On our wavelength
Richard Blundell took his experience of contracting coronavirus and turned it into a positive one, creating a community radio station
Sorrow at the loss of Jecca Brook – who died on May 21, aged 82 – has reverberated around Chipping Campden. But when her funeral took place on June 6, lockdown meant it had to be a private family service.
However, that wasn’t going to stop people mourning this extraordinary lady, who was such a force for good. On the day of her funeral, the streets of the North Cotswold town were quietly lined with residents determined to pay their respects.
A nurse from the age of 17, Jecca’s kindness and huge sense of humanity led to her founding the charity Campden Home Nursing in 1990. Trained in palliative care, she had helped care for her own parents, allowing them die peacefully at home. As a result, she understood both professionally and personally the utter importance of good end-of-life care.
She began her charity with £3,000, raised through donations, fundraising events, and even baking her own bread to sell. Today, Campden Home Nursing is a jewel in the town’s crown; last year, it nursed 178 patients and provided 5,386 free registered nurse hours to the community.
Hundreds have paid tribute to Jecca online, praising her kindness, generosity and great sense of humour. Her husband, David, their two children and grandchildren have tremendous reason to be proud.
A new portrait of Jecca, generously donated by local artist, Andrew Fergusson, will soon hang in pride of place at the office headquarters in Chipping Campden.
Good morning, Northleach town! Good morning, Bourton-on-the Water! Good morning, Europe! It’s another glorious Cotswold morning all the way across the metropolis that is Northleach. We are truly blessed to live in this amazing part of the world.
From Richard Blundell’s Breakfast
Show on Radio Northleach
Way back in early March, before lockdown started, Northleach resident Richard Blundell was at a meeting in London. Shortly afterwards, everyone who’d been there fell ill with coronavirus symptoms.
Which wasn’t great.
But what was great was the way one of the group, ahead on the illness curve, sent reassuring messages to the others.
“I took great comfort from my friend saying, ‘I’m on Day 4. This is what’s happening: it’s OK; you’re going to be fine,’” Richard says. “And I thought to myself: I know for some people it’s going to be really bad. But, for the vast majority, it will be fine. One of the worst things about all this is the fear.”
Back in Northleach, he and his family – wife, Laura, and eight-yearold daughter Lottie – went into selfisolation… And Richard began to form a plan. An ambitious plan (he knew that). “But I wanted to do something to cheer people up; to realise that, as a community, we could get through this together.”
His idea? He’d start a community radio station to try to bring some of the
Para-athlete Jonathan Brough from Minchinhampton featured in our pages recently after raising funds to get himself an all-terrain wheelchair. Aged 32, he’s been paralysed from the neck down and permanently attached to a breathing machine since he contracted meningitis at 19. True to form, he’s using his new chair to fundraise for good causes. He’s just completed routes totalling 100km in less than a month for Great Run Solo, notching up more than £1,000 for NHS Charities Together. And he has now embarked on GNR [Great North Run] Solo, a challenge to do 40 “runs” in 78 days, finishing on September 13.
You can see some of Jonathan’s first Great Run – including his final lap and victory spin - on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jonathan. brough.3
And you can sponsor him for his GNR at justgiving.com/fundraising/ jonathan-brough6
Cirencester Park Polo Club has sadly announced the death of member Philip Harris. During a prestigious career managing newspapers, his many achievements included overseeing the introduction of a full-colour web offset press at the Bedford County Press in 1968 – making him the youngest web offset manager in Europe; and as chief executive and managing director of the Bath Evening Chronicle, he founded the Captains’ Club for business leaders in the city.
Born in London, Mr Harris joined the Parachute Regiment after school, seeing action in Suez and Cyprus, and taking part in the 3 PARA parachute assault on El Gamil airfield during the Suez conflict.
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Esther, his son and daughter, and six grandchildren.