Sunday, 26 April 2020

Day One

So you pay your taxes (unless your name is Richard Branson, in which case you can self isolate right up your own jacksie). You take part in the Thursday night clap for the NHS. You’re a good person. If you’re really honest, you are a little bit fed up of everyone doing marathons in their back gardens and cycling the route of the Tour de France on their exercise bike (where are they now hanging their clothes, that’s what I want to know?), because it feels like the Just Giving website should be renamed

But. Yes, I have a huge but. (Yeah, yeah, laugh it up, but judge me when you’ve tried on your skinny jeans for the first time after five weeks of lockdown snacking...)

The Covid-19 pandemic is not only a killer, it’s a killer with a side hustle in collateral damage. Some of the knock-on effects are more obvious: the tanking worldwide economy, increased poverty, damage to people’s mental health. But there’s something else: this disease is threatening the existence of hundreds of small charities. Charities who’ve had to cancel fundraising activities because of social distancing and the lockdown. Charities whose income has plummeted, and who don’t have massive cash reserves to tide them over until life returns to normal. Charities who are vital to the people they help, and who save the Government thousands of pounds by stepping in to provide what in many cases the state doesn’t: expert advice; research funding; resources for families and professionals; emotional support, a listening ear; social contacts and events; and hope, above all else, hope.

The Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK is one such charity. When my daughter was born, 21 years ago, and she was diagnosed with this terrifying condition, and we felt like we’d stepped off a cliff and were in freefall, they were there to catch us. They were there to throw us the ropes to hold fast to as we slowly pulled ourselves up to safety and solid ground. And that’s why I’ve decided to take part in the 2.6 Challenge and climb Mount Everest 26 times in my bedroom!

Have I f*ck. 

I’m going for the wordy option instead. I’ll be writing a blog a day for 26 days.

You may think this is easy. But I am in lockdown with a 21-year-old person with Prader-Willi, an 11-year-old smart-arse, and a 55-year old man who left the room during a Zoom lockdown party and returned with crayoned-in circular piece of cardboard Pritt-sticked to his head as 'an experimantal miracle bald spot cure'. If I manage to type out anything apart from: “Help me!” in the next 26 days, it’ll be a bleedin’ miracle.

The PWSA UK will fold. It will die, unless it continues to get money coming in at a time when it cannot fundraise as normal. I’m not being hyperbolic or glib when I say that this charity saves lives and for some people makes lives worth living. 

Please go to my Just Giving (you know, OhGodNotAnotherOne) page. If you can spare just 26p, it would be help. £2.60 would be brilliant. £26 will earn you a small sexual favour of your choice, once social distancing is relaxed. 

Don’t take the piss and go for 2.6p, though. I’m going through enough.

Song is Courtney Barnett - Charity



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