Spent some time properly back on the coal face recently, potential sponsor meetings, admin central, but also two great experiences one seeing the impact one of our charities is having and the other being the impact we can have on school children.
Yesterday I was lucky to visit the Lords Taverners Table Cricket at the Oval. Children with a range of disabilities playing a game that puts cricket in a table tennis environment. It struck me how much excitement that these children were having, and that is the same experience we will hopefully be getting on the mountain. How the world and expectations are relative. It is always a tough question what comes first helping charity or the event? It is a strange one to answer, they kind of come hand in hand. The event is taking advantage of what opportunities we have but in doing so we can create similar opportunities. Ultimately it is an awareness thing, getting the story out there. I spoke with a girl today on MSN Messenger, I'd worked with like 2 years ago, for a few months, I was able to talk about the charity and it's work. The next second £20 in the Lords Taverners account. She through me knows where it is going and that is will bring a smile to someones face the sort of smile she doesn't get too often because she isn't taking advantage of her opportunities, she said that not me.
Today was possibly my highlight so far, holding a talk / Q&A session and Avon House school in East London. They have spent the previous week making prayer flags which we will take to Nepal.
Basically nepali prayer flags are hung outside near everest, a prayer is written on them, every gust of wind takes the dream to the mountain and when the ink has worn off the dream/prayer is said to have happened.
The number of questions, hands up, and so on was phenomenal, as was the in unison 'good morning' response everytime one of use stepped up to speak.
Highlights would be:
Wes: Does anyone know who holds the world record for the 100m?
Year 7 pupil: Yes, my dad
Wes: Guess you win the my dad is better than your dad competition.
James: So does anyone have any wishes
Answer number 3: I wish that there wasn't knife crime
Answer 5: I wish that smokers lungs would get better
Answer number 7 or 8: Yes, I wish that Amy Whinehouse would have to take drugs
Glen: Doing stars jumps with 5 school children on stage
I will write some of the prayers on the flags at a later date, suffice to say they are phenomenally moving.
What I really took away from this morning was how global the issues were on these childrens radars, and how they were issues that dominated their wishes not too many wishes for being Nadal or Hamilton. It shows how much filters through to them at this age. Also how they enjoyed us being there, it is something I remembered from school having people come and talk, and I did love being on the other side of the fence. Their enthusiasm for all things Nepal, Everest and adventure was outstanding, and it was a girl who knew who Andrew Strauss was too!!!