Tag Archives: Hope Support Services


3 Jan

So, Rosie would be 25 today. 25???? That’s a whole quarter of a century. I wonder what she’d be doing – having a grand old time, whatever it was.

We aren’t going away for her birthday until Feb, to accommodate A level revision and mocks. Good job really because Chris has been ill since the beginning of time, it feels like. So that would not have been fun. Cal is going to the pantomime, as he officially has the best social life of all of us at the moment. We’re off to Reykjavik in 6 weeks though.

Not being away has been pretty hard. Got into a fairly pointless anger about her not being here. When we’re away it’s much easier to stay focussed on other things.

Anyway, what we can do is announce the birthday TKOE donations this year, which is a much happier thought.

Drum roll please……….

This year, Hope Support Services and Forget Me Not Childrens Hospice will get £1250 each. Yay 🙂 🙂 🙂

This is all thanks to TKOE supporters who have continued to raise money, one way or another. Thank you – it means so much to us and to all the other people who are helped by the work the organisations do. Rosie would be very proud.

We’ve still to hit the £50k barrier, but we’re not far off. And from April I’m going to be giving some more time to TKOE as I’m leaving my job to have a bit of a different work/life balance. More of that in a future post 😀😊😱

Here’s some pictures or our beautiful Rosie, 25 today.

Jo xx

Inspirations – Part 1

17 Jan

Hello there everyone. How are you all doing? I’m working my way through a VERY long list of things to do, and have broken off to post this. Because this is a week of inspirations.

The first inspiration is a person. Her name is Alice Hibberd, and she’s going to run the London Marathon. She’s running it for Rosie, and she’s running it to raise money for our lovely friends at Hope Support Services. She’s running it because she wants to give something back to Rosie. So here’s what she means by that, in her own words:

“I am raising money for Hope Support Services on behalf of The Knock On Effect. (https://theknockoneffect.wordpress.com/)

Since Rosie created The Knock On Effect in 2009 they have raised around £47,000 for cancer charities in the UK.

This year they are aiming to get to the £50,000 mark, and I am going to help them.

Here’s why. . .

In 2011 I had just got home from handing in a uni assignment at 10 in the morning, still drunk and in the clothes from the night before. I checked my Facebook to find a status on my newsfeed that in all honesty, changed my life.

The status was an angry one-
Someone angry that her Facebook friends were choosing to destroy their bodies with alcohol and fags, whilst she was fighting a rare form of cancer, which had recently turned terminal. I couldn’t help but feel instantly guilty-Rosie Kilburn was completely right. Although I was not the wildest of students, I was at a point where I was failing my course, going out two or three times a week and not looking after myself. .

I went back through all of her blog posts, Although we were Facebook friends, we hardly knew of each other, I don’t think we had ever spoken. It turned out that whilst I had been drinking my liver away, Rosie had been fighting cancer for two years in an extraordinary way: she had set up her own blog, a charity art auction and her own not for profit business to raise thousands of pounds for cancer charities.

Rosie’s story gave me the kick start I needed. I started looking after myself; I started running, I joined a gym, I went out less, I studied more, I graduated, I got a job. I put my health first; both physically and mentally. Those who know me well will agree with me when I say that my life has improved dramatically & Rosie inspired me to do so.

But of course, Rosie would have given anything to have those luxuries- yet she left this world in 2009, aged 19. Only 15 hours before she died, she renewed the domain for her blog- she wanted her story to live on through her family, friends, and the thousands of people who like me have been changed by Rosie’s story.

I’ve always wanted to give something back to Rosie, and getting in to the London Marathon has given me the perfect opportunity.

Over the next 16 weeks I will be out in all weathers training for the 26.2 miles. 

Any contribution to sponsor me would be greatly appreciated. 

If you are interested in Rosie’s story please take a few spare minutes to look at the amazing work that ‘The Knock On Effect’ have been up to.


What an inspiration Alice is, herself. In a lovely unexpected connection, she works in the department at Gloucestershire College where Cal was, too. So hello to all of those lovely people too. You certainly helped him on his way to being the person he is now.

