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Tony reaches 10km and one million pounds

This has been another amazing story that has captured the nation’s heart. Tony Hudgell who is five years old suffered horrific abuse and had to have his legs amputated as a baby. He was given the opportunity to try prosthetic legs to see if they would be a viable option for him. The target of walking a small distance each day culminating in 10km and raising funds for the Evelina Children’s Hospital was the idea after Tony had been inspired by Captain Tom Moore.

The challenge of walking short distances each day in the month of June would give Tony the chance to see if the prosthetic legs could be a life changer for him but more importantly give him the practice and confidence that he would need. Tony wanted to finish his 10km in the month of June but he has actually completed the challenge and finished five days early which is absolutely remarkable. Not only that but he has raised over one million pounds for the hospital. Tony has also decided that he will carry on walking each day. What an inspiration and an amazing young man who with such a huge amount of money raised for a relatively small charity must have made a huge difference not just to him with his walking but to all the other children who are treated at the hospital. The great news for Tony is that his walking with crutches has improved so much that he is now beginning to take steps unaided. Another challenge for him but with his courage and determination we are sure he will achieve this too. Perhaps in years to come we will see Tony in the Paralympics and we wish him all the best with his future, whatever that may be.

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Join our priority guest list..

In our last feature we told you the great news that we have been able to rearrange our Banana Crumb-Ball and it is taking place on Saturday 9th October 2021. Even better news is that we have been able to confirm not only the same great location but also the same live band that we had booked for this year. Debbie at White Lace Events has also agreed to dress the marquee for us and we all know what a great job she did for us last time so we are looking forward to what she will do in 2021.

We have already had several messages asking about the Ball and if people can put their names down on the list to reserve a space. Considering the event is over a year away this hopefully bodes really well when we come to sell our tickets. Tickets will still be £50 and it will be a three course meal with a welcome drink plus the live band and then dancing to a DJ.

If you would like to put your name down on our guest list to reserve a space email us at: amandaaustin@bananacrumble.co.uk and we will make sure you are at the top of our guest list and ensure that you get priority tickets when they go on release. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a really great event and one that will hopefully raise lots of money for the Southend Cystic Fibrosis Association.

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Save the date:

As you all know we had no option other than to postpone the Banana Crumb-Ball that was supposed to be happening in September 2020.We were really disappointed as we wanted to build on the momentum from the great event we held in 2019 and to raise even more funds for the Southend Cystic Fibrosis Association.

The good news is that the Halfway House have agreed to delay our event and we have now got a new date of Saturday 9th October 2021. We know it is a long way in advance to give you notice but hopefully if it goes in your diaries now then you will be able to keep the date free.

We really hope that 2021 will be the perfect year for a huge celebration and it will be great to be able to dress up, party and raise some much needed funds. We will obviously be sending out details closer to the time but we wanted to make sure that you had the new date as soon as it had been confirmed.

Looking forward to a bigger and better Banana Crumb-Ball in 2021. We hope to see lots of you there. We raised almost £5000 in 2019 and are hoping that we can raise something similar next time. Thank you to all of those who had said they would attend in 2020 and we hope that you will join us in 2021.

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Turtles, turtles everywhere

The restrictions that have been imposed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic are having a positive impact on wildlife around the world, including in India where authorities say the number of sea turtles hatching on beaches is far higher than normal. Olive Ridley Turtles are a species of sea turtle that have a small number of rookeries in various parts of the world where they lay their eggs every year in winter or early spring.

The turtles usually come during the night and lay eggs in the sand on the chosen beaches, but this year with beaches empty there were reports of thousands of turtles coming up on to them during the day. After a period of about 45 days, the hatchlings come out and return to the seas.

Experts and authorities estimate that the turtles laid around 60 millions eggs on Indian beaches this year. The World Wide Fund for Nature has said that because the turtles nest in a very small number of places around the world, any disturbance to even one nesting beach could have huge repercussions on the entire population.

Hopefully, with beaches being deserted and the lack of human impact on the wildlife, this will be one of the benefits that will come out of the Coronavirus pandemic and many species of not just turtles but many other animals, birds, insects will be able to increase their numbers and help the endangered species.

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Tony reaches halfway…

Last week we featured Tony Hudgell, who despite being a double amputee and only five years old, was walking 10km on his new legs to raise funds for the hospital that treated him. To see that feature click here. Tony is now over half way on his sponsored walk and his total is inching ever closer to the half a million pounds for the Evelina Children’s hospital. Tony’s original target was £500 and like his inspiration, Captain Tom, his challenge has been taken up by the nation and the money raised has grown beyond his wildest dreams.

To celebrate the half way milestone Tony was given a huge cake. There is definitely no better way to celebrate and give him energy for the remaining distance than with a big slab of cake. We will be keeping an eye on how the remainder of the walk goes and this is definitely a story that has grown and will in its own way be inspiring others in the same way that Tony was inspired by Captain Tom.

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Heads Up for the FA Cup

The Coronavirus seems to always take centre stage with news items and over the last few months people have been missing so many things. For many people the things that are missing are the very things that help with people’s mental health. Sport is starting to be played again but only at elite level and behind closed doors. However, for many this is giving people a light at the end of a tunnel and something to look forward to. Premier League football is starting this week and despite there being no crowds or places where supporters can gather this will be a real boost for sports fans.

We have often featured articles promoting mental health and have covered the Heads Up charity which back in January when the world seemed normal, delayed the start of the FA Cup games by a minute to raise awareness.

