You know those people who are genuinely nice and good?
Like if you cut me open, you would probably find a bit of green slime and a few cobwebs; but if you cut these people open, it’s all rainbows and butterflies. Well let me tell you about them….
This group of seven girls started off as work colleagues. Actually, they used to manage and support me during a college course I completed after I left school. But once I had qualified, I done a full circle and came back to work with them for six years supporting 16-18 year olds on the same healthcare programme I completed after school. We were all made redundant in March 2017 but have kept in touch since.
When they heard that Teddy would have a short life- Teddys Treats was established…
I remember Judith asking me if I would be OK with them fundraising for us. To be honest I’m not even sure I gave a reply- if I did, I don’t know what it was.
Judith and Nicki asked again, on another occasion- if Adam and I would mind if they done some fundraising for us- they wanted to ensure we were able to make those all important memories as a family and didn’t want finances to worry or restrict us in anyway.
I was a bit embarrassed- I didn’t want to come across as a charity case, but at the same time I wanted to bite their hand off- obviously I wanted to be able to do nice things- trips away or days out, things that you would do with your kids throughout their childhood if they were healthy, but I didn’t want people to think we were taking advantage of their generosity.
When I agreed, things stepped up a gear- I mean, you know shits got real when a WhatsApp group has been formed! I wasn’t included in most of the planning- they knew I already needed an extra few hours added into each day to get ‘life admin’ done so didn’t want to add to that.
In November 2018 they held Teddys Treats Quiz Night.
We all met earlier in the week to go through some final plans. I must admit, it felt like the good old days of 3 hour long team meetings- agendas, minute taking, delegation and of course deviating off topic. I was overwhelmed. These girls had given so much of their own time, money and effort (and that of their families!) to get things sorted. It was planned to perfection- held was in a social club 5 mins walk from our house, people paid in advance for a ticket which got them their entry and a portion of hotpot. On the night there was raffles, tombola, spot the ball and guess the weight of the cake. It sold out…..there was a reserve list!!!
WTF!! I was totally overwhelmed! On the night there was the usual people there- family and friends, people who supported us in every day life; but there were also people who I had never met before!! Like neighbours and family & friends of friends; people who I hadn’t seen for a few years! I couldn’t get my head around it. I understand that people are nice, but why did they want to help us? Why did they want to take time out of their lives to help me? The person with green slime and cobwebs.
In October 2019 they held Teddys Treats Bingo Night.
Again, the room was packed to the rafters- I thought the ‘novelty’ might have worn off for some people after the first year but I was wrong. The girls, who I had now nicknamed ‘Teddy’s Angels’ had again, planned the evening within an inch of their life so it was smooth sailing. Well OK, Judith could have done with a bit more practice at bingo calling….or a few less wines maybe…. The night included lines, full houses, Irish bingo, bonus rounds, and of course tombola and raffles.
Both nights went without a glitch. People were so generous- not only on the night but in their donations beforehand- for each event there was tons of prizes- handmade bunting and Christmas wreaths, gift vouchers for beauty treatments and days out, designer clothes, signed memorabilia and enough booze to sink a ship.
Teddy made a very short appearance at the 2018 Quiz night, but he wasn’t himself for the bingo in 2019 so he gave that one a miss and had a boys night in with his Grandad.
Thousands of pounds were raised over the 2 events and it allowed for some of our most memorable moments. I am a lover of holidays and was determined not to let a bit (OK a lot) of extra hassle stop that. Teddys Treats paid for lots of days and trips out, but we were able use this money to plan a trip to Torque, it funded Teddys holiday insurance (which was the equivalent of another family holiday) and rental of an oxygen concentrator which was needed to travel abroad….at the cost of £500 for one week!!
Unfortunately, Teddys health deteriorated shortly after Teddys Treats Bingo night in 2019, which meant we were unable to use a lot of those donations for making memories. It did however, cover the purchase of a Cuddle Cot, which is a mat that is kept at a controlled, cool temperature which babies can lie on to keep them at home or with their families for as long as possible after passing away. After doing some market research, we donated the Cuddle Cot to the funeral directors who looked after Teddy and us.
My friends know that I am notoriously crap at keeping in touch- on a good day, getting a reply from me is a bit hit and miss. If I don’t respond straight away it goes straight out of my mind, which is recipe for disaster when you have a Teddy on your hands.
One day, mid melt down to one of Teddys Community Matrons, I was confessing to being such a crap friend. I felt like I didn’t deserve such gorgeous people in my life looking out for me…for us. People who are happy to give and get nothing in return. People who are always there at the drop of a hat. I still do feel like that! I’m just glad they don’t feel the same!
I know how lucky I am to have these people in my life.
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I think you know where this is going……..
- Judith J
- Judith Mc