Now, Alice needs all our help, so if anyone would like to generously sponsor her, I’ll put the link at the bottom. I can see some of team TKOE already have done, so thank you for that. We’ll be following Alice’s training progress . This is soooo exciting. And a lovely piece of news for a Sunday evening.


Hmm, the URL isn’t loading for her sponsor page. So, take yourself along to:


Happy times

Jo xx



Monkeyface: you rock! From gigs to crochet.

7 Jun

What a night. What a turnout. What music. What tea towels. What generosity. It was such a good gig last night. The sun shone; the people at the venue were lovely; the band were fab and everyone who came was so supportive. Almost £300 was raised for TKOE which is an amazing amount – we are so pleased. Which means we are around £500 into our £3k target for this year. 🙂 🙂

We’ve got a great long roll call of thank yous, so here goes:

Monkeyface themselves, present and past members – Paul Alcock, Julian Avery, Tim Atkins, Paul Hamer, Dave Ganner, Andy Clarke and Ruth Troughton;

Dave Draper of Tower Studios – Producer and Engineer;

Tim and Mandy Pellatt at CordialAV who produced and edited the video and also did the press comms;

Darren Sawyer for being the official photographer – can’t wait to see the shots;

Everyone at SevernFM who have been pushing the single, and continue to do so;

The Citizen and the Echo for promoting the gig, single and video;

The Wheatsheaf, Leckhampton for being such a good place to hold the gig;

Lucy and Jane Henderson for putting Paul in contact with us;

Mike Arnold, chief TKOE elf for designing the artwork and doing all the tricky webstuffy things, and making it look easy;

Rosie for giving us all the inspiration to carry on.

We’d especially like to thank Paul Alcock for approaching us with the idea, putting so much into this, sticking with us when we were going through tricky times and couldn’t really think about nice things, and generally being a brilliant person. This has really been a knock on effect in action, just like Rosie wanted it to be.

Next thing then is to get those singles sales going. Our new best friend in America, Barbie, is on the case for the digital distribution so we’re just waiting, waiting , waiting for this to reach the top of the iTunes queue, plus Amazon and all the others. Once it does, we’ll let you know. And then we want to see if we can get 1,000 downloads. Cos we like setting targets. Because all of you are really good at beating targets. 🙂 Thanks to those of you who have already downloaded from the CDBaby site.

So, while we’re waiting, and  Monkeyface are having a week off to recover (it’s the rock and roll lifestyle, you see), is there anyone reading this who can crochet? I’ve got a bit of a TKOE experiment that I need a small bit of help with.

Jo xx

You coming to the Monkeyface gig tomorrow?

5 Jun

It’ll be a good night out in Cheltenham and all for a brilliant cause. So come along. Pleeeeassse. 🙂 🙂

In other news, you should be able to download from iTunes and Amazon very soon indeed. In my music distributer guise I have been liaising with a digital inspector in the US of A called Barbie – yes, this is true – and I have just had to approve the full digital release. I felt very powerful for a moment. 🙂

Thank you for all the comments on the song and the video. It means a lot.

Jo xx

Monkeyface gig and our first ever song for TKOE

31 May

Hello hello

I was so excited a few days ago, I realise I didn’t properly explain what was going on. So unless you follow the blog avidly, you’d have been a bit confused. I know this, because people have said.

Soooo… to explain from the beginning.

A song in memory of Rosie

A cousin of the mum of a friend of Rosie’s – it’s ok, it doesn’t get more complicated than that – approached us ages and ages ago. He’s called Paul, and he’s the singer in a local band called Monkeyface. You can find them on Facebook – just go onto Facebook and search for Monkeyface. He and the band were really interested in releasing a charity single, to raise money for The Knock on Effect. So, with the help of some amazing people, the band recorded a song, called You’re Amazing. Chief Designer Mike did a design for it. And another group of lovely people did a video. If you look on the blog, you can see the link to buy the song, which  is available for download now at CDBaby (it’s just making it’s way through the gnomes at iTunes, Amazon and so on, so will be available through all those avenues too) Every penny raised goes to TKOE. Which is fantastic. And incredibly generous.

