During the whole of my midwifery career perhaps the most distressing scenario was when a baby was removed from it's mother. Many child protection issues are disturbingly beyond belief, some are less apparent, but all cross social and cultural boundaries. In England, Social Services departments are overstretched, and charities such as the NSPCC , Dr Barnardos, and Child Action North West provide crucial support to help vulnerable children and families. Helping these charity organisations is a great way of contributing to offer hope for children.
When my friend Marion contacted me after she had read my book Catching Babies, my life spun off in a new direction. I was re-introduced to Harriet Roberts, and the fun started. Harriet and Marion work for Child Action North West, (CANW) and they are based in the old Blackburn Orphanage building.
Harriet is working as the Charity's marketing and fundraising lead, and as an ex BBC employee she is doing a brilliant job. Marion is responsible for training and education, BUT she connects people, easily and efficiently. When I went to CANW headquarters for the first time I was astonished and fascinated by the history of the place...I saw photos and film of how James Dixon and his wife Jane established Blackburn Orphanage and devoted their lives to helping children. The story is inspirational. The Orphanage closed as an institution in the 1990s, but the ethos of Mr and Mrs Dixon lives on through CANW.
Because the Charity has recently been subjected to serious financial cuts, raising money for the work to continue is a priority. An event has been planned to mark 120 years since the first fundraiser event 'Pound Day', and the slogan for the day is 'Give a kid a quid!'
So last night Paul and I went for 'tea' to the headquarters with some friends who I thought would be willing to help with Pound Day, or to help archive the 'buried treasure' that has been unearthed in the orphanage building. Now we must prepare for the roles we have to play. Paul and I are to dress up and be James and Jane Dixon for the day...... so watch this space!
Please come and join us, or contact Harriet if you can provide any help or support for this extremely worthy cause firstname.lastname@example.org