It’s the Charity Christmas Card week, from 15th – 22nd November 2015.
Deputy Mayor Eastleigh Councillor Des Scott opened Chandler’s Ford’s 42nd Joint Charities Christmas Market last Saturday (14th November 2015).
Visitors were encouraged to be generous to support the 11 charities which took part this year, at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church Hall.
Last year I introduced major participating charities in Chandler’s Ford Joint Charities 41st Christmas Market 2014.
Today I’ll be sharing a few highlights from this year’s event. Follow the links below to get to the sites of these charities to support them.
- British Heart Foundation: we fight for every heartbeat
- CLIMB: Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases
- Cystic Fibrosis Trust: fighting for a life unlimited
- Jubilee Sailing Trust: changing lives. We take both able-bodied and disabled people to sea.
- Bloodwise: beating blood cancer
- Eastleigh Borough and Romsey Mencap Society: enhance the life chances of children and adults with learning disabilities
- Muscular Dystrophy UK: fighting muscle-wasting conditions
- Myaware: fighting Myasthenia together
- PCF – Philippine Community Fund improves the quality of life for impoverished Filipino communities
- RNLI: saving lives at sea
- The RSPB: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: giving nature a home
One advantage of visiting the Joint Charities Christmas Market in Chandler’s Ford is that we get to buy inexpensive Christmas cards, gift wraps (rolls and rolls of them), hand-made cards, and some unusual gifts, such as a walking stick!
Why sending Christmas cards?
If you are debating if you should send charity Christmas cards this year, have a look at this animated advert by Traidcraft:
- They (Christmas cards) made a big difference to charities.
- You can be creative.
- Cards cover up holes in the wall. (This one is my favourite!)
- You can demonstrate how many friends you have.
- It’s fun to write cards. (Well, this one I’m not quite sure of!)
- You can put a gift in.
- People don’t always see social media posts.
- It shows that you made an effort.
- No one can have too many cards.
- No one likes too many emails.
— Traidcraft (@traidcraft) November 17, 2015
The Joint Charities Christmas Market is not an ordinary market you find in any street.
The Christmas Market is not commercial. It’s a Christmas market filled with love and passion.
There are loyal fans who visit the market every year to stock up small gifts, meet friends, while supporting the charities.
Everyone who worked and fundraised for the event did it voluntarily. They raised money and awareness for the charities they are passionately involved with.
When you buy a pack of cards, you are making a personal connection with the volunteers, and supporting their causes.
Jubilee Sailing Trust: challenge perceptions of ability
The mission of Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) is to promote the integration of people of all physical abilities, through the challenge of tall ship sailing aboard two very special ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious.
JST operates a buddy system where two people are paired, one able-bodied and one physically disabled. They share the voyage and support each other. ^
I met Andy Milner again this year. He was selling some unique walking sticks.
Andy told me that these unique sticks were hand-made by a wood crafter named “Carrsway”, and this signature is carved on each stick.
The family of Carrsway donated all his sticks to Jubilee Sailing Trust after he passed away.
CLIMB: Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases
Caroline Husain is the secretary of the Joint Charities Christmas Market.
Throughout the past three decades, She poured her energy into charity work, and she is particularly devoted to the charity CLIMB.
In January 1989, Southern Evening Echo published a poignant story about Caroline: “Caroline’s Search for Miracle Cure: Tragic mum in brave bid to help dying children.”
Two of Caroline’s children died of metabolic diseases in infancy.
It is estimated that in the UK alone, at least 600 babies are born each year with an inherited metabolic disease.
Caroline’s daughter Rebecca fell into a coma when she was just four days’ old. Two days later Rebecca died.
Years later, Caroline’s third child, Christopher, was also showing the symptoms when he was just two days old.
Through a study of case notes and post-mortem examination reports, Caroline realised her daughter Rebecca had in fact died of Citrullinaemia, one of more than 100 recognised metabolic diseases for which there was no cure.
When Christopher was only six days old, doctors gave him 24 hours to live, but Christopher survived. The little boy died when he was only 27 months’ old, after contracted whooping cough.
The mission of CLIMB
- Providing Metabolic Disease specific information, advice and support to children, young people, adults, families and professionals in the United Kingdom;
- Providing information and support to families worldwide;
- Funding educational and primary research programmes;
- Investigating treatments and medical services.
From the website of Climb
Caroline’s life was thrown into turmoil, but she channels her passion and energy into saving more young lives and helping more families. ^
RNLI: saving lives at sea
I also met a few lovely volunteers from RNLI.
The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) is the charity that saves lives at sea.
Funded by charitable donations, the lifeboat crews and lifeguards of RNLI have saved at least 140,000 lives at sea since 1824.
The RNLI lifeboats around the UK and Ireland are on call 24 hours a day. They receive an average of 23 call-outs a day. ^
This is what RNLI does best. Example: 3 Kayakers rescued on Strangford Lough by Portaferry RNLI.
Bloodwise is the new name for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
The charity was formed in 1960, and the new name Bloodwise has just been launched in September 2015.
The new name Bloodwise aims to embrace all blood cancer patients, capture the public imagination, and still is committed to research.
In a booklet, Bloodwise explains why Bloodwise is a better name:
“We love it because it feels positive and hopeful, because blood connects us.”
“Because life is a gift to be used wisely and lived fiercely.”
I had a good discussion with the Bloodwise fundraisers. My older brother died of leukaemia in 1964, well before I was born.
Here are a few more pictures to show you some charities and their fundraisers:
Generous raffle prizes donation in Chandler’s Ford
Jennifer did it again! The operation of the raffle stall was impressive: organised, speedy, and no time-wasting! All was calm and orderly.
Local businesses donated 66 prizes for this year’s raffle. ^
You can see the extensive list here in this picture:
This year, I met Jennifer’s daughter Rachel, who knows too well how hard her mother and Caroline and their team has worked year after year for this meaningful Christmas Market.
“A lot of running around”
Rachel said, “I’m so proud of the work my mum and Caroline do with the Joint Charities Christmas Market every year. Although everyone sees the fruits of their labour on the day itself, it takes them months of letters, phone calls and follow ups to gather the 60+ raffle prizes from all the local companies.”
“As you can imagine, this takes a considerable amount of time and a lot of running around to collect everything, and it’s all done because they care about making money for all of the charities.”
“Mum’s been calling so many of the companies for years now, they know her personally and ask after the family and how we’re doing! In the time mum’s been doing the raffle, they’ve heard how both my brother and I have grown up through school, college, university, work, weddings, and now babies!”
Diana Pugh made the most delicious Christmas cakes. There were some happy customers!
Were you at this year’s Joint Charities Christmas Market in Chandler’s Ford? Share your experience by leaving your comments.
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