A huge thank you to Pomfretian for their kind donation to the Team Jess fundraising and for publishing a centre page spread about the Team Jess campaign in this month’s edition too. Jess has been in two publications now and they say things comes in threes. I wonder who could be next 🤔. To read the article visit the Pomfretian website.
This week has been another first and another hurdle for us; our first family holiday since Jess passed away. It’s fair to say it’s not easy making new memories without Jess, so we chose to very much keep her memory present with us all the time and visit a part of Dorset not too far from Jess’ last holiday. In an impressive motor home that became our home on wheels for the week, we’ve loved exploring the stunning coastline and beaches of the Jurassic coast, with an honorary Team Jess mascot with us (AKA one of Jess’ favourite teddies). No substitution for the bundle of fun that would have been Jess with us of course, although definitely easier to keep still to take a photograph of! I think being adventurous herself, Jess would have liked that we tried to take her with us to explore some of Dorset’s marvellous natural wonders, especially the adventure of Portland Bill and old Harry’s rocks. And she definitely would have liked the quirkiness of a motor home and having to climb into a bed above a steering wheel! So whilst we missed Jess dearly, it’s fair to say we enjoyed the holiday in Jess style. Looking forward to next year’s ‘E’ trip.
So today we got the news that COVID 19 has hampered our Sheffield 10k plans for this year 😒. Whilst this comes as a disappointment, the good news is we’ve all been given the opportunity to be reregistered for the same event in September next year. But as that seems soooo far away, we’re hoping to run our own (socially distant) race on the original race date this year (as long as the guidance allows that is!). With only a handful of us, I’m sure we’ll easily be able to run and be COVID compliant too. So that’s two races we’re doing – the Team Jess 10k and the official Sheffield 10k next year too. Now if that’s not value for sponsorship (keeping us all training for the next 14 months) then I don’t know what is!
One of the things that’s kept us going since Jess passed away is telling her story, in the hope that we raise awareness and funds to help other people going forward. Today Jess made her first debut into the world of local magazines. Thanks Ackworth Arrow for supporting Team Jess!
Team Jess is in full flow with fundraising and today sees another venture take the plunge in raising funds in memory of Jess.
On 5 September, one of Jess’ Grandads, Brian, will be swimming the full length of Coniston Water which is in excess of 5 miles! Open water swimming , as anyone who’s had a go knows, is no easy undertaking, so he really is jumping in at the deep end! What’s more, if COVID 19 means the organised event is cancelled, he’s planning to swim the same distance in a local lake instead. If you want to support Brian in his fundraising for Children with Cancer UK, or read more of his story, you can click here.
Little did I know it (until now!), but since Christmas, one of Jess’ school friends and her sister have been busy raising money in memory of Jess in all sorts of inventive ways, determined to channel sadness into making a difference. For example, at Christmas, they made and sold crafts and donated the proceeds directly to Candlelighters in Jessica’s memory and they’ve recently made crayons for Isla to sell at school. Furthermore their Dad kindly donated £26 directly to Candlelighters- £1 to represent every mile of the London Marathon he would have run had the event not been cancelled, meaning he had to do a shorter local run instead. What inventive ideas. Thank you!
This isn’t the first time that school friends have gone the extra mile (in some cases literally) to make memories whilst raising funds at the same time. In October last year, two of Jess’ school friends, Billy and Charlie, did the Leeds Abbey Junior Dash in memory or Jess. The fantastic £120 that they raised was donated to Candlelighters together with the funeral fundraising. Another pair of superstars, thank you!
Today Jess’ story was published on the Children with Cancer UK website. I really hope that sharing our story will help other people, be it reminding people of why fundraising is so vitally important or perhaps helping someone else who’s in our shoes. If you want to read the story or find out more about the great work Children with Cancer UK do, then you can see the story here.
It’s 9 months today since Jess passed away and coincidentally 9 days since we launched team Jess. I’ve been reflecting on where we are in one of my favourite and new found ways – a poem. Click here to have a read
I had a lovely chat with Jessica’s school yesterday about ideas they have to commemorate Jess and to help her memory live on. They had some wonderful suggestions about things they could do, as well as some fun fundraising ideas too. We look forward to coming back to see you next year (even if Jess’ big brother will be embarking on the brave new world of high school!) to celebrate Jess’ time at a school. Thank you Westerton Primary Academy for coming up with (what I’m sure would have been ) Jess approved ideas. 😀
I couldn’t believe it when I logged on to my emails to find a ‘Team Jess’ running track in my inbox, written and performed by my very talented colleague and friend Trevor, with backing vocals from his wife and daughter too! Wow! Whilst not his normal style (this is not Trev’s first performing venture!) the quick beat will help me keep going when the going gets tough… especially round those hills in Sheffield! Thanks Trev, you’re a legend!