They say that every journey starts with a single footstep and whilst that may be true, it isn’t the only way for a journey to start. For blogger Mummy Barrow (also known as T) her journey of fundraising with Comic relief has been one that she has been on for almost as long as the charity has been in existence, and there is no sign of the journey ending any time soon!
We sat down with T this week for chat about her journey with the charity and the journey she is heading off on later today as she’s gear up for doing her bit in the next fund raising challenge.
Tell us how you got involved with Comic Relief, T
I think, like most people, it started right back in mid eighties as soon as they launched. I was leaving school by then so it wasn’t something I got involved with at school, but my children who came along in the mid-nineties certainly did. We also bought noses and settled down for a night in front of the TV as they did their night of TV.
When I started blogging a few years ago I asked the charity if they had ever thought of working with bloggers in order to help with fundraising and they invited myself and a friend, Annie, to their offices to chat through some ideas. That then swiftly turned into a journey to visit some of their projects in Africa and the UK to share stories of how donations had changed lives.
Gosh, how did you cope with going to Africa, wasn’t that really sad?
Funny you should ask that, a lot of people do. This is going to sound strange but it wasn’t. In fact the opposite. It was actually one of the most inspiring things I have ever done. We chatted to so many women who were running businesses from their homes, making money, paying for their children to attend school, and generally supporting their families that we came away thinking “wow”. So often we think “oh I can’t do that, I don’t have the money” but actually here were people setting up businesses with a loan from a local project supported by Comic Relief, for the cost of a night out in London.
With today also being International Women’s Day it is those women that I will be thinking about. Those women for instance who were making and selling bread, using some of the proceeds to run a classroom for their children. The women who were educating their communities about the dangers of HIV and how transferring the virus to their unborn children can be prevented with the right education and drugs. Women working in a plant nursery just outside Southampton who are supporting those suffering from mental health issues, offering a place to come and chat, to get support. That something as simple as gardening can help support those in our own communities who without that support may have taken their own lives.
The photo above is of some ladies in a village where they make “power porridge”. Many of the women have been infected by HIV (some after being raped) and in order to stay well they have been taught about nutrition and taking their medication at regular intervals. They have come up with a recipe for a power porridge, containing lots of nutrients to help fight off infections and other illnesses. The women all come together to make the porridge, to sell it to other villages, and to eat together too.
All of these women are an absolute inspiration and I shall be thinking of them all today. Along with all the other incredible women around the world who help and support others in so many ways.
You mentioned projects in the UK, do Comic Relief work here too then?
Yes they do, and in fact it is something that a lot of people don’t realise. 50% of all money raised goes to support projects and charities working in the heart of our communities.
So what are you doing this year?
Well off the back of our trips to Africa we set up a group called Team Honk. A group of bloggers and their friends and families (everybody has been welcome to join) who come together to fundraise in some way every year. For instance a few years ago we got a baton from Land’s End to John O’Groats, criss-crossing the country so as many people as possible to take it on a leg of the journey. In total it covered over 3000 miles!
This year a group of us are heading to the Peak District to cover 26 miles and 4 and a bit peaks in a day. We are starting tomorrow morning at 6am and hope to be done by 7pm
How can we help?
Any donations would be amazing (here is the link to donate online: Team Honk 4 and a bit peaks challenge or any sharing of that online would be really appreciated.
Oh and if you could have a word with the M1 and ask for it to be clear as we all head it up tomorrow night to meet up in Ashbourne that would be fantastic!
We think that is the least we can do, T. Good luck to all the Honkers
If you want more information about some of T’s visits to Comic Relief supported projects you can read about them here: