Fundraising

Moorfields charity walk from EyetoEye please sign up and help!

Help raise money for Birdshot research !

We thought it would be fun to get a team together to do the annual Moorfields EyetoEye walk on Sunday March 12th 2017.  After all, there are a lot of birdshotters who get treated at Moorfields and we believe it is great to be able to collaborate with other charity group events, especially if it is going to help promote relevant research.  Moorfield’s Eye Charity plans to have cake and coffee at the end and they are also going to have a live band and a bit of a celebration.  But afterwards, we wondered if we might find a venue close by (pub or cafe??) and have a bit more of an informal meet-up if we feel like it.

We’d love it if we can get 30 or 40 birdshotters walking (family and friends welcome) showing our support and enthusiasm for more research for birdshot.

So, our team is called “Birdshot.

You can sign up online https://www.moorfieldseyecharity.org.uk/eye-eye or if you prefer, you can pick up a registration form in the hospital which can then be returned to their office in an attached Freepost envelope. If you can’t find these in the hospital, Gaby in the Moorfields Eye Charity office is the person to go and find.  You may also see Gaby visiting the clinics, as part of her job is to go and meet patients.

Birdshotters can choose to walk either the 4-mile or 14-mile route according to fitness and preferences. Gaby has promised to let us have similar start times so that we can walk together, and that will also allow us to be able to get a great group photo before we set off.

4 miles – £12 to register

14 miles – £18 to register

There is no minimum sponsorship requirement: just raise as much as you can. You also get a free T-shirt and goodies at the end, but we will supply BUS T-shirts for all our walkers.

The times of the walk vary from 7.30am – 12 midday. I think we should go for a mid-morning time slot, eg, 11am, but I am open to suggestions.

If you want to take part, please sign up as directed above, but also drop me a line to let BUS know.  Here’s hoping for a sunny Sunday on 12th March!

Annie

Fundraising

Beer festival and a 52 mile walk to fundraise for birdshot

BUS members’ October fundraising
Birdshot beer bash

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Clare Wood from Newcastle held a beer festival for us, and above and below are a few pictures that set the scene.  By all accounts it was a very jolly occasion for fellow birdies, their friends and families and work colleagues.

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Birdshot helpers

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Birdshot bar staff

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Here is a message from Clare:   “Just a quick update on the fundraising beer festival. We are now at £2833 which is fab. Thanks to Sharron, Barrie, Debbie, Annie, and David and Carly for their help with prizes, flags and designs. Ella (my daughter) also raised £600 doing the Great North Run recently.”

BUS hopes that this might become an annual event, like the Birdshot Shoot.  Despite the massive amount of work Clare put in organising it, she has already said she will be in touch next year when (we hope) she may do another one!

52 miles for Birdshot

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Barrie Standish and his friend John are two keen fitness fanatics in the North West of England who thought they could easily manage a 52-mile stroll for birdshot.  The aim was to promote the eye condition and raise a bit of money along the way.

On Friday October 21st, just after lunch, they set off on their route.  They walked from Glazebury, going through Lymm, Knutsford and Holmes Chapel. They walked 26 miles out and returned the same way. They set off at a brisk pace, and by evening time it was obvious that they would be walking through the night.  It was not as easy as they had imagined.

The following morning at 6.02am, Barrie’s wife Debs reported on Facebook:  “He is home now and tucked up in bed. His words: NEVER AGAIN…. So proud of them. Thank you to all who have sponsored for this amazing achievement…He will suffer when he tries to get out of the bed.  I am sure there could be less challenging ways, but that’s Barrie!”

Barrie commented afterwards to his birdshot friends who had supported him online through the night: “Thank you so much for all your support and donations, really, really appreciated your well wishes, it went a long way in helping us keep going through the night. I can honestly say that I have never done anything that hard in my life! We had to dig deep and then find some more from somewhere. The last seven hours were purgatory. John lost the skin on both feet and toes, and I’ve got away with 3 blisters.  My legs are absolutely battered, I’m lying on the couch not knowing what to do with myself, it’s the tendons at the backs of my knees, I can’t straighten them properly, walking around like Max Wall.  Never ever again.”

But we say: watch this space!

Barrie raised nearly £1,000 from his walk which is a fantastic total.

