Incredible generosity that never ceases to amaze me
CHARITY begins at home. That would be my mother’s mantra, and she would quote it at every appropriate moment during my formative years. It’s a philosophy I hold dear to this day. And as I consider Ashford my home, this is where it starts. I am always flabbergasted by how our community raises its game when it comes to people dipping their hands in their pockets to help. I am very lucky, through my job as a radio presenter, to be asked to be involved in many charity functions, and I am more than happy to lend a hand in any way possible. I was talking to Susan Booth, the head of fund-raising for the Pilgrims Hospices, who told me just how fortunate they are with our town and its fund-raising efforts. They rely on the likes of us for 70 per cent of their income. There are so many examples of people who get off their backsides and make things happen, and a special mention goes to my old mate Shaun King and the people of Stanhope and the surrounding area. Their incredible efforts raised thousands of pounds for CLIC Sargent recently, and a very special mention goes to Shaun’s daughter Alison, a true heroine. This Sunday sees yet another great event taking place in our town and I can already hear the buckets jangling. It’s the Givaudan 10k road race and children’s fun run, which is also sponsored by Ashford International Hotel and good old County Square, who do a remarkable amount of good for our town – as do a lot of businesses in the area, without making a fuss about it. I applaud you all. The number of entrants in this year’s race is already up 30 per cent on last year, which means that there will be a thousand or so runners, plus 200 children taking part in the fun run, which will be started by Ashford’s very own Olympian, Lisa Dobriskey. Of course some will be doing it just for fun, but many will be sponsored. It really warms my cockles. I urge everyone to get involved in some way, be it sponsoring someone you know who is taking part, or turning up at the glorious Julie Rose Stadium to voice your support. Or perhaps lining the streets to urge the runners on. Our wonderful multimedia journalist Sarah “Romney” Marshall will be trudging the streets to get an insight for us and we look forward to her report. But I would also like to hear from you about your experience of the day. How you got on, who you ran for, how much you raised, and so on. I wish you all the very best and I doff my cap in admiration as Ashford, once again, digs deep both physically and financially. What a wonderful bunch you are!
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