February 5, 2018
What have we been up to?
It’s been roughly 9 months I think since my first blog post for which the response was overwhelming…
Thank you to everyone who either liked, shared or commented. The feedback was much appreciated
and the last time I checked it had reached over 90,000 people. WOW! Every single message received was positive and it certainly restores your faith in people. There is a lot of kindness out there and that’s something I’m working on giving back through various channels.
I had envisaged doing a new blog post every month to begin with but decided against it at that time.
As I mentioned in my original instalment, there was an awful lot I could discuss around a whole range of issues but at the time I didn’t feel a blog was the right forum for what I wanted to talk about and at I still don’t…….. Maybe I’ll write a book?
So what have I been up to personally and with Nikki’s Wishes in the past year? Short answer A LOT!
It was last May that we held the 2nd annual “Nikki’s Wishes Charity Fun Day” at Hemel Hempstead FC and it proved yet again to be a massive success!! People travelled from far and wide to attend and have fun, or take part in the day as a volunteer, vendor or to play in the football match between the Queens Park Rangers Legends and my old Sunday league team.
The event was attended by over 3000 people yet again and we raised just a touch over £24,500 for the two causes with 50% split between Child Bereavement UK and Nikki’s Wishes. It’s probably at this point it would be best to give some history on Nikki’s Wishes, who we are and what are aims are for the future.
Nikki’s wishes was formed by 3 of mine and Nikki’s friends, Mathew Griffin, Kati Jackson & Louise Barnes. They set up the fund as a means to support myself and the children should we need it. The fund was set up by these 3 people, but it also needs to be clear that it was dozens of people who contributed and helped. Unfortunately far too many to name but we are eternally grateful to every single person who helped out initially.
In the first year of its conception, the Nikki’s Wishes fund commissioned a memorial bench in Veralanium Park in St Albans, donated to Child Bereavement UK and some local causes to the Dacorum area such as a children’s hospice.
Over the 2nd year Nikki’s Wishes developed much more into a charitable organisation and we formed a close relationship with CBUK which proved a huge success with celebrities promoting our main charity event such as Rio Ferdinand, James Cordon and Niall Horan to name but a few. Not only did we donate to Child Bereavement UK, but we also donated to the Homicide Victim Support Service.
Following this success in our 2nd year we decided that we now had the foundations in place to go one step further and become a fully registered charity. This would enable us to grow. While fund raising it became clear that most organisations will only donate to a registered charity and you can understand why. We want people to take us seriously so we needed to ensure we are accountable and regulated.
On Tuesday 16th January we formally submitted our documents to the charity commission and we are now simply waiting for the application to be approved. In order to be approved, we had to have a number of trustee’s and an accountant. A big thank you to Steve Crowther for agreeing to be our accountant. Top Man!!
Our aim, as a charity, initially, will be to support children 0-16 years of age in Dacorum and the surrounding area who have suffered the bereavement of a parent or sibling.
This will be via hosting free & fun days for the children and their families to attend and offer other support where possible. It’s a starting point that we can build from.
While we are waiting for this to happen, we aren’t sitting on our hands. We are trying to come up with different ways to grow the number of followers we have on social media and organising 2 new events for the coming months.
In April, we will host the 1st “Keep Aiming” event. This will be a fun afternoon at the Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre for children who have suffered a bereavement. The children can choose between a ski or snowboard lesson or just some sledging fun, followed by food and a mindfulness session from an NHS mental health clinician. This will also bring together many parents and carers who are in similar positions. From experience I can tell you that being around other people in similar circumstances to your own is very helpful. There is an instant connection that is shared among you and you can talk about your experiences in a far more open way, knowing that the person you are talking to understands, unequivocally and without judgement. Hopefully the children will feel the same way, putting them together in a fun situation you never know what good things can happen. Feeling normal cannot be underestimated. This event is still open for applications and registrations via our Nikki’s Wishes page on Facebook for children in the Dacorum and surrounding areas.
In May, we will be hosting the 3rd annual “Nikki’s Wishes Charity Fun Day” incorporating the “Nikki Cross Cup”. This year we are grateful again to Lee and Marc Bircham for putting together
A team of QPR legends to play in the match. We are hoping, that we can put together a team of celebrity’s to play against them. That would be a fantastic achievement for Nikki’s Wishes.
The football match is just one part of event which will see the return of the fun fair for children, face painting, Competitions, memorabilia auction and much more. This year we will
Add live music to the day and evening from a host of bands. Watch this space!!!
That’s Nikki’s Wishes in a nutshell, 4 Trustees and an accountant make up the Nikki’s Wishes core team, but it’s the support and effort from every volunteer, contributor, follower and supporter that makes Nikki’s Wishes possible. Without support and people sharing our name and page, we would not be anywhere near as successful as we are to date.
We will soon be in a position to have our official launch as a registered charity and in turn our new website that will run alongside the Nikki’s Wishes Facebook page. For that, we have to thank “Sundeep Chohan”, otherwise known as “The Doc” from SAS who dares wins. He’s an amazing man who has lent his support to our cause and commissioned the new website for us.
Stay tuned for our official launch date and please like and share this blog to try and reach more people.
From myself, Mat, Kati and Louise, we thank absolutely everyone who has helped Nikki’s Wishes from day 1 until now, to get to this stage and we rely on your continued support to grow and in turn help more children suffering from bereavement and its associated issues.