Whilst cycling the length of South America is a huge personal challenge for both of us and something we will remember for the rest of our lives, there will be some extremely difficult times, both physical and mental. However, the knowledge that we are peddling for four amazing causes – The Charlie Watkins Foundation, The Air Ambulance, War Child and SANDS will be a huge huge boost!!
Each of these charities mean a great deal to both of us so please do give generously as we try to reach our fundraising target of £20,000.
No donation is too small and please dig deep as anything we give to these charities will further their extremely important aims. We will be following our fundraising progress as much as we can whilst on the road and any donation will serve as a huge boost to us during the endless Andean Climbs and Patagonian headwinds. Thank you so much!
The Charlie Watkins Foundation - The Charlie Watkins Foundation has been formed to receive funds in memory of Charlie Watkins. Charlie was a friend of both Roo and James. He was in the year above at school and played tennis with and against James for many years. Charlie sadly took his life in March 2017. Charlie is one of many examples of young people who suffer from mental health issues today, and the Charlie Watkins Foundation aims to raise funds for trustees of the foundation to better support young people suffering from mental illness problems. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, race or social background.
The foundation have set up Chat with Charlie. The aim of Chat with Charlie is to provide a safe space for students to speak openly about their own mental health. It is a 1:1 online chatroom with trained volunteers and operates every day from 6pm. Charlie Watkins Foundation hope to expand the concept to other universities around the country, such as York, which was Charlie’s university.
The Air Ambulance - The Air Ambulance fly two regional air ambulances, across the counties of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland. These two helicopters provide a rapid response to trauma and medical emergencies. With an average response of just 13 minutes, between them they attend on average 7 missions a day. Each time the Air Ambulance makes a trip it costs them £1,700. The money raised for The Air Ambulance will go towards saving many more lives. Back in 2006 the Air Ambulance saved James' Granny’s life when she broke her neck falling off a horse, they were there to pick her up from the accident within a matter of minutes.
In 2010 unfortunately James' Granny had another fatal injury whilst farming. The Air Ambulance once again came out but that time it was too late, she sadly passed away at the accident.
War Child - War Child aim to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out, and they stay on to support them-long after the TV cameras have gone. They help keeps them safe, give them an education, and equip them with skills for the future. War Child understands children's needs, respects their rights, and puts them at the centre of everything they do. Whether it's helping Syrian children access education, rehabilitating ex-child soldiers in the Central African Republic or seeking justice for young people detained in Afghanistan. They also work with children and young people to change systems and practices that affect them. They campaign on the root causes of conflict, and they demand that children are at the centre of all humanitarian responses.
Sands - Sands supports anyone affected by the death of a baby, to improve the bereavement care received by parents and families, and to influence policy makers and promote research to reduce the number of babies dying. It is a stillbirth and neonatal death charity. They aim to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies' lives. James has worked with Future Family for over four years now. Future Family offer both emotional and financial support for families if they have a child born with a disability.
James has seen over the years how difficult it is when a family lose a child. Sands do such an incredible job so all money is hugely appreciated.