John Barrett here, the retired accountant who finds it difficult to say no. Here’s hoping all are well and enjoying life.
Since retiring back in 2015 luckily I have enjoyed good health. This has allowed me to participate in quite a few adventures including swims at both the North Pole and way down South in the Antarctic Peninsula, following Shackleton’s steps by walking across South Georgia and face to face with big Orang-utans trekking through the jungles of Sumatra to name a few.
Well now for the next and probably the most difficult, both mentally and physically, challenge I have faced – my 70th year – trekking to Everest Base Camp in October 2019
A little history here – for the last two years I have really enjoyed serving as a member of the board/trustee of Mary Ann Evans Hospice in Nuneaton, also part of the fund raising team. They do a fabulous job as the main provider of vital palliative and end of life services to North Warwickshire and beyond. They provide all services free of charge and receive a paltry 25% funding from the various Government sources. That means that this and every year they have to raise something like £1.7 million to survive.
You will have heard and probably seen lots of tales of Hospices having to reduce services given how hard it is to raise funds. Mary Ann is different – we are expanding our services in a hugely needed area – our Rapid Response Team which provides new and innovative care in the patient’s own home in their last hours is now a 24/7 service. Illnesses do not fit the normal 9 till 5 working pattern so our new night service, with response times of less than an hour, have made a massive difference to both needy patients and their families.
The seed was sown in a silly conversation between Peter Hanslip (former Medical Director at George Eliot Hospital) and myself – a little walk to Everest Base Camp and to raise as much as possible towards paying for year one of this new service – gulp £70,000 needed. Now a year on and a group of 20 of us are flying to Nepal on 6 October – most are of advanced years, a real mix of abilities and experience all determined to get there and back safely, a profile of 15 medical practitioners (consultants, surgeons, doctors), banker, accountant, engineer, governor and two at university, all happy to be classed as a right motley crew.
That little matter of raising enough cash – always a sting in my emails – yes I am on the scrounge, after sponsorship and most importantly trying to increase those who are happy to partner with Mary Ann.
One of my old accountancy clients Type Creative of Warwick is helping with the marketing and has kindly produced the attached leaflet which hopefully gives you a fuller understanding.
Mine is the hard part – normally a 130km trek and 18,000 feet above sea level.
What I am after is you kindly doing the easier part by logging in to my Just Giving account at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-barrett18 and sponsoring me. In fact, even better please ask lots of your family, friends and colleagues to also log in and donate. Hopefully with the right response we can all ensure the future of this invaluable service to those in their desperate time of need.
I almost forgot – a unique offer to all our corporate and organisational friends – Type Creative have kindly offered to design and print in very light weight silk (or similar Eco friendly material) your corporate flag/logo – that’s one for you to keep and one which the trekking team will take to and leave with all other prayer flags at or near Everest Base Camp. We will also be supplying you with superb photos for your own marketing purposes. It looks as though there will be some notable names backing us so please get in touch asap. If you are interested please contact us
My thanks to all for the many best wishes and encouragement received.