So here we are: blog not looking too bad, busy with council work, constantly trying to stop two small children from killing themselves and all signed up to do a leg of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race in 2018.
Oh yes, because clearly I look the athletic type! How exactly do you go from doing RYA Level 2 Dinghy Sailing to signing up to sail the North Atlantic on a 70ft yacht?
I’m not entirely sure myself really. It’s been quite a whirlwind journey already; One minute I was getting the email to say I had been accepted, subject to training and the next it’s a whirlwind of contracts, kit lists, training dates & parties to meet the other crew.
Now all I have to do is spend
some quite a lot of time in the gym and raise the money to pay my berth fee.
Now there’s the stickler. The truth is, much as the Clipper is a fantastic adventure, it so happens that adventures don’t come cheap. It’s going to cost me some £12,000 and that’s without the cost of insurance and flights and kit and…….. ok lets not get too carried away.
Along with some fundraising events, my aim is to cover at least some of my costs, by getting sponsorship. Mostly corporate sponsorship but if anyone has any spare cash lying around they don’t need, I’d be a more than willing recipient. 😉
In exchange for any sponsorship, there are a number of things I can offer forward thinking and adventurous local companies, most of which are detailed on the sponsorship tab in the top menu. I do really want this to be a local thing, I live in West Norfolk, I’m a Borough Councillor in West Norfolk and I’d like West Norfolk to be involved in my Clipper Journey. Because as well as raising the money for my berth fee, I’d also like to take the opportunity to raise awareness and some funds for a few local causes that are very dear to me. So there will be an online sponsorship page appearing in the not too distant future, where kind hearted people can give money to those causes.
The Friends of Magdalen School: Both my boys attend Magdalen Village School. If there was ever an advert for a fantastic and caring learning environment, it would feature Magdalen. Being a small school is not easy, but they face challenges and accept the children for who they are without complaint or fuss. They have done amazing things with my boys, they have achieved things I don’t believe they would have achieved at any other school. As a family we are truly grateful.
The Magpie Centre – West Norfolk Riding for the Disabled: Again, both boys ride every week at the Magpie Centre. Riding is good for their development and as a therapy, the staff and volunteers are incredibly patient with all of their riders and their parents! Horses are not cheap animals to keep and the boys absolutely adore their horses.
West Norfolk NAS: For the families of children with ASD, the local NAS group is a lifeline. They provide coffee mornings to meet other parents and private, specialist activities for the children such as swimming lessons and trips to play centres. So that families don’t have to feel different, or explain their child’s behaviour as everyone understands and is very supportive.
Wells Lifeboat Appeal – Wells Lifeboat Station is one of 236 around the country run by the RNLI. They currently have 2 lifeboats and are running an appeal to raise £250,000 towards the cost of a new Shannon Lifeboat. The Wells Lifeboat crew and helpers are on call 24 hours a day, every single day of the year. They’re all unpaid volunteers and keep themselves busy rescuing walkers, kayakers, wind surfers, swimmers and sailors. If I ever get into trouble out in boat and need them, they will be there.
For me, it’s an exciting journey, but I’m not too proud to admit that I’m more than a little afraid. This isn’t going to be easy, the Clipper is not a nice cruise, it’s an ocean yacht race and anything can happen. The training is going to be hard, raising the money is going to be hard, not least on my bank balance and leaving the kids is going to be hardest of all. But still something drives me on. Maybe it’s the excitement of doing something hugely challenging, maybe it’s being part of the wide and supportive Clipper family, maybe it’s the thrill of facing down the North Atlantic waves, I’m not really sure.
I want to teach my boys that anything is possible, that ordinary people can do extraordinary things and that dreams are there for the making. If along the way I can raise the profile of West Norfolk and raise some much needed funds for some Norfolk causes, then surely that can only be a good thing?
Hold tight – this journey could get a bit wild!