14 Aug

TKOE – or some of TKOE – are in Crete. I’m a bit ouzoed as I write this, something I’ve not drunk for 34 years following the worst hangover I have ever had. It’s nicer in moderation.

We’re doing hot weather and beaches and lots and lots of sleep. And we’ve also learned that people here are buried for three years and then their families can choose which bones to keep which is both cute and wierd. And the mountains are fabulous.

Just a quick touch base for now. The Internet is a bit dodgy so not going to push my luck. Where have you all been on holiday?

Jo xx

Two questions for a Sunday

13 Jul

Why is this blog getting so many spam comments in Greek?

How can we get someone in Greenland to read this blog?

That is all.

Jo xx

Guest blog, guest blog – thankyou @EarlMortimer and Tilly

10 Jul

Earl Mortimer College has always been a place in which both students and teachers actively try to help those outside of the College with the intention of demonstrating that the wider community and their needs are just as important as our own. Whether it be a Macmillan Coffee Morning, a Children In Need cake sale or a non-uniform “Feel Good Friday”, we always manage to dig deep and pull it out of the bag to raise vast amounts of money for amazing causes. This year alone, we have been able to raise thousands of pounds in order to help the sick, the vulnerable, the elderly, and many other groups in society, both at home and in faraway places, to get the all-important care and devotion to all of those who are not as lucky as ourselves. With the end of the academic year fast approaching, the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural group had one last, very hard decision to make before kicking off their SMSC boots for the summer… what was the last “feel good” fundraiser of the year going to be in aid of?

After careful research and deliberation, the group came across the story of local girl Rosie Kilburn, who sadly died of cancer, and decided that her organisation, The Knock on Effect, was the worthy cause they were looking for after being inspired by Rosie’s attitude and strength throughout the tribulations she had to face in her life. However, her story is not one of doom and gloom as you may be thinking. Rosie was a fighter, determined to not only combat her illness, but to help others deal with cancer and its effects in the process. She was definitely not a victim of her disease, and she wanted to get rid of the horrid taboo surrounding ‘the big C’ and rather concentrate on the bigger picture; what people could do to help.

Rosie’s mother, Jo Davidson, was our guest speaker at the 2014 Annual Academic Awards evening earlier in the year and shared precious memories of her daughter with many of our students and their families during her speech. This has given us a real insight into the kind of person Rosie was and as a result, many students possess the same admiration for Rosie as the SMSC team do already!

After losing her battle to the disease, The Knock on Effect lives on as an independent organisation in dedication to Rosie and her efforts. It continues to deliver the help others may need to come to terms with their illnesses and encourage progression, rather than ignoring the problem and locking themselves away from the outside world. The Knock on Effect acts on Rosie’s behalf to organise fundraisers to carry on her work, and EMC are proud to say that we are able to take part in fundraising for The Knock on Effect on Friday 11th July.

Students will focus on the wide theme of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of America and all lessons will be tailored according to this. Cakes will be available to purchase during breaktime and lunchtime on the Friday and there will be an all-American themed lunch in the canteen to accompany this. Furthermore, students can enjoy a round of Extreme Golf on the field, participation will be encouraged and all proceeds will go to The Knock on Effect.

Naturally, there is a US-themed clothing policy that will be enforced for one day only; EMC students have been asked to take advantage of this and dress to impress in all their American themed finery!

External competitions, such a designing a logo or art piece to be used by The Knock on Effect, will be running in conjunction with events at College. The best entries will be shortlisted, and given to Rosie’s organisation to be used on merchandise, such as T-shirts and mugs. They will also be used to auction off later in the year in a bid to raise even more money and enable The Knock on Effect to carry on the terrific work they do.

The SMSC group have high hopes for the drop down day, and are urging all students to get behind it to make Friday 11th a massive success and raise awareness for this local organisation. When I asked Miss Anderson (who is head of the SMSC group) about this day she said:

“I am really excited about this. The students will get to experience exciting lessons and learn about a different culture. It is also a fantastic opportunity for them to engage with each other and strengthen the bonds here at EMC. I am really proud that so many students have thought about why we are doing this and the impact it will have on helping others. The students really took to Rosie’s story and were inspired by her determination and humble nature. This day is about celebrating her achievements and pushing others to break the taboo surrounding illnesses such as cancer. Days like this encourage community spirit and that is something that this College is full of!”

I was really excited when Miss Anderson asked me to write this blog! I hope that by seeing what we have done here at EMC other colleges will be encouraged to fundraise more and help their local organisations help the community. BE INSPIRED, I was!

Tilly Stanik (Year 12)

Breaking news

5 Jul

Do you ever have times when everything you touch, breaks?

So far in the past 10 days:

I broke the new teapot lid by accidentally sweeping it to the floor when I picked up a piece of crumpled cling film which was secretly stuck to it

I broke a favourite mug which leapt out of the cupboard when I opened the door. It gashed my finger which bled later over the counter in the Thai takeaway, so they had to use their first aid box

I broke another mug by putting a mug next to it. That’s all I did. And it went bang and fell apart. Perhaps they’d not been getting on.

The real reason for popping over here though is to give a big shout out to King James School, Almondbury and Mrs Noble, for all their TKOE fundraising :) THANK YOU!!!

Jo xx

Reasons to be cheerful are

3 Jul

1. Paul, a good friend and TKOE supporter has just made his 40th blood donation. OMG!

2. Earl Mortimer School in Leominster is raising money and doing all sorts for TKOE. YAY!!!!

3.TKOE is five years old today. Yes, five years ago tonight many many people crowded into Newent School Hall and raised £12k through the famous art auction. So, as one part of celebrating, here’s what our Rosie had to say the day before:




Nah..Its okay – It’ll be fine yeah? Omg..


Coming to tonights preview night? 4-8pm in Newent Community Schools main hall :) Be there. And tomorrow 4pm start with the auction starting at 7:30pm.



and the day after


Well done and thank you to everyone who helped to make yesturday night so awesomeee :)

We’re in the process of sorting out the silent auction bids etcetc but mum added up the monies earlier and (when all the money has been collected) the grand total so far is:














I’ll write a more detailed post tomorrow or summin :)

:) :) :) :)

Lovely to read her words.

Thank you to everyone for those last five years. What a time we’ve all had :)

Jo xx


29 Jun

This time of year is lovely and sad all at the same time.

Lovely because it’s warm(ish), with light evenings and sun (sometimes). Sad because it will always be connected with Rosie’s last summer. And Race for Life.

This year Sylvie and her friend Shannon are running/jogging/walking three of them so they do 15k. All in memory of Rosie and to raise money to fight liver cancer. So today they were at Cheltenham. Next week it’s Worcester, the week after Hereford. If any of you want to donate, you can do it at http://justgiving.com/SylvieandShannon

We saw some of Rosie’s friends who have big plans for next year – helllooooo Becky – and we know other friends were there because we’ve seen their pictures. But somehow we missed them. That’s you we’re talking about, Zumba Natalie :)

I’d post some pictures but either the WordPress site or my iPad won’t let me. I’m annoyed now.

You been watching Glastonbury , football or tennis?

Jo xx


Sunshiny days

22 Jun

Don’t you just feel so much better when the sun shines? I’ve just come back from a fab 24 hours in Hebden Bridge made all the more special by the weather. And the midges. I can’t remember the last time I was in a midge attack. Chris was left home alone. He claims he had a party, but if he did he’s cleared up remarkably well.

TKOE has had news from a school which wants to raise money for us. So we’ve said yes. Of course. People are so generous, and still inspired by Rosie. Someone else has read her blog from end to end and was overwhelmed by it. It’s also Race for Life season now. Yay to Belle Bailey for doing 10k today in Rosie’s memory :) :).

Brilliant news on Friday on the university results front. Emily, one of Rosie’s friends got a 2:1 and Amy, special Amy, only went and got a First. Special times for both of you. Well done!!!

Jo xx

We’re back, we’re back

2 Jun

Hello!! That was an unexpected break in blogging. That’s the longest the TKOE blog has been offline for 5 years. Have you missed us?? We’ve missed you.

Work was just crazily busy and overwhelming for a whole month which had an impact on the whole family. Then last week was a week of recuperation and relaxation with family and friends. And there was no physical time for any TKOE activity at all. Just nothing. Not to mention no spare mental space to string more than two words together.

Whilst that was going on, Cal has defied all expectations by doing well enough in his NVQ housekeeping at Foxes to be highly likely to be able to do additional NVQ modules in another discipline. So he’s back there for his third – and final :( – year in September. And then the really difficult bit comes – what is he going to do??

He airily texted Chris to tell him he’d had a blood test. Just a regular check up and he’d told the doctor ‘ow’. We’re not entirely sure if it was him having one or he was reporting on someone else. I suppose we ought to find out really. Concerned and responsible parents would.

Two things to report on TKOE – thank you John Paterson for your magnificent donation.

And thank you Hope Support for the lovely picture of the Y Team with the TKOE donation. See how they’ve customised it???? Thank you to all of you for raising the money for them :) :)


Back later – but not tomorrow because …. It’s my birthday :)

Jo xx

48 hours

19 May

I’m running onto here quickly just to say will be back in just over 48 hours. Been epically busy at work, unexpectedly,straight after my last post. No time to do much else. All about to go into more reasonable gear though.

Back soon.

Jo xx

Summer terms

27 Apr

Hello hello. How is everyone?

Cal went back to Foxes yesterday, much to his delight. He chuckles the length of the motorway, both when we take him and when he returns home. He allowed us to help him unpack this time at least. Usually we are packed off out the door again as soon as the last bag is out of the boot. The house seems very quiet without him though. And we’ve got to do our own hoovering again. He likes hoovering, does Cal.

We’ve been busy progressing two TKOE fundraising activities these past few days. We’ll tell you all about them very very soon. Just got to get the last bit of logistics sorted out and then we’re away. This is all in honour of TKOE being 5 years old in July. 5 YEARS!!!

A really really big thank you and YAY :) :) to the GRH (at least I think it is the GRH. Dawn???) orthopaedics team for choosing TKOE as their people to support and for already raising £210 through their Easter raffle. Very very happy days. Thanks you.

We also had some brilliant news about the blood drop campaign this week too. All you TKOE knitters, helped create 8500 blood drops. The target had been 700. Well, the plan was to get 6500 new blood donors from the campaign. The final tally is 8500, one for every blood drop. How good is that?? There were even a few people on Twitter showing off the free blood drop they got with their first donation, which was cool. I wish we’d put a secret TKOE domino on all of ours so we could see where they went….

Finally, have all of you seen the amazing Stephen Sutton. You can find him at https://www.facebook.com/StephensStory?
He is the 19 year old with terminal cancer who has managed to do some amazing things and raise over £2m for the Teenage Cancer Trust, in the process. He’s at Rosie’s YPU in Birmingham (I think he’s even in the same room as she was, judging from the decoration). It’s been kind of hard reading what he’s been saying and doing, because it’s wonderful and sad all at the same time, and has brought back so many memories. Sammy, who Rosie met when she went for the vInspired awards, met Stephen the other month. She says he’s like a male Rosie. Incredible kids. Inspiring people.

Jo xx


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