4Louis

I, like most people, had never heard about 4Louis until Christmas 2015.

4Louis was set up in aid of grieving parents, so that their experience of an Angel Baby is a tiny bit more bearable. An Angel Baby is a baby born still at birth or soon after birth. 17 babies are born stillborn everyday in the UK and there is very little done for those parents and families to help them out of the other side.

The money raised for 4Louis is used for:

  • Memory boxes
  • Moses Baskets
  • Photography equipment
  • Cuddle Cots

The memory boxes are given to parents and they have items in such as teddies, ink to do hand and feet prints, clay impression kit, an acknowledgement of life certificate which are to name just a few. For parents it’s knowing that they’re not alone in this dark place, that there is someone else there who has experienced their pain and in our families case we had something to work towards. We wanted to give back to this charity who had done so much for our loss.

We started to raise money for buy Cuddle Cots. Without Cuddle Cots the baby can only stay with the family for about 24 hours, however with a Cuddle Cot, it allows the baby to be with their family for up 72 hours.  Although it’s only a few hours, those hours make all the difference for the family.

We have been able to raise enough money for one Cuddle Cot to be donated to a hospital in Birmingham, with hopefully more money on its way to buy another one.

Although we would have loved for our Nephew to be with us today, we can hold our heads high to know that we are helping those families in Birmingham and also raising awareness of 4Louis.

If you would like to find out more about 4Louis and see all the hard work they do, just click here and it will take you straight to their website.

Have you raise money for a charity recently?

Sam x

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Relay For Life

Relay For Life I hear you say! Don’t you mean Race For Life?!

Nope, it’s Relay For Life. I know everyone has heard about Race For Life and most women have taken part or know someone who has done one of the races.

A few years back, I was part of a group called Telford Group of Friends and we helped raise money for Cancer Research. When you are part of a fundraising group, you are always looking for new ideas to help raise money and this is exactly how I came across Relay For Life.

Relay For Life is a 24 hour team event where at least 1 of your team are walking around a track at any one given time. This is to symbolise that cancer never sleeps. The idea is that you fundraise throughout the year with your team and then the event itself is celebration of all the hard work you have done. The teams can be from 1+ but the more people you have on your team, the easier the 24 hours is.

If you have taken part in Race then you will know of the great achievement you have when you cross the finish line – well image that when you have done 24 hours of walking, running, jogging, hopping (basically however you want to go around the track!)

Relay invite cancer survivors along as VIPs. A survivor can be someone who has just been diagnosed, are going through treatment, have been cancer free for years (and hopefully with many more to come) or they can be someone who has unfortunately been told that there is no more medical help than can be given to them – all of these people are or have survived cancer and Relay celebrate this. For starters, they can join the event for free (everyone has to sign up and pay a fee), they get a purple t-shirt through the post with survivor on – the reason for purple is that this is the colour for all cancers. The survivors also get to open the event with a lap of the track and all the other participants line the track and clap them along and then they go off for a meal. Now I’m not one for being able to talk to people straight away, so lucky you are able to take a friend or family member along with you for all of this (they also get their own t-shirt) and these people are called Care-Givers. They are someone who has helped you along your way in your cancer journey, whether that be just taking you to the hospital for appointments or being that ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

sam and andy survivors lap

So the event starts off like this – the survivors open up the event with their lap with their care givers and then each team gets announced on to the track. Some Relays have it that the survivors judge the teams and then they win a prize. Following on from this lap someone then has to be on the track from your team at any one point. Believe it or not though, it doesn’t get boring. There are laps done in fancy dress, there are cancer awareness laps and some relays even have a silent disco throughout the night.

For those who are not on the track, there are stalls put on by all the teams so generate the last bit of money for their teams, there’s live bands playing throughout and even more things to get involved in.

This all generally goes on until sunset, where all the teams are pulled for the track to gather together for the Candle of Hope ceremony. This is where we all reflect and remember those who we have lost along the way. Poems are read, survivors will make speeches and candles are lit. This is one of my favourite parts of the whole event. If you’re a softy like me then this will have you in tears. Everyone then takes to the track to walk together (usually in silence). The track is lit by candle bags which have been decorated and donated for loved ones – it really is a pretty sight to be seen.

The night quietens down from here until the Sunday morning where all the fun starts again.

You can find out more information here about Relay and where your nearest one is. If you don’t take part, go down on the day and you will see what I mean when I say it is a heart warming event.

The first year I did Relay was on a committee and we raised over £30,000 which wasn’t bad for our first year. The second year I took part which was really fun to take part in all of the games which the committee lay on for you.

Have you done a Relay For Life before? Which one did you take part in and what was your favourite bit?

Sam x