What a month.
The London Marathon - it will be my last. I promise you that! My sixth and absolute last. Collapsing between miles 20 and 21 with a glucose count of 30.00, no pulse for a moment (apparently), and then having to be revived by mini chocolate Twirls and Chocolate Digestives for well over an hour by the rather amazing St. Johns Ambulance service, is not my perfect signing off... so, I got back out there and finished. Well, I couldn’t let you or the young people down now could I.
But to the very special London Marathon team - Polly, Eleasha, Tony and Rebecca who completed the Marathon on behalf of The Countryside Alliance Foundation and raised in excess of £18,000 towards what we do - my heartfelt thanks and deep respect. Running, walking, stumbling 26 and-a-bit miles is not for the faint hearted.
But of course, I am plotting something else. Well... I would. This time a fusion of two worlds I know but on a different continent, and with permission, too!
Our New Schools intake
Unbelievable. We have had a fabulous uptake for schools for the coming year. New ones, old favourites and pressure on us to choose wisely. This is the very hardest thing of all, knowing which one! That is precisely why we have a robust selection process in place in order to ensure that money – your money – is apportioned and donated wisely.
Frankly it is why we fund raise, and the more we raise (see above, *he types cheekily*, there is still time to donate!), the more that we can do and deliver.
The past year we have strayed a little into areas of mental health, because we have absolutely needed to. The current national climate is only going to get worse and create more problems. Whilst we might not be able to sort these out through angling, we can at least try, in some small way... our way.
This has been brought very painfully home with one of our team succumbing to pressure and stumbling just a little. The important thing being that around them there was support, a friendly angling hand to grip, hold, support, and gently be there to help.
All of us need that from time to time. And that's ok.
As we explore our future schools and the diversity we and they cover, we never underplay or take for granted the supporters of Fishing for Schools and more latterly, Castaway. You are pivotal to everything we do - or strive to do.