Life as a Fundraising Intern – Video Games(Aid)
11/02/2013

Life as a Fundraising Intern is proving to be as busy and insightful as ever. Reflecting on the events of this week, there has been lots to get involved with and a great deal more to learn from.

Monday afternoon saw the arrival of a number of Action For Kids beneficiaries, as well as a selection of representatives from the games industry charity Games Aid. This is because, following their extremely generous donation in support of our charity and our work last year, they were keen to return, finding out more about the work we do in aid of our young people and how their money was making a difference. It was lovely to become re-acquainted with some familiar faces I had the chance to meet at a previous GamesAid event, while also being introduced to some new people, and getting to know more about them.

All in all, there were a total of three beneficiaries, all present in order to be featured in this year’s GamesAid video. One particular beneficiary was a bright, bubbly, out-going, and chatty young girl with Down’s Syndrome who had beautifully coiffed hair and a natural affinity for a camera. I was also asked to partake in the filming, as I have been a beneficiary of the charity in the past, knowing only too well the difference that being provided with life-changing equipment can make. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking of the ways that this unique charity has impacted my life, being able to converse and share stories. Then there was George, an incredibly adorable, inquisitive and clever two-year old little boy, who although camera shy seemed very pleased with his new equipment provided by Action For Kids. George’s ‘Whizzybug’ was an eye-catching, pillar-box red electronic chair, complete with a child-friendly design featuring a set of wide, friendly eyes positioned exactly where the headlights would be on a car. It was great to watch George play and interact with his twin brother; while witnessing the mutual amount of love and admiration they held for one another.

A selection of GamesAid representatives, alongside some Action For Kids beneficiaries and staff.

Proof of a great afternoon spent with representatives from GamesAid.

Listening to George’s mum talk of the difference that the new chair has made to her family’s life was incredibly special, putting into perspective the great work that GamesAid helps the charities it supports to achieve. Being given a sense of independence is invaluable, and in providing equipment to both George and all the other families that Action For Kids helps, it is clear that they are not only giving them real freedom, but also the freedom to realise their potential; helping them to triumph over the challenges that having a disability may present.

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Beach volleyball all over again only this time with a lot more rain
14/07/2011

It was this time of year again, the annual beach volleyball tournament. This was held at the usual place the Broadgate arena, between Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.

This was a fundraising event where a load of different organisations including Action For Kids as well as our corporate sponsors all form teams to play beach volleyball until they have a winning team at the end of the day.

I was not particularly happy about having to get up over an hour earlier than I usually do to go to Action For Kids on the day. I usually get a lie in after working for the supermarket at midnight the night before and I also wasn’t sure that I could raise quite the same bucket loads as last year and live up to expectations but apart from all that i was looking forward to the event.

I got up and went my usual way to near the AFK headquarters but instead I went into Hornsey station to make my train journey to the Broadgate arena.  After a stop or 2 I happened to see Jo Read (Work related learning director) on the train on her way to the marks and Spencer’s nearby. she wasn’t due to be at Broadgate as soon as I was so i was  running a little late but I did get there.

My first job when I got there was to help lay out the pitch and carry some flags for the sitting volleyball.

This was proving a difficult task for us all. With my work colleague Ben and my line manager Edward we were not finding it easy, however me and Ben were left to it as Edward’s help was needed at the main volleyball game. I had to bring back my childhood-developed skills in completing jigsaw puzzles and when it was done we ended up with the London Underground sign. As Ben as a fellow aspie (person with asperger syndrome) had an obsession with trains and liked to bombard people at  work with e-mails about trains, so he was pleased when the underground sign was completed I took his photo of him in front of the giant underground sign on his phone and my phone so we could show people. As I myself thought it was a big achievement for him as he multi-tasked by doing man well (due to his Hungarian accent he pronounces manual as “man well”) and bombarding at the same time and he managed to make it both about trains and work related.

Ben surveys their handiwork

It was past 10 o’clock when we completed the task so me and Ben reported to Carolyn who was running the event to ask what we had to do next. I was hoping I could do some collecting and get some money as the weather was alright and a few people were beginning to gather round and watch the games, only it turned out the collection licences were on the minibus with Sam Holloway (work related learning manager) and the work related learning students, and were not due to arrive till about half past eleven. This meant I had a break for a bit however some valuable collection opportunities were lost.

However later on the minibus arrived and the collection licences were found.

