THE PETER ANDRE FUND FOR CANCER RESEARCH UK
This whole event is dedicated to my much loved and hugely missed Mum whom I lost to mis-diagnosed kidney cancer in June 2012.
Naturally I wanted one of my charities to help, if possible, to spare other families the heartbreak of losing a loved one to this terrible disease.
A chance meeting with Peter Andre, coincidentally on the first Mothers Day that I had to face without Mum, and the conversation which followed (Peter lost his brother Andrew to pretty much the same form of cancer shortly after I lost my Mum) led to this link up.
The reason I am so keen to support this particular fund is twofold. Firstly because myself and Peter were sadly in very similar situations and I could tell that his desire to do something to help was both genuine and inspiring, but also because of what your donations will go directly towards.
All the money raised for Cancer Research UK’s Peter Andre Fund supports a unit on the Cancer Awareness Roadshow. This unit visits local communities and the nurses on board talk to the public about how they can reduce their risk of cancer and get to know their bodies to help sport the disease early. This is potentially life-saving information because if cancer is detected at an early stage, before it’s had time to spread or grow too big, it is usually easier to treat and there’s a greater chance of a successful outcome. I strongly believe that early diagnosis is a huge part of the key to beating cancer, and if Mums cancer had been discovered, diagnosed, and treated earlier, then she would still be here today.
EAST SUSSEX WILDLIFE RESCUE AMBULANCE SERVICE
My initial efforts of fundraising and awareness spreading were focussed mainly on fighting shark finning. This is still a passion of mine. However, after watching an episode of Autumnwatch in 2014, a clip showing an island off the UK coast where Gannets are nesting, but the chicks are literally getting stuck in their nests, unable to leave, because their feet are so tangled in fishing line and plastic, I made a pledge to do something hands on, closer to home. This is when I discovered East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service. From day one I was in awe of this organisation and the people there. It is run by around 80 dedicated volunteers, and I was more than happy to join as a wildlife rescuer.
A year on, I still have a lot to learn, but I've been lucky enough to be there for some amazing animals, who without our intervention would have had a slow a painful death. My best rescues so far have been a fox cub which was struck by a car but still led me on a muddy chase along a stream, bit me, and got me ripped to shred by brambles - he was successfully released 3 weeks later after some amazing work by the care team. And 3 cygnets, hanging by their necks in a crudely constructed chicken wire fence around the island where they were fledging from, this one ended up with me wading across the pond, fending off an angry adult swan with one arm whilst freeing the cygnets with the other!
earthrace conservation organisation
I first linked up with Earthrace after being inspired by Pete Bethunes' talk at Whalefest in 2013. At that time I was primarily concerned with ocean conservation, mainly shark finning and the devastation it is causing. To see someone so genuinely driven to protect our planet and it's oceans and wildlife was extremely refreshing and motivational. Earthrace are involved in lots of varied projects around the globe, from talks in schools, to frontline action to bust illegal fishing boats in Costa Rica. Pete and Bev of Earthrace were also instrumental in the rescue of Bojangles, linking us with the incredible Captain Chris Wade and the Sea Watch Shark Boat. That is something we'll never forget here at Rowers Ark, and without their help we simply would not be getting a second chance at this.