What a fabulous couple of fundraising events from the north of England! Thank you all for your great efforts. BUS will be putting all the money raised from these two events towards future birdshot research.

Fundraising

4th Birdshot Clay Pigeon Shoot

For the fourth time in as many years, the beautiful Royal Berkshire Shooting School was the venue for John Hall’s Birdshot Uveitis Charity Clay Shoot day, sponsored by John F Hunt. The weather was not very early June-like, but it did not prevent the 28 teams of four having tremendous fun on the 10 stands provided. Top team, winning engraved whiskey tumblers, were the Greenshield JCB’s ‘Marksmen’ team: James Pengilley, Paul Poulter, Andy Skilton and Alex Cobb, with a superb score of 437, some way ahead of their rivals. Top gun was Paragon’s Richard Estrop of the creatively named ‘Paragon Pigeon Punishers’ team, while Carol Limehouse carried away the prize for Top Lady.

Before the auction, Miles Stanford, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, gave a brief talk about the current research being done on Birdshot Uveitis, a rare and potentially blinding eye condition. Lord Archer did the honours as auctioneer, as usual managing to extract money from people but leaving them with large grins on their faces.

The day raised approximately £50,000 for the Birdshot Uveitis Society (BUS). John Hall and all those at BUS would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to this enjoyable and successful day.

Below is a link to a slide show which gives a flavour for the day.  Photographs courtesy of Chris Warren  www.photoshoot.uk.com and www.chriswarrenphotography.com

 

 

 

Fundraising

Steroid fuelled fundraising

Clare Wood, a senior project manager based in Newcastle, knows from first-hand experience what living with Birdshot is like because, before her own diagnosis, her father had suffered from the same condition.  Her diagnosis came as something of a shock as she was just 41 at the time, and also because Birdshot is not supposed to run in families.

Clare is fortunate to be under the care of Mr Pandit at Newcastle Royal Infirmary, who looks after quite a number of Birdshot patients.  She had been taking a break from treatment, but following a recent flare, she is currently on aggressive treatment to get it under control again.

Naturally, BUS was delighted when Clare contacted us at the beginning of the year and said that her New Year’s resolution was to raise funds for Birdshot over the course of 2016.

“I’m a busy person and the steroids have given me a real boost, although I really would like to sleep more than 4 hours! My husband and kids (19 &17) are great and support me 100%. I feel that I need to do something, even if it is small, to try and aid research into this blooming disease.  My team at work are fab and are all giving their own time to support the fundraising and me.”

 Clare’s plan is to try and organize a small fundraising event each month, and her daughter has also agreed to take part in the Great North Run this year to help with the fundraising.

Recently we heard back from Clare who has been busy making great plans:

In January, she organised a ‘dress down day’ in her office and raised £70.

In February, she is doing a rare or unusual food tasting for Rare Diseases Day on 29th February.

Other activities which will involve her work colleagues, who like to do things together, include:

  • Cocktail-making classes
  • Bikini boot camp
  • Cookery sessions
  • Comedy night

Her daughter Ella has secured a place in the Great North Run, so we will be setting up her Just Giving page shortly.

On Saturday 15th October 2016, as a grand finale to these fundraising activities, Claire is organising a micro-brewery beer festival.

Clare has roped in her fellow Birdshotter Carly, who also lives in the Newcastle area and whom she met via the Birdshot Uveitis Society, to help with her fund-raising efforts.  Carly is trying to secure raffle prizes for the beer festival from local businesses.  Carly is also organising a work’s event of Rare Diseases day.

These great fund-raising ideas are a wonderful initiative. If Birdshotters in the North East area want to buy a ticket and go to the beer festival and enjoy the festivities, Clare has 175 to sell.   They will be going on sale in July, so if you are interested in going, watch this space!

She is also on the look-out for donations of prizes for the beer festival raffle. If anyone can help, they would be most welcome.

In the first instance, please contact info@birdshot.org.uk and we will put Clare in touch with you.

 

 

Fundraising

Barrie’s sponsored walk

BUS member  Barrie  and  his  wife Debs, decided to organise their own small sponsored walk to raise money for Birdshot Uveitis Society and they roped in a few of their friends,  to join them.  They walked from Rivington Barn in Bolton to the Grey Horse, Glazebury, Cheshire last Sunday 11th October.  Below they are pictured setting off and also on reaching their final destination.  Clearly they are a fit group.  The two women set a cracking pace and their 25 km walk was smashed in only 4 hours!