In case you can’t see the sidebar with the details on, you can get it from here:  You’re Amazing by Monkeyface at CDBaby

The gig

To launch the single, Monkeyface are playing a gig – their first one for a couple of years – at The Wheatsheaf, 283 Old Bath Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 9AJ. The link to the event and venue is on the blog page, next to this post. Just click the monkey. 🙂 🙂

It’s on Saturday 6th June 7.30-11.00pm and tickets cost an amazingly good value of £3.00 on the door. There will be some TKOE goodies to go with the tickets, as well. Which can’t be bad.

So, all you local TKOE supporters, it would be fabulous to see you there, so we can raise more money for this year’s TKOE charities, Hope Support Services and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

You know, there are so many kind people in the world.

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)

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

Three things

23 Feb


TKOE has two things and a question for you today.

The first is this:



Yay to Amy. That is fantastic, and takes TKOE related fundraising to over £8k last year 🙂 🙂

The second thing is this:



One of our TKOE donations winging its way to Beth’s Wish. 🙂 🙂 Yay!!!

And the question. The TKOE elves are going to give the website and blog a bit of a revamp. What would you like to see? Don’t be shy about giving feedback. It’s hard to step back and see things clearly sometimes, so all thoughts will help.

Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

Jo xx

Hey. Guess what

15 Jan

 You know how some of you use Twitter and Facebook? Well you’ll know what I’m about to tell you. I know though there’s a fair few of you who don’t use them. And I suddenly realised, when I was picking up a lettuce tonight, that you might not know the latest bit of news. I’ve never found lettuces a good thought provider before, but I was grateful that this one was.

Because it’s pretty epic really. (The news, not the lettuce. That was just ordinary)

Did you know, that when you add up all the money you have raised through the inaugural art auction; the TKOE sales, the zumbathons, the Rocks for Rosie, the baby land snail sales, all the other fundraising you’ve done, and all the Race for Life stuff and direct donations, then you’ve raised around about £45,000.


That’s a rate of £850 per month.

That is astounding.

And then if you think that you’ve donated at least 60 units of blood now, you’ve saved or extended the lives of at least 60 people.

Just amazing. You are truly brilliant.

Here’s a celebratory photo Chris just unearthed.


Jo xx







3 Jan

So, Rosie would be 22 today. We’ve got some flowers to take down to her and then we’re going out for a nice meal tonight somewhere in Brussels. If we get there in all this water. It is easier to be away somehow. We’re missing her a lot at the moment, but I guess that’s to be expected at this time of year.

She’d have been very very proud of all of you. Although there’s still a little bit more money to come in, TKOE has raised a further £7,500 this year. That’s seven thousand, five hundred pounds. YAY!! and YAY again!!!

And that’s without what people have raised for Race for Life this year, because I didn’t write all those down this time. I think I was going through a very sad spell in the middle of the year.

You’ve done it through all sorts of things again – African land snail breeding; jewellery, wedding favours, designing several new TKOE shop lines, running, walking, knitting, sewing, donations instead of birthday presents, donations instead of Christmas cards, regular giving, surprise, out of the blue donations, card selling, all sorts really. I still haven’t finished the roll of honour from last year, so I must get that up so everyone can see their name in lights.

When I was at QE yesterday, it was brilliant to be able to tell Vicky about TKOE and what all of you do. Because TKOE only exists because of the things that you say and the things that you do. And we cannot thank you enough.

We have been supporting three charities this year – Beth’s Wish, Hope Support and The Young Person’s Unit at QE Hospital. So they will each get £2,500. It’s really good that Beth’s Wish have made their target of £100k for teenage facilities at St Michael’s Hospice, so we are really proud that we’ve helped them achieve such a brilliant target.

So, you’ve done it again. I wonder what 2014 will hold? Well, we’ll be back with some thoughts next week. Meanwhile, here’s some more pictures of our beautiful girl, on today, her birthday:

Jo xx