Story

Over the past few months, I have been working with the Oxfordshire Community Foundation to establish my charitable fund, What Martha Did Next.

I am a single parent, and my only child, Martha Fernback, died on 20 July 2013 (aged 15) after swallowing half a gram of MDMA powder (more widely known as ecstasy). I started writing 5,742 Days: A Mother’s Journey Through Loss within hours of Martha’s death. It depicts a real-time account of the first 102 days without my precious daughter – despite it being tragic, it also highlights how we can find strength from nowhere and positivity and determination to survive in order to still find meaning in our lives.

This strange journey has opened many doors for me that would have otherwise remained firmly closed. I’ve had lunch at the House of Lords and been invited on various TV and radio stations – but what a high price I’ve paid for this privilege. Regardless of how nerve-wracking I find public speaking and live media interviews, I am much more terrified of any other parent ever knowing how it feels to be me.

I am planning various community-based initiatives to engage with young people in particular, and to start a two-way dialogue in order to highlight the various prejudices and challenges that exist within a modern society. Most of us remember the sensitive and challenging transition from childhood into adulthood, and how frustrated we felt when our points of view were ignored or disregarded.

Modern teenagers need a voice and to feel that they are really being heard. This in turn will help nurture and shape an empathetic and compassionate society which we will all benefit from.

Anne-Marie Cockburn (Martha’s mum)

Anne-Marie is currently welcoming invites from schools, rehabilitation centres, prisons and other relevant institutions, enabling me to continue raising awareness via:

·        Focus groups – Using her book 5,742 Days as the basis for discussion, providing a unique and invaluable insight

·        Guest speaking – Anne-Marie's story may be difficult for many of us to hear, but her honesty and down-to-earth approach enables audiences to connect with her fully

·        Community-based initiatives – Including self-esteem, peer-to-peer counselling, how to reduce harm in a modern society, welfare, and desensitisation of drugs

·        All secondary school libraries stocking her book – A valuable resource from a viewpoint we rarely get to witness

Visit Anne-Marie's website for regular updates about her work: 

www.whatmarthadidnext.org


 

 

Updates 12

£300.00 raised at a night of brilliant music, courtesy of the band ‘Rudaz’ held at The Jam Factory, Oxford, in aid of Martha’s fund. Thank you to everyone involved in helping to raise awareness.

13/08/14 12:20

Visit Anne-Marie's website at www.whatmarthadidnext.org

08/05/14 11:46

Anne-Marie has been visiting some Secondary Schools to find out how we can work together for positive change and Ley Community to see the good work they do.

27/03/14 09:44

Two radio interviews: [BBC Oxford] http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01t53bt; [The Today Programme] https://audioboo.fm/boos/1988188-less-strict-drugs-policy-could-have-saved-my-daughter?

18/03/14 12:05

And more press coverage . . . [The Guardian] http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/14/my-daughter-died-taking-drugs-ecstasy; [The Times – official interview] http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/newsreview/features/article1356855.ece; More . . .

18/03/14 12:04

Raising money for

Oxfordshire Community Foundation

Oxfordshire Community Foundation

Charity Registration No. 1151621

The Oxfordshire Community Foundation is a charitable organisation that connects donors wanting to invest in a thriving future for our county with the dynamic local causes that make change happen.

Donations 24

In memory of Martha and in support of Ann Marie x

Donation by Aileen Drillingcourt on 27/03/15

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Read your book 5742 Days. Very moving. Pease continue educating young people across the UK about the dangers of drugs.

Donation by Anonymous on 05/01/15

£5.00

+ £1.25 Gift Aid

A moving and brave legacy

Donation by Andrew Leahy on 14/11/14

£25.00

An important message that people need to hear. I am happy to help

Donation by Jack Leahy on 13/11/14

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 07/10/14

£20.00

Donation by Anonymous on 24/08/14

10,00 €

Prohibition simply does not work: legal regulation and education has to be a better way. I'm so sorry for your loss, and so impressed by what you are doing now. I wish you all the very best.

Donation by Paul Webb on 22/07/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Sending strength and courage to everyone who knew Martha on this awful day. She would undoubtedly have grown into an extraordinary woman, just like her mother.

Donation by Kathy Metcalfe on 20/07/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

I can't make the Rudaz gig on 27/7 but here's £20.

Donation by Graham Harding on 18/07/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

For the book - thank you

Donation by Alan on 07/07/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation by Rev. Dr. Robert Everett, Plymoutm Ma, US on 25/06/14

$100.00

Donation by Anonymous on 25/06/14

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Duncan McGuffog on 13/06/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

It's such an inspiration seeing you respond with compassion & positivity rather than negatively with anger and retribution. Respect!

Donation by Julian Buchanan on 13/06/14

£20.00

Donation by Elaine on 12/06/14

Donation by Anonymous on 12/06/14

£50.00

+ £12.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 12/06/14

Donation by Anonymous on 14/03/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Dear Anne-Marie every page of 5742 days touched me very deeply as I remembered beautiful Martha as a baby. Your writing is so brave and honest and a source of huge inspiration. With much love

Donation by Jane Green on 03/03/14

£30.00

+ £7.50 Gift Aid

Just finished reading 5,742 days. We are on day 54. So many emotions resonate. You write so beautifully. We give in memory of your little Martha and our beautiful Lily Marianne (6634 days) xxxx

Donation by Kate Cleal on 29/01/14

From all of us at Bigtop we wish Anne-Marie every success in this worthy project. With love x

Donation by bigtop design on 23/01/14

£200.00

+ £50.00 Gift Aid

Dearest A-M, We are so very willing to support you & your campaign in Little M's memory. A great cause & also a fantastic way to keep her alive in our hearts & minds. Much love, Michele & Paul xxx

Donation by Michele Rodriguez & Paul McErlean on 17/01/14

£30.00

+ £7.50 Gift Aid

10% of proceeds from book launch party and £22 donation from Bamboo Pilates in Eynsham.

Donation by Infinite Ideas on 05/01/14

£77.00

+ £19.25 Gift Aid

Anne-Marie I wish you every success raising awareness of Martha's story xx

Donation by Jeannine Bramwell on 03/01/14

£30.00

+ £7.50 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£810.13
  • Offline donations£1,525.70
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£2,335.83
  • Gift Aid£155.50

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