Category Archives: Charity

Maghull Young Adults Social Club – Serving the Community

Volunteers are vital to the local community. Those who willingly volunteer for a noble cause to help and benefit local people are real heroes, who deserve to be recognised for their worthy deeds.

The reason why I say this, is that I am writing about the wonderful work of Michael and Viv Penn. Since 2002, they have run Maghull Young Adults Social Club (MYASC), which provides a monthly Friday night disco for young adults with learning disabilities in Maghull and the surrounding area. This club allows young adults to make new friends, socialize, take part in prize giving raffles, and to generally have fun in a nice and safe environment. Having been a member for over 15 years, the club has not only helped and transformed the lives and confidence of many people including myself, but I have also seen through my own eyes, how it has helped change the lives of others.

At last month’s club night in Maghull British Legion, Michael and Viv received a surprise presentation from the local branch of the Rotary Club. The presentation was the Paul Harris Fellowship award from the Rotary Foundation, for their tireless work in running MYASC, which was a lovely moment to witness, and I was delighted for them both. As I watched, I felt their immense pride by seeing them with their lovely medals, and of the delight of their son Jonathon. It was truly a wonderful and deserved achievement.maghull_young_adults

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Michael and Viv’s wonderful work with MYASC. Indeed two years ago, I was delighted to help repay this by taking part in the Scouse 5k run in Liverpool, where I raised £980 for MYASC. Even today, I still look forward to attending the club and catching up with my friends, and also enjoying a social chat with Michael, Viv and other volunteers.

To conclude, I would like to personally thank Michael and Viv for all they have done for me and the other MYASC members, past, present and future, and also for their well deserved achievement.


Ubiquity February Social – Tuesday 7th February 2017

Last Tuesday, I was delighted to attend Ubiquity PR’s February Social event. Held at HOST Restaurant on Hope Street in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, this featured guests from different organisations. These included representatives from organisations such as the Morgan Foundation, United Utilities and Liverpool Community Health Trust.

The purpose of the event was to promote All Together Now, which is a charity newspaper for everyone, especially those affected by health and disability. Founded and edited by Tom Dowling, All Together Now commands a readership of 500,000 people, to promote social inclusion for everyone from all walks of life.

When I arrived at the event, my first reaction was seeing through the window, how busy the event looked. As I walked through the door, the atmosphere felt relaxing and informal, setting the tone for a very good evening. Complimented by the fine surroundings of HOST, the event consisted of delicious Pan-Asian canapés, a prize draw and plenty of networking opportunities.

In addition, I also remember vividly Ubiquity’s Joel Jelen speak passionately about raising the profile of All Together Now. I was also delighted to speak to Tom, who was a kind gentleman, with a quiet confidence and dignity.

Since the event, I have read about the origins of All Together Now and I salute Tom’s courage and determination to overcome adversity. To use his personal experience, to help others is an inspiration to many. As a disabled person myself, I can identify with Tom’s passion to help inspire, challenge and change disability attitudes for the better. Therefore I consider it a privilege to write this article, and play my part in helping Tom in his quest, to raise the profile of the charity.

To conclude, I would like to thank Joel and everyone at Ubiquity, as well as HOST and Zut Media, for an excellent evening. I would also like to personally thank Tom for his excellent work, of which I support wholeheartedly.

Weightmans Wednesday – Clapperboard UK

Film and TV as a medium for storytelling has a real power. A power to make us laugh, cry and question through moving images, crafted by talent in front and behind the camera. Film and TV has the powerful ability to give people a voice, allowing them to express themselves creatively.

There are thousands of children and adults from disadvantaged backgrounds that feel isolated, troubled and without a voice. They feel unable to speak out on social and moral issues, which affect themselves, their families and their communities. At last week’s Weightmans Wednesday event, I listened to an interesting talk from Clapperboard UK, a small-successful award winning charity that works to address this.

This consisted of Maureen Sinclair and Colin Farrell (not the actor) talking about Clapperboard’s work. The charity’s purpose is to bring film making creativity and education into local communities across the North West. I learned how the charity works with young people, by giving them confidence and skills through training in-front and behind the camera. I also learned how Clapperboard empowers not only young people, but anyone who is disadvantaged, by giving them a platform to develop and produce issue-led videos from script to screen. These videos focus on important social issues such as racism, drug use, smoking, self-harm, bullying, knife and gang culture.

Maureen and Colin also talked about Clapperboard’s charitable work with schools, charities and organisations. I was really impressed with their work and passion for training young people, and giving themselves and others, a voice and an opportunity to express their creative endeavours.

