Friday, 8 March 2013

Overcoming Adversity out now!

Yes! It's finally here. A few weeks ago, I organised a blogfest on my writing blog whereby members of the incredible writing community would contribute pieces - real life, flash fiction, poetry - on the theme of "overcoming adversity". I never could have anticipated the overwhelming response, leading to the end result of what I hope is a diverse and inspiring collection of 70 stellar individual items.

All proceeds of the book will go directly to Andrew's college fund. Links to buy are as follows:

Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon UK (paperback)
Amazon US (Kindle)
Amazon US (paperback)

We also have massive news regarding Andrew's journey to college. Andrew's social worker has completed her assessment and is recommending he attends Beaumont College. That doesn't mean he's home and dry yet, but it's a huge step towards getting the local council behind our case.

Finally, my wife has started up a home business to raise funds, selling wax warmers - wickless candles with no flame and no mess. Simply plug it in and melt wax bars on top to give off a variety of pleasant aromas. Again, this has only been going a few short weeks, but it's taken off in a big way! Please visit Heather's website to find out more.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Wax Lyrical

Hello again! We're still keeping extremely busy with fundraising as we head into a new year. Exciting news - Heather is now running her very own Scentsy business Wax Lyrical, selling wickless candles, hand creams and soft toys! There are some lovely items available, so visit the Facebook page and website for all the details.

Preparations for the Ladies' Night are well under way. This will be held on Saturday March 2nd, at Crofthead Farm in Livingston, West Lothian. All are welcome for what is promised to be an evening of glitz and glamour, with cocktails and Buff Butlers! Even if you don't live in the area, it will be worth coming and making a weekend of it. Go here for full details. Tickets are going fast, so get yours now!

In other news, I've been overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of support and sign-ups I've had for my Overcoming Adversity bloghop. The aim of this is to tap into the amazing array of talent of all my writing friends online by having them post a short piece, on the theme of overcoming adversity, on their blog on the 4th and 5th of February. Thereafter I will compile them into an anthology to be released through Amazon which will go towards the college fund. The linky list will remain open until the 3rd, so feel free to go and check out all the details and sign up! I'm investigating the possibility of a book launch in the local area, so stay tuned for any news of that.

Finally, check out this gorgeous blanket which has been handmade for Andrew to take with him to college. It's a memory blanket, made out of squares of fabric from items of clothing donated by the whole family. It's quite hard to see the fabric at the edge but it features little blue stars and came from a tiny shop in Brighton. Our very talented friend Caroline Perry made it for him. Lovely, I'm sure you'll agree!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Race Night and other news

It's been a very busy few weeks for the campaign. Practically nonstop! The first thing to talk about is the Race Night, which took place last Friday. We were pleased at the turnout and Heather and I enjoyed being the bookies! A good amount was raised and the kids had fun shaking their stuff at the disco. Thanks to all those who came along and had a flutter, and those who couldn't make it but became horse owners, jockeys or trainers beforehand.

Last week we also had our fabulous Advent Auction for Andrew, with many goodies up for grabs, including festive ones! This also raised another good bit and we want to say a huge thank you to all those who donated and bid on the items.

This week is your last chance to win an amazing 28" football flat screen TV. Only £1 a ticket and delivered in time for Christmas! Comment below to enter.

Heather is looking at holding a Ladies' Night on March 22nd for the next event. Tickets will be £15, and she's promising cocktails, cupcakes, pampering, beauty and more! Even if you don't live in the local area, we really hope you can come and make a weekend of it!

Finally, wish Andrew luck as he goes back into hospital tomorrow to get his casts changed. He will now have half length ones on his legs for another eight weeks. He's done great since the operation so far, never complaining - that's our Superstar!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Good News!

Andrew in the hospital (Mum in the background!)
Sorry about the tardiness of this post. But I'm very happy to report that Andrew is now resting at home with his feet up, after being in hospital for an operation to straighten his legs. He came through it with practically no complications (just swollen toes meaning his casts had to be cut open), and we're hoping this will have a massively positive impact on his posture when he sits. I'll keep you updated as to when he's back up and about!

As usual with the campaign, there's a lot going on. We're holding a Race Night and Disco at a local club on Friday, December 7th. You can be involved in this exciting night wherever you are! There will be eight races, and each will have eight horses, eight jockeys and eight trainers.