But once I managed to start collecting it started to rain, luckily this meant that people all went under the sheltered part of the arena where the shops were. So it was ideal for me to go round everybody so I was able to capitalise on this being the nearest place that was sheltered from the rain for the passing public. The bucket started to fill up with change. By the time I made the first bucket too heavy to carry the rain had stopped and the sun had came out and as it was lunch hour more people started to come out and watch the game

Many city folks in suits kept on adding to the loot.  Handfuls of pound coins kept pouring in as I continued with my bucket constantly collecting.

There was a group of rich women who as I kept complimenting they pulled out £5 notes and kept putting them in. After more collecting someone one even put a £10 note in.

Ready to hit the crowds!

I later had a break for lunch, I then had a rest to watch the game myself, which i enjoyed as afk’s team seemed to be winning but i was told that we were yet to play the team that won last year which i think was a hedge fund company. That would make sense as they could afford better players.

All to play for

Afterwards just as I was about to start collecting again it then started to rain. Carolyn who was in charge of the event gave me a clear plastic hoodie which made me look like I was some kind of forensic scientist so I had to go round collecting looking like I was from CSI Broadgate.

All-weather collection Rich

But it did protect me from the rain and as I continued to collect it was beginning to quieten down but it did get better when the sun came out again. More pound coins and someone even put a £20 note in my bucket.

There was a couple of funny incidents which would have been good as comic sketches on the credit crunch, one of which was the banker picking up a penny in the street, another was when I went collecting and there was a banker about to get on one of those bikes for hire to the general public with the Barclay’s bank logo on them that Boris the mayor of London provides. When he said he didn’t have any money I said “So it’s that bad is it? The banks are giving out company bikes rather than company cars, I didn’t know your job had got that bad”. He laughed and a couple of £2 coins came out of his pocket and into my bucket.

As i continued things got funnier and better, there was a team playing who wore red and white stripey tops just like in the old childrens  book “Where’s Wally” so i made the joke that it was becoming more like wallyball. After about 7 something pm I was told that work was over, so Paul the finance director was taking us to a Moorgate pub nearby for drinks so all in all a good day!

A long beer after a long day

See The Difference!
07/07/2010

Just like us, you can be a pioneer…. We’re always looking for great new ways to shout about the work we do, and that’s why when we got a call from the team over at See The Difference about their new video site, we were all over it like… well… you get the idea!

A bit of background for you.  See The Difference is a brand new way to make a difference, where you can browse lots of videos and choose a charity project that means something to you (such as ours!). You’ll get to know exactly where your money is going, and then see the difference you make from the feedback each charity will give about that project. Cool, huh?! Naturally, we hope the first one you’ll check out and share with all your mates is ours! Here it is …

Action For Kids film clip on See The Difference

So, at the start of this post, we tempted you with the idea of being a pioneer like us.  We were one of the first charities in the UK to sign up to See The Difference, and you can be one of the very first people to use the site!  We’re pioneering new ground together; it’s all about team work! What we would really love for you to do, is to go mad with the Share button!  There’s a Facebook Like button so you can easily post it to the wall, or a big tweetable T for Twitter, or you can even email it to your friends if you’re feeling a bit old school.  Of course, we won’t turn you away if you want to donate as well! Check out our awesome video, let us know what you think!

Film clip of Action For Kids Student Reunion Party
04/02/2010

Please click here  to view a 5 minute clip of the annual Christmas reunion. Our charity and training centre for disabled young people hosted a party for our students paid for by a donor. Students performed a fashion show and a talent show.  

Please note the video opens in YouTube and Action For Kids is not responsible for content on YouTube.

Two Weeks in Queens Square…………a.k.a. two weeks of hell!
08/07/2009

A couple of weeks ago, I fell ill. I first went to the Whittington hospital, where I spent 2 days in A&E. After that, I was transferred  in an ambulance to Queens Square – the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. As there was the potential for me to have an operation, the hospital put me onto a neurosurgical ward. This is where the nightmare began.
 
ambulance
 
          
          After I had seen my consultant (Mr. Watkins), I noticed an ambulance crew coming in with another patient. For the next two weeks, that patient kept bringing up everything they ate! Not only that but it turned out I was the only person in the ward under the age of 70.They did an operation and took a bolt out of my head and put a pressure monitor in my head for the next week. That accidentally came out prematurely when I moved in my sleep but they had enough readings to see that the pressure was normal. 

So I was referred to a headache specialist who said it was post traumatic migraine, the result of too much brain surgery. He gave me an anti epileptic / migraine drug which will take 6 weeks to work. So for the time being I’m on homeopathy and taking it easy ie playing Playstation! The things you have to go through to get a bad migraine sorted out!

Bloggd by Toby