It seems like a lifetime ago that Josh and I recorded a promotional video for the Thorpe Hall appeal that asked ‘What will you do?’ Our actual experience in Thorpe Hall seems both distant and near, it’s one of those periods in your life that you can recall with great clarity, however remembering it now, it is not as painful. The pang I used to feel has lessened, as my mind has erased the moments I wanted to forget.
I find it astonishing how far a small promotional video we recorded three years ago has taken us. The video, initially a low quality iPad recording was re-recorded as one of the Official videos for the new hospice appeal. Then we went on to be interviewed in another video explaining our experience of Sue Ryder’s care. I’ve written letters, speeches, assemblies, I’ve spoken about the new hospice appeal at school, board dinners, in an interview written by the Daily Mail, St James’ Palace and Thorpe Hall itself.
I am constantly reminded of how much my involvement with Thorpe Hall snowballed, especially as I was seated on the Mall yesterday for the Patron’s Lunch. Josh and I sat amongst regional and national fundraisers, members of Head Office and volunteers on the Sue Ryder table, alongside 600 other charities. I began to wonder how I even got there at all, not literally as I could never rely on Josh to be in charge of directions, but how did I become so invested in fundraising?
Of course this may seem to be obvious: my Dad was cared for at Thorpe Hall, the appeal started during his time there, so we wanted to help to repay the wonderful care we had received. This is how it started. It has, however, only grown in significance; I am drawn to Sue Ryder for its emotional ties, but I am also invested in their aims and care from having first hand experience of it, as I can validate that at Thorpe Hall, the Sue Ryder volunteers, doctors and nurses are one of a kind.
I enjoy fundraising, but I will not deny it has become straining sometimes bringing up these specific memories and the associated emotions, especially during the move away from home to University. Regardless of this, it has and always will be worth it.
Over time, my relationship and involvement with the charity will change, not intentionally, but simply because change is inevitable. I don’t know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing but I will always be tied to Thorpe Hall and I will be eternally grateful to Sue Ryder for the wonderful places it has taken me. As a massive Royalist to be on the Mall celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday with 600 other charities was an incredibly unique experience, that Josh and I will never forget.