Barrie and his friends line up before the walk

With grateful thanks  to all who kindly sponsored this walk as well as those who actually did it.  Congratulations!   We are sure you all deserved a pint or two at the finishing line.

They reckon they will have raised over £1,000, between them which is absolutely fantastic.  It is not too late to add to their sponsorship as there is a donation page set up at Just Giving:

https://www.justgiving.com/Barrie-Standish

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Fundraising

3rd Clay Pigeon Shoot 3rd June 2015

On 3rd June 2015, we are holding our 3rd Annual Shoot at the Royal Berkshire Shooting Club.  We are delignted to announce that once again Lord Archer has kindly agreed to be our auctioneer.  The Shoot is already sold out, so we are well on our way and have set  £55,000 as an ambitious target to  beat!

If anyone  would like to offer attractive auction prizes for Lord Archer to sell off, we’d be delighted to hear from you with your ideas.

 

Fundraising

Fabulous fundraising up Kilimanjaro

Summit Photo of Martin and IThe operations director and senior contracts manager from John F Hunt have just come back from Tanzania having achieved a midlife objective that they had set themselves earlier last year, to scale Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa, and highest freestanding mountain in the world. They have also achieved their magnificent object of raising circa £20,000 for research into Birdshot. The plan was hatched many months ago and the first we heard about it was an email from Charity Challenge, the organisation who organised their trip, telling us of Bill and Martin’s plans. Bill and Martin know something of the problems that Birdshot can bring because their company’s MD just happens to have Birdshot.

Here is a first hand report of the expedition that we have just received. Bill picks up their story:-

“The trek began at the Rongai route entrance of the Kilimanjaro National Park. Our group, which consisted of 21, equally stupid… I mean intrepid trekkers, made our way over the next 4hrs at a rather pedestrian pace set by the porters to the Myers Camp Site at 2760 mtrs above sea level. “This is going to be easy” we thought!

The night was spent camping under the African night sky which was beautifully illuminated by the seemingly endless number of stars. Fantastic. Unfortunately sleep was not quite as fantastic as it seemed it would be as our tents and mats that had previously been set up by the porters had been placed on top of all the rocks and stones that they could find! and I would say that 2 hrs sleep max was all that was had.

The next day saw us rise at 6am to calls of “washy washy”?? The porters bring round a small bowl of warmish water for each person to wash in. Well, this is where reality hit home. This isn’t going to be a 5 star lavish experience and any dignity you may have wanted to reserve soon goes out the window in the course of trying to keep as clean as possible! Enough said.

Breakfast is served at 7am and consists of porridge, toast, eggs and more porridge, plus tea & coffee.

Following breakfast we then set off again and over the next two days, trekking for around 8-10 hrs a day we pass through Kikelewa Camp (3600 mtrs) and onto Tin Hut Camp (4200 mtrs), which is at the base of Mawensi mountain. This camp is a proper dust bowl and is situated in what can only be described as a desert type landscape, very barren and quite bleak. However, the view of the Mawensi peak above is cracking and quite awe inspiring.

Upon arrival at Tin Hut Camp, we take lunch, as we do everyday at around 1-2pm. This is a hot lunch and is generally a rice or pasta dish and in all honesty considering where you are the meals are not bad.

Following lunch we go for an “acclimatisation climb” for 2hrs which takes us to a ridge midway up Mawensi and to an altitude of 4420mtrs.

By now most of the party are experiencing some form of altitude related sickness. This materialises in the form of headaches, nausea, dizziness and breathlessness.

A number, if not the vast majority of the trekkers, myself and Martin excluded however, have opted to take Diamox which is medication which helps overcome the effects of altitude. We decide to tough it out as we suffer from “real man syndrome”, which probably means we have cut our nose off to spite our face!

We stay at the camp again that night, which is the only time you spend two nights in one camp and the following morning we head off on another acclimatisation trek, this time to the snow capped ridges of Mawensi, which takes us to an altitude of 4700mtrs.

At this altitude you definitely notice how out of breath you quickly become, particularly if you try and move too fast. The porters, from day 1, have repeated the words “poly poly”, which mean “slowly slowly” and I now appreciate why they purposely set the pedestrian pace to start with, which is in effect to get you used to it for later and the summit climb.

