Annual Sponsored Walk – 2020 Edition

It is that time of year, when we go full steam ahead on our preparations for the annual sponsored walk.

The walk will take place on Saturday 28th March 2020, with the start time still to be determined.

We have canvassed our members for suggestions in regard to charities and this year we will be supporting two belters…

Project 14

Our good friend, Waza Bird, at Darfield Cricket Club has been doing a lot of hard work to raise awareness of Mental Health under the hashtag #ItsOKToTalk. (You can find out more on his personal journey here):

Waza has been working with two charities, The Samaritans and Project 14. This has clearly resonated with our members who asked that we try and raise some funds for the local charity – Project 14.

We will let them explain their story in their own words below:

Project 14 is a community group that was launched in April 2018. We aim to raise funds and awareness for mental health charities and initiatives across Barnsley and The Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire. But why? It all started in late October 2016 when we lost our friend Ashley David Salkeld – Selly – far too soon. He was 25 years old. He was an amazing lad who injected mischief and laughter into just about any situation. This is the simplest way to describe Selly. He was larger than life; the constant centre of attention everywhere he went and his wicked sense of humour was impossible not to laugh with, laugh at and love.

I met Selly when I was 5 years old and I can certainly say despite his outlandish and chaotic nature, I will struggle to find anyone who will make me feel like he did – confused, excited, frustrated and just happy to name a few. He was one of my oldest and bestest friends.

However behind the joker he was a broken. Selly had personal battles linking to his mental health. His death came as a huge shock to people he loved and our close-knit community. Tragically, Selly has become part of one of the most horrendous public health statistics in the UK – 76% of suicides in the UK are male. The biggest killer of men under the age of 45 is suicide.

Since we lost our friend, promoting mental health services, awareness and well-being has been paramount to us. Using our grief and concern to drive us forward we have held numerous charity events and have so far raised almost £5500 for national mental health charities such as CALM, Papyrus, Movember UK and Mind.

Through our gatherings what has become apparent is that there is an incredible drive to ensure that our community is supported. We need to look after our own. In the last year and a half, our community in the Dearne Valley has been significantly affected by suicide and mental health. Although mental health services exist across our town, what needs to be encouraged is something incredibly simple. Being frank, open and honest about mental health will help so many in need who are being strong yet silent.

This is why we want to drive a movement forward where we use community events, clubs, groups and spaces to raise awareness around mental health. We would like to signpost people towards appropriate care and advice in the hope that we can support someone who could be at the point of crisis.

I am just one of many who want to help. If I can help stop just one person feeling lost and staying silent, one mother or father the hurt of seeing their child suffer or prevent one brother or sister having to let go of their sibling; if I can make sure that you have your best friend in your life forever then the drive and commitment behind Project 14 is valid. I hope that communities across Barnsley and the Dearne Valley join us in helping our own. Let’s look after each other. Let’s talk to each other.

Our mate Selly xx

Watch this space….Love Beth x x

Positive About Down Syndrome

Our second charity, is very close to the heart of our good friends, The Lockwood Family. As you will know, their daughter and resident super-star Francesca, was born with Down Syndrome, but it doesn’t hold her back in the slightest!

If you’re considering screening, have received a diagnosis that your baby might have Down syndrome, or you have recently had a baby with Down syndrome, or if you know someone in this situation, this site is for you: it’s been created and written by parents who know what this is like.

We, too, have experienced receiving the diagnosis that our baby has Down syndrome, so we know how you’re feeling, what you’re worried about, or what you are feeling guilty for thinking. We are delighted to have this opportunity to share a little of our lives with you to try to address some of those feelings.

We experienced a lot of the same feelings you may be experiencing – many of us were sad, worried and not sure of the future; others felt utterly devastated, that our lives would never be the same; some took it in their stride, although they were apprehensive.

Now that we have experienced the reality of Down syndrome, we know that we needn’t have worried or been sad, upset or devastated. Yes, our lives have been different, but for the better.

We invite you to take some time to look through our stories – stories written by parents who have gone through the same experience and discovered that there is much to celebrate.

We hope that these stories and photos reassure you, inspire you and show you the reality of life with Down syndrome. There is a lot of negativity, fear of and ignorance around Down syndrome, but we are the experts on living with someone with Down syndrome and these stories are written honestly from experience and absolute understanding.

Some of the parents whose stories are featured are also happy for you to contact them by email or phone. You may like to follow some of the honest, heart-warming and hilarious antics some bloggers get up to.

We are here to try to answer your questions, address your worries and concerns, never to judge, but to offer you the opportunity to see the reality of living with Down syndrome.

So what is the plan?

We are still figuring out the paths that we can and cannot take during a series of test walks, but at very high level, and subject to some small tweaks, the route that we will take is as follows:

It will be a circular walk, starting and finishing at the cricket club and will see us walk through Tanksersley, Chapeltown, Hesley Wood, Scholes and through the grounds of the stunning Wentworth Woodhouse where we will meet our Junior walkers at The Rockingham Arms at Wentworth, where we will then walk together back to the cricket club.

Some of the cricket clubs that we will pass are Rockingham Colliery CC (obvs.), the haunted grounds of White Lane CC (that only some of you will remember!), Scholes CC and Wentworth CC.

The seniors will walk somewhere in the region of 15 miles, while our juniors will walk around 3 miles in total.

Sponsor Forms

Sponsor forms have been created and are now ready for download, completion. We have again provided a link to the club PayPal site where online donations can be made by those who prefer online transactions for ease.

Download: Senior Sponsor Form 2020
Download: Junior Sponsor Form 2020

So there we have it…

Please download and start completing the forms. We very much look forward to the event, where we can raise as much money for the club and these two amazing charities.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please get in touch with a club representative.

Many thanks in advance for your time and efforts, and in the words of the wise….. UP THE ROCK!!