I also understood that Clapperboard is more than just a youth charity. This is because they also encourage learning through creativity, evidenced through the many videos produced. Therefore the positive impact of the charity’s work cannot be underestimated.

I would like to thank Maureen and Colin for their excellent talk. My thanks also go to everyone at Weightmans for organising the event. This article is a token and a gift of my gratitude to Maureen and Colin. I say this because, as with all non-profit charities, Clapperboard relies on sponsorship and donations for funding. This is achieved through raising awareness of their profile and charitable works, and I sincerely hope this article helps them.

You can find more on Clapperboard’s work here.

Radio City Scouse 5k – My Recollections

Last month, I mentioned why I was taking part in the Radio City Scouse 5k on my birthday. I am pleased to say, that I completed the run in less than 40 minutes, and raised £980.10 for Maghull Young Adults Social Club (MYASC).

Two years previously, I had done the Liverpool Santa Dash for charity. However this was even more special to me, because MYASC is a cause very close to my heart. As I reflect on my achievement, I feel a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment.

My experience of the Scouse 5k was great fun, with so many colourful wscouse5k_pic1igs, Scouse moustaches, blue skies and sunshine. This contributed to a carnival atmosphere, which excited me. Whilst the course was more difficult than I imagined (especially running up Brownlow Hill), and my red coloured wig kept sliding, I never wavered in my determination once. This was rewarded when I saw my mum and dad, at the finish.

As I approached the finish, I saw my dad speaking to the announcer, who then shouted “Happy Birthday” to me over the loudspeaker, as I crossed the finish line. My mum told me later on, that she was emotional and extremely proud too.

I would like to thank all of my family, friends, colleagues and everyone who not only sponsored me, but also for their good wishes and encouragement. This was not only special, but it is also one of the proudest achievements in my life, and I hope this gives encouragement to many others. This is because what I have done proves that disability is no barrier, to what an individual can achieve.

To conclude, I would like to say once again…

Thank you for all of your support!scouse5k_pic2

Why I am running in the Radio City Scouse 5k

Hello readers!

On Sunday 18th September (incidentally my birthday), I shall be taking part in the Radio City Scouse 5k run, being held in Liverpool City Centre. I am doing this through my own initiative, to raise money for Maghull Young Adults Social Club (MYASC). MYASC is a monthly social evening for adults (18+) with learning difficulties, allowing them to meet new friends, and relax in a safe and friendly environment, whilst at the same time developing social skills, and personal confidence.

MYASC is a local cause very close to my heart. This is because I am autistic, and having attended the club for over thirteen years, I have made several friends who are special to me today, and have developed as a person. Therefore I owe a great deal to MYASC, as along with my family and others, they have helped me get where I am today, in developing my social skills and confidence.

Having taken up running in January, I came up with the idea of taking part in the Scouse 5k, to raise money for MYASC. I wanted to do this to help other adults with learning difficulties, and to support the local community, by giving something back.

Since I have taken this forward, my family, friends and work colleagues have given me so much support and encouragement, which I am both appreciative and grateful for.

I will be sharing my thoughts on my Scouse 5k experience very soon!

Thank you for all your support!

Santa Dashing for Charity

As people, I believe in giving something back to others. On Sunday 7th December, I recently took part in the 10th anniversary BTR Liverpool Santa Dash, to raise money for the chosen charities of Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL). These charities were The Walton Centre and Ronald McDonald House.

I wanted to do this, because I had never took part in anything like it before, and I thought it would be a rather fun way to give back to the community, with the added bonus of trying to get fit at the same time!

From the start at the Pier Head, to the finish line at Liverpool Town Hall, I powered along the 5K route. This was through my determination, strength, and the enthusiasm, humour and cheering of the crowd and my fellow Santas, despite the cold and blustery weather, which never deterred me. A lovely memory that sticks in my mind was of my mum and dad, waving proudly to me outside Moorfields Station, as I ran past, waving back to them. My mum told me later, they arrived two minutes previously, so my timing was spot on!

Liverpool Santa Dash 2014 was a tremendous success, with around 8,500 Santas taking part, raising money for many wonderful causes. We even managed to take the World Santa Dash title back from Las Vegas.

Personally, I am proud to say that I completed the Santa Dash in 39 minutes, and raised £242 for LDL’s chosen charities. I would like to thank my LDL colleagues, and my family for all their wonderful support, encouragement and kindness in sponsoring me throughout.

It was a fantastic experience.