Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Oh what a night!

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

I did it! 

My year is over and I can't believe it has been that long already. I find myself writing this ironically in the same state I wrote that first ever blog... Sitting in bed alone, with time to reflect. 

It really has been an incredible year and I have achieved things I never would have thought I could. I have had so much fun doing it and have learnt so much, like a tiny extra bit of facial hair can really make a difference in body temperature, and hula-hooping is not as easy as it looks and that an astounding amount of confidence can come from being naked in front of strangers (I still recommend that to anyone!). 

So the Ball itself... Well I can only describe it as fabulous. It was the most amazing evening, everyone looked incredible, we drank, we danced, we ate and it seemed I was not told about the game for the evening.... "Who can make Hope cry the most?". I think I spent as much of the evening crying as I did smiling, and I had cheek ache from smiling so that should give you an idea on how much I cried! These tears were happy don't worry... They came because of my wonderful, darling friends and family (I'm feeling tears now just thinking about it). They have all been so wonderful during my escapades, and I know I have already said it a thousand times but I don't think those who have supported me will ever really know how much they all mean to me. Without them I couldn't have done half the things I did. Without them I wouldn't have had a cake stand at my hula-hoop-Athon or a board for my kissing booth, or raffle prizes for my ball, or a ball at all for that matter! I owe a lot to them all. If I didn't think people would get bored I would name you all... I just hope you know who you all are! 

I owe you all a lot but I have to say (without sounding big headed) that I am proud of my achievement. I never imagined I would do as well as I have and to give you an idea of why I am so happy I will tell you what you are all waiting to know... The final amount..........

So the breakdown:
Previous amount raised: £6402.50
Amount raised from the Ball: £2832

TOTAL £9,234.50

When I started this I never put a total on it but in my mind I would have liked to have raised £10,000. I am pretty darn close so I am ecstatic and I hope that this money can make a difference in the lives of those affected by Autism. 

Mo Wilson made a very poignant speech at the Ball and everything she said are real issues facing families every day. My year is a small drop in a very big ocean of what can be done. So much more can be done and I aim to help do those things or at least contribute the best I can. 

My year may be over but my fundraising in my own ridiculous way will continue, I'm just going to ensure my efforts are bigger, better and more ridiculous than ever before! I have to say I may not be able to keep up the monthly events but I will keep up this blog as much as I can and will be keeping everyone up to date with what I am doing for the Trust. Oh and I am totally available for all event organising in future! Turns out I really REALLY love organising stuff! I mean most people knew this anyway but I LOVED it and turns out I'm not half bad at it! 

If anyone is thinking of organising their own I recommend the below contributors:
Band - The Toons www.facebook.com/thetoonsband
Chair cover and sashes - Daphne Richards 07950 187595
Auction - www.fundraising-auctions.co.uk 

Venue - Alexandra Suite, Swanley. James Matthews (manager) is awesome! 01322 613900
Photographer -  Gabrielle Salter www.facebook.com/gabie.salter

Honestly I don't really know how to end this one... I suppose it's ciao for now.

I will of course add a later blog with some more photos. I suppose all I can do is ask to keep reading, keep supporting, check out The Autism Trust (www.theautismtrust.org.uk) and if you think of anything whacky I can do in 2015 let me know! 

Thanks for reading everyone! 

Hope... Out 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Here goes nothing

"Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate" - Jon Bon Jovi

It's a friday night. I have had an emotional day which has lead to me blogging with a cup of tea, some Medeleine cakes, listening to my mum's favourite song on repeat and honestly, I am bawling my eyes out.

I do this a lot I have realised. I am usually a very put together person until I have a few cocktails and all of a sudden I am a mess of emotion. It usually starts off with some sad and ends in a bubbling mess of joy and confusing happiness!

Today my sad is that my colleague and one of my besties has her last day at work today. She has been there a year which in comparison to a lifetime is nothing, but to me, she is my lifeline at work and I see her more than I see anyone. It's a big deal to me. She is off to do better things, which I completely and utterly told her to go for. I think I may have been the main reason she left, and I wouldn't change my advice for the world but I will miss her. Then this kind of feeling usually quickly turns to appreciation. The fact that I have her as a friend and i hope a forever friend. I am a soppy whatsit really you see... 

I have been getting a bit stressed about the event tomorrow - I mean I feel quite a responsibility to the charity to raise funds for them. Especially after all the effort gone into this event tomorrow from all sorts of people. This effort is where I start to get soppy. I am so lucky to have people around me who are willing and ready to help me, whether it be friends offering to assist in fitting chair covers tomorrow to my mum ordering balloons, to my sister running up to asda for raffle tickets to people I know donating items. It suddenly dawns upon you at moments that these people don't have to help, they could not even take an interest and yet they are, which makes me feel super lucky. I think most people have these supportive friends and family in their lives and I hope everyone gets this feeling that I do once in a while, of pure appreciation and that overwhelming realisation that people love you. 

So I suppose I should tell you how it's been going regarding the ball tomorrow. I have everything under control... i think! the only thing left to do is a playlist which I am taking a break from doing right now. Then all to do it turn up, set up, then keep fingers crossed! i think once I wake up tomorrow it's all outta my hands. There is very little I can do but hope people turn up, they like the food and the event makes money.... 

The two things I am most looking forward to are probably the most non-important things!
1. the band. I love live music and i think this will really make the evening something special
2. To see what people are wearing. I very rarely get to wear anything special. I thought the only time i would get to wear something floor length and fancy would be on my wedding day! Tomorrow I get to do this AND i get to see what "ridiculous" things people are wearing!

There will of course be photos for people curtesy of the photographer from the evening Gabrielle Salter. I will ensure you all get to see them