The following morning we head off on a 4hrs trek across what they call “The Saddle”, which is the flat stretch of land between the base of Mawensi and the base of Kilimanjaro. This is approximately a 9km walk which is across open, desert land and which takes us to Kibo Camp from where we will make our summit attempt later that evening.

Well, this is it. After dinner we are told to go to bed early and get a couple of hours sleep as we will be woken…….yeah right as if you can go to sleep, at 11am to prepare for the summit climb at midnight.

On Wed 11th February at midnight and following a quite serious briefing from our trek guide we finally began to climb/trek Kilimanjaro. You head off in a line and slowly zig zag up the mountain. In all honesty all you have to do is get yourself “in the zone” and simply focus on the pair of boots in front of you and follow on relentlessly for what seems an age. At one point I felt particularly dizzy and seemed to hallucinate also for a short while but you slap yourself out of this and continue. Martin I know found that his breathing was particularly laboured and had to dig deep to maintain progress.

Many of the others in our party were struggling to cope with various symptoms of altitude sickness and the neat line of trekkers soon became separated and distanced from one another as the individuals pace slowed to allow them to cope or not as the case may be. The porters, guide and doctor at this point were superb in recognising people having difficulties and ensured that they were encouraged to rest, eat and drink accordingly, to allow them to continue…hopefully.

Around 6am, mid way up Kilimanjaro the night sky changed and deep orange peaked over the horizon as the sun rose. This lifted the spirits no end and once the sun rose clear and the day brightened and blossomed the view across Tanzania and the neighbouring plains of Kenya was awesome and unforgettable.

Eventually we reached Gillians Point (5685 mtrs), which is known as the false summit, around 12 hrs after setting off. However, we were then informed that the true summit, Uhuru Point (5895 mtrs), was further around the rim of the crater and another 210 mtrs higher in altitude. This actually only looked a very short distance but proved to be a further 1 ½ hrs away and which was bloody tough going due to the reduced oxygen levels! This literally was take a laboured step and take a breath, take a laboured step and take a breath. Poly Poly !!

When Martin and I got there we were pretty knackered but ecstatic to have reached our goal. It’s a fantastic, satisfying and a quite overwhelming and even emotional feeling.

Attached is a photo of Martin and I at the summit, this is the shot we wanted and which we had trained for since April 2014 when the trek was originally organised.

After spending only probably 15 minutes at Uhuru Point we began the long decent back to Kibo Camp. All in all from the time we started the climb to the time we got back to camp it took 20hrs. Quite a mission. To cap it all, once back at Kibo, we were told that we then had to trek back across the saddle for another 4hrs to another camp site where we would spend the night, prior to one more 18k trek the next day back to the Rongai Gate and a well deserved couple of beers !

That’s one off the bucket list….thankfully. What’s next, hmmm.

I would like to take the opportunity at this point on behalf of Martin and I and indeed the Birdshot Uveitis charity to thank again all who have kindly dug deep and sponsored the trek. We currently, without taking into account the gift aid, have raised £18,860.00 but have another 3k approx pledged and therefore expect to exceed the £20.000 mark before the Just Giving Page closes in two weeks time. This is absolutely brilliant, well done everybody.

If, reading this, you feel inspired to contribute, you can still do so by googling:- www.justgiving.com/johnfhunt where upon it will become apparent how to post your donation.”

Fundraising

Help Chris raise money for Moorfields Eye charity

We’ve just received the following from Chris Hames, one of our members which we would like to promote.  He’d really appreciate your support!

Like a fool & something to do on a Sunday I have elected to cycle the London Surrey 100 cycle ride on the 10th August 2014. I thought for my effort it would be a good idea to raise some money for Moorfields Eye Charity & aim to raise at least £550. I do do some cycling when it is not windy & the sun is shining, but to date (two weeks ago) my maximum has been 51 miles & I did spectate on the Tour De France at the weekend just to see “how easy” it is (still not convinced). Any way, if you can post my link on the website https://www.justgiving.com/chris-Hames1/, I would appreciate as much support as I can to gee me up Box Hill & Leith Hill, finishing on the Mall hopefully will be the easy bit.

Many thanks,

Chris Hames.