Hello to you all
I have set myself the ultimate goal of raising £20,000 to fund a partnership for Canine Partners in memory of my son Olly . It is now just over 2 years since the sudden loss of Olly and though it is true to say with time the pain is more bearable, there are occasions when I am just overcome with grief and simply just miss him .
Going to Uganda for 5 weeks to volunteer with the Katosi Womens Development Trust in March this year (the second anniversary) was a huge positive experience for me . It gave me the purpose in life that I was looking for, that has enabled me to really believe that one should take each day as it comes and make the most of it . Loosing Olly was devastating , but I am fortunate to have many positives in my life , in particular a wonderful, kind and loving daughter Alice.
Also through my job at Canine Partners, I have a very positive purpose and I was fortunate to have the opportunity, only last month to see first hand how our charity really does make a difference to those living with physical disabilities. I supported one of Canine Partners engagement days, being held for the applicants currently on our waiting list. Sadly the waiting list is closed at the moment, due to 150 people already on it . These 150 people are now simply waiting to be matched with one of our amazing trained assistance dogs . One of those amazing dogs is soon to be 'puppy Olly'. He is now in advanced training at Fields Farm in the Midlands and his trainer Amanda , is delighted to report that he is doing well. Amanda says that "Olly is a delightful boy, full of personality and eager learner. He's very obedient, and is progressing well with his task work! He does have a mind of his own sometimes, getting ahead of himself! But like all good students, he is learning to steady himself and listen to instruction. I'm thoroughly enjoying training Olly here at our Midlands Centre."
I am totally biased , but he is a strong , good looking dog, who will make a perfect canine partner and I get quite emotional to think that maybe one of those applicants I met at the engagement day , might just be matched with him . I did meet some amazing people, who despite their disabilities and their long wait for a canine partner they remain positive . I have no doubt their lives will change once matched, I have seen it first hand and met with many partnerships who describe how their lives have truly changed with their CP by their side .
With the knowledge that in memory of my amazing son , a person will be supported to enjoy many of the things I simply take for granted fills me with such happiness, it makes the loss more bearable. I believe my Olly will be proud of 'puppy Olly' and how he is helping someone else , as Olly was very much like that himself.
So I am pleased that I have reached nearly £12,000 , but I still have a way to go to reach the target of £20,000, which will fully fund the partnership. I know being constantly asked to support many good causes is a challenge in itself , I hope you dont mind me letting you know what I am up to now . I will cycling from London to Paris on 6th September and hopefully finishing the 275 miles by Sunday 9th September arriving at the Effel Tower late afternoon.
I love my cycling, but have had little time to train , my last big push is on bank holiday weekend, when I will be cycling around the Isle of Wight , plenty of hills to ensure the training pushes me ! I am just hoping my daily running along the beach with my own dog Molly will be enough to get me through.
I am them walking part of the Pembrokeshire coastline weather permitting over the weekend of what would have been Olly's 25th birthday in November and then hopefully 'puppy olly' would have finished his advanced training and met his partner for the next 10 years . What an achievement and what a fantastic celebration to have for Olly .
much love to you all and thank you for all your support.
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