reduced considerably in the 20 years I have had my personal experience of depression, but there is still a way to go. The current political climate seems to be working to increase that stigma again rather than reduce it, so I can’t see it ever being 100% gone – I imagine it will swing back and forth depending on political (and economic) climate -but we can work on diminishing it as much as possible overall.

It is worth sharing a couple of links:

Liverpool Mental Health Consortium are doing fantastic work including being at the forefront of organising yesterday’s events as well as so much more:

Wellbeing Liverpool, who I have mentioned before, provide information, tips, a directory of services in the area, and the opportunity for users to share their tips. This is great. AS someone said at the NHS AGM this year, when your life is forced on a change of direction by mental health issues, it gives you some expertise on the subject. It is good that after a long history of ‘us and them’ culture, service providers ask for and take notice of feedback from the service users:


March On Cancer – 11 October

So on to today. I am going to join the ‘March On Cancer’ this evening. It is not anywhere near as strenuous as the Walk10 event back in August, but I think it has a higher profile through Channel 4.

I would love to raise as much money for Cancer Research as for the care of the terminally ill. There is still time to donate today – indeed the page will still be available for some time after the march. As with the Marie Curie event, I have a JustGiving page dedicated to this one. Please take a look.



Walk Ten–Marie Curie

So it’s been a while again since I posted anything here. I have learned to accept the reasons why I am not a ‘regular’ diarist or blogger. When depression is at its worst, I find it easy to write about it as a one off, but to keep writing about it is quite boring – how much can you write to describe the oppressive, claustrophobic, darkness that is depression? (It is probably boring as hell to read about it constantly too). Of course, writing about the progress is good, but when things are going well I tend to be ‘doing’ rather than writing about it. I have spent so much of life ‘just existing’ rather than living, when things are going well, I embrace life. I will at some point switch to a photo blog – it will probably speak volumes more than my words.

One important development in my life since I last posted here is that I have started to do voluntary work for Marie Curie. I get a great deal of satisfaction from doing it (I am in the admin side of things), and it has lead on to me taking part in fundraising for the organisation. On August 16, I will be participating in the Walk10 event here in Liverpool. I have already had many very generous donations, and I’m on target both with those donations and with the training for the walk itself.


Please take a look at my fund raising page at JustGiving. It really is a good cause. I have experienced the organisation from both sides now – as someone who lost two partners to cancer, and as someone doing their bit for the organisation.