1. Buy a horse and you become the owner - £3 each, and if the horse wins - YOU WIN THE SPONSOR'S PRIZE!
2. Buy a jockey - £1 each, and if the jockey wins - YOU WIN £5!
3. Buy a trainer - £1 each, and if the trainer wins - YOU WIN £5!

Sounds good, eh? You can comment below to enter. Don't be shy!

And we also have three fantastic raffles running at the moment:

* Delicious and indulgent afternoon tea at Mamasan, Glasgow

* Devilishly good Boudoir Experience at Choccywoccydoodah, Brighton

* Dazzling 28" football flatscreen TV (draw on 15th December!)

Tickets only £1 each... you know you want to!! Comment below to enter.

We are also still gathering items for our second online auction, to be held in December. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for sneak peeks. As before, let me know if there's anything you'd be able to donate. Thanks for all the wonderful support so far!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Family Fun Day and Fayre and College Assessment

Andrew with two of our awesome helpers,
Lucy and Jo at the Fun Day
What a fantastic week for the campaign! Our very first Family Fun Day and Fayre took place on Saturday at Ravenstruther Hall, Lanark and was a great success, raising nearly £400. A massive thanks to everyone who came along either to run a stall or to browse and support. We were very pleased with the turnout and are already planning the next one in the Spring.

On Thursday and Friday, Andrew went down for his assessment and overnight stay at Beaumont College. This visit was all about planning what Andrew wants to achieve at college, choosing courses, and seeing what support he will need. Needless to say, everyone took a shine to Andrew with his beaming smile and enthusiastic attitude and it is gratifying to see that Andrew's potential has been recognised. We are all really excited about what the future will hold!

Andrew has also been expressing his artistic side with his new Eye Gaze technology, using his eyes to select colours and make brush strokes. Here is one of the pieces he has created.

Some of Andrew's excellent artwork
And finally, Andrew is going into hospital tomorrow to prepare for the operation on his legs on Wednesday. This operation is all about enabling Andrew to sit better in his chair and improving his posture. With luck, everything will go smoothly and he'll be up and about in no time!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Newspaper Coverage and Eye Gaze

Another excellent week for Andrew's campaign. His story was featured in the Scottish Sunday Express - please go and check it out and add a comment as this will increase the story's visibility. Next stop will be TV coverage!

Andrew ready to scare as a Psychotic Surgeon on Halloween
Andrew has recently started using an eye gaze communication aid where he uses his eyes a bit like a mouse. He looks at the screen, then selects by holding his gaze for a fixed period of time (instead of clicking the mouse, he holds his gaze). We've just been told by Andrew's speech and language therapist that there is huge potential here for Andrew to use this system to "talk". He has very quickly 
understood how it works, and has been using his eyes to paint pictures. He's going to sell some of these paintings at our Family Fun Day and Fayre! 
THIS is why Andrew deserves to go to college; without college he will not have the opportunity to continue to develop his skills.

Thanks for all your support so far. I'm planning a bloghop in January that should result in something very special to raise funds for the campaign: watch this space!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Andrew's Birthday and Sponsored Cycle Run

Andrew with his dad Neil at
the start of the bicycle race
Well, what a week it's been for the campaign. Andrew entered adulthood on Monday when he turned 18 and celebrated with two cakes (one from Mum and one from school!) We've added three fantastic raffles to the Facebook pagea decadent and indulgent afternoon tea for two with gourmet sandwiches, chef’s cakes & treats and a vintage teapot filled with your choice of cocktail to share at the recently re-launched Mamasan on Bath Street Glasgow; a delicious Boudoir Experience at Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton, and don't forget the amazing 15" flat screen football TV still up for grabs! Go on, snag yourself a top treat for next to nothing and support a great cause!

Also, today was a great day as we all went for our Sponsored Cycling Run in Strathclyde Park, North Lanarkshire. The sun may not have shone but we had fun cycling the 6k round the lake, and as you can see, Andrew was beside himself! We have yet to tally up the final total but we've raised a wonderful amount from our generous sponsors - thanks to you all!

We are currently looking for our items for our second Online Auction to be held in the run up to Christmas. Again, check the Facebook page to see the items that have been donated so far, and get in touch if you'd like to contribute. And if you're in the area we've got our Family Fun Day and Fayre in Ravenstruther Hall, Lanark on November 10th.