This season’s FA Cup final will be renamed the Heads Up FA Cup final to raise mental health awareness, says the Football Association. Title sponsor Emirates has agreed to the name change for the final, which is scheduled for 1 August at Wembley. The Dubai-based airline has sponsored football’s oldest knockout competition since 2015. FA president Prince William says the final can be “a moment to promote good, positive mental health for everyone”. The Duke of Cambridge has been at the forefront of a season-long campaign around mental health with the FA working alongside a group of charities in the Heads Together initiative.

Hopefully with the extra coverage that this new name will bring and the fact that this high profile competition has taken this stand can only be positive.

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You may not find Penguins in Iceland but …..

Over the last few weeks the lockdown restrictions have started to reduce. In the last few days it has been announced that zoos and animal parks will once more be able to open their doors. Zoos have suffered terribly during the pandemic as they receive the majority of their funds from ticket admissions and money spent in the attractions.

There have been pleas from many zoos, but one in particular has pointed out that the threat of permanent closure is on the cards. Chester Zoo launched a fundraising appeal saying that it had crippling debts. Animals still needed to be fed and looked after despite no money coming in. They have so far raised enough money to be able to keep going for almost a month.

The Supermarket Iceland has taken steps to be able to help Chester Zoo and has adopted the entire rookery of Humboldt penguins. They have also offered to help publicise the fundraising efforts. They said they made the gesture as the penguin epitomises all things frozen and that they wanted to do something to be able to help, despite penguins not coming from Iceland. The rookery recently welcomed a creche of chicks and they were all named after NHS hospitals. The names chosen were Florence, Bevan and Thomas.

This is great for the zoo, but Iceland have also received good publicity for their actions. Hopefully this and other fundraising will keep Chester and other zoos open so that they can carry on with their valuable work with endangered species and continue to provide a public service.

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Tony – what a hero!!

Tony Hudgell suffered horrific abuse from his birth parents when he was a baby. At only 41 days old, due to the nature of his injuries he almost died. In 2017 Tony had to have both his legs amputated. The Evelina London Children’s Hospital saved his life then and still do now with the care that he receives.

The brave youngster was inspired as we all were by the amazing money raised by Captain Tom Moore. Captain Tom Moore used a walking frame to help him achieve the 100 laps of his garden. Tony, at the time was using a walking frame and decided that he could do the same. Tony has pledged to walk 10km during the month of June to raise funds for the hospital that helped to save his life. Tony was fitted with his first pair of artificial legs earlier this year and using these and his crutches he wanted to raise funds for the hospital. Another story that the nation has taken to heart.  Now people have heard about the amazing challenge they are stopping to support Tony as he walks past and the great news is that the funds keep coming. He has currently raised over £210,000 and the total is still rising and with the publicity that has come with it is definitely going to continue to increase.

The link to the Just Giving page being used to raise funds for this amazing superhero is here.

The Bio from this page says the following:

Tony at 41 days old suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his biological parents. He suffered multiple fractures, discolations, blunt trauma to face leading to multi organ failure, toxic shock and sepsis. He ended up on life support and seconds from death. 

Sadly in 2017 he had both his legs amputated due to the extreme injuries. His left hip is discolated and missing the ball joint due infection, he has hand issues and deaf in his right ear. 

The positive side to this is he is Today a bright happy, confident little boy who loves life. 

Over the last week he has been learning to walk on his new legs with crutches, and he wanted to raise some pennies for the wonderful hospital The Evelina Children’s Hospital whom is his second home. Please help him and encourage him to walk every day of June hoping to reach his target of 10 kilometres. 

This may seem and easy task but for him this is a huge mountain to climb 💙

Captain Tom was and still is an inspiration. As well as featuring Tony Hudgell today, we have also previously featured the equally amazing Sophia Hyde who again drew inspiration from Captain Tom. It isn’t just about the fundraising but the inspiration that other people can draw from tales of people achieving great things. Everyone can be inspirational and it may just be a small thing but if it inspires others to do their best or try and challenge themselves in some way then in our view the inspiration just snowballs.

We will keep checking on this story about Tony and then let you know but we wish him well with the fundraising and with the new legs that he is well and truly testing!!

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Oh My Goodness

Since we launched we have always highly rated the importance of good news to help create positive, happy and inspirational stories. It is even harder in the strange times that we are currently living in to find such features, however we have now found someone who is following our own ethos of Good News features.

Aled Jones has launched a podcast called “Oh My Goodness” and on the synopsis for the feature he states:

Oh My Goodness is what everyone needs right now. Goodness in each episode. Aled Jones is joined by a special guest to celebrate the good news we rarely hear, hailing unsung heroes and bringing you selfless acts of kindness that make our days just that little bit happier.

Always good to find that people agree with what we have been saying for several years about how important it is to remember that good news really does happen and, as we said at the start, life isn’t always doom and gloom. It is a great way to tell stories of amazing things, how people have been inspired and just things to make you smile. We will continue to find good news for you as well but thought you may like to know  good news really does happen.

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Watch this space!!!

As the weeks of social distancing increase and time is racing by we have had to make a decision about the Banana Crumb-Ball. Whilst we all really want the event to go ahead and to raise much needed funds for the Southend Cystic Fibrosis Association, after discussion with the charity, potential attendees and the venue we have decided to postpone our ball. In particular with the charity being for Cystic Fibrosis and this is the category where shielding has to be taken into account making large events for families difficult until things get back to normal again.

We were all looking forward to another great evening but by it being postponed for a year it gives us more time to come up with bigger and better ideas and hopefully by then everyone will be in the mood for a great party. After living in tracksuits and sports gear for months this will be a perfect opportunity to dress up and will be something to look forward to.

The new date will be a Saturday in September 2021 so we hope to be able to let you know the exact Saturday very soon so that you don’t miss out on all the fun and of course to help raise funds for the SCFA.

The venue has been great and are honouring prices agreed which is great news so we will be able to keep ticket prices at £50.

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