I am writing to you from a Virgin train after a little jaunt to the Capital. I’ve been working in our head office near Gatwick Airport, blah blah blah, that doesn’t interest you at all. In between my hectic work schedule I managed to squeeze in a visit to Number 10.
About 4 weeks ago I received an invitation for an evening with the Prime Minister, Theresa May. I eagerly accepted and waited in anticipation for the night.
Here’s how the story goes
I set off from my hotel in the freezing cold, dress on, hair done, invitation in hand, wait, wait, wait, wait – I forgot my photo id! I traipsed back to the hotel scolding myself for being unprepared. After a short train ride I finally made it to Westminster and was awed by the sight of Big Ben lit up. I was so excited. I called my friend Lesley to meet her but no answer (I could guarantee she was in the pub!) so I headed to Downing Street and joined the queue with other sarcoma patients, medical experts and Sarcoma UK staff. After a thorough security process, I was at No 10!
No photos so we had to store our phones at the entrance. We were all escorted to a drinks and canapés reception on the first floor which spanned two very impressive and plush rooms. Paintings of previous Prime Ministers and Monarchs covered the walls. After mingling, meeting new people and being asked “hey, are you dizzytix? I follow you on Instagram” three times, Theresa May entered the room. After a few pleasantries she headed to the microphone and spoke about sarcoma and why No 10 had chosen Sarcoma UK as their official charity.
In 2015, Chris Martin who was the Personal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister sadly passed away after being diagnosed with sarcoma. Obviously his friends and colleagues wanted to raise awareness and much needed funds for vital research. This has catapulted Sarcoma UK from a small charity into the spotlight as a major player in driving change for sarcoma patients. WOW.
In the words of our Prime Minister:
We’ve been honoured to support Sarcoma UK as the 10 Downing Street charity of the year. Chris is a much missed figure who was hugely popular amongst his colleagues here and the whole team has been very proud to continue his legacy, helping raise funds and awareness for Sarcoma UK, the only charity of its kind in the UK.”|
It was lovely to hear Theresa May talking about the things that they have all been doing to raise funds for Sarcoma UK, from Tough Mudder (she made it clear she wouldn’t participate in that one!) to fancy dresses and bake offs. It made me realise, these are good hardworking people who are trying to do something amazing in memory of their colleague and friend and its completely irrelevant what your political stance is.
I am truly honoured to have been invited last night and to be in a room full of such wonderful and amazing people made it extra special. I’d like to thank Sarcoma UK, not only for the invitation, but for the support and work that they do for people like me.
The Paralympian Gold Medallist Richard Whitehead is the patron of Sarcoma UK. He volunteers tirelessly for the charity and even completed 40 marathons in 40 days…(yep!) and last night, he was awarded the Point of Light volunteering award for his services to the charity. This award recognises exceptional volunteers who make a difference in the lives of others. He truly is an amazing and humble man who wants to help and improve things for us sarcoma patients. Well done and well deserved Richard.
To read Sarcoma UK’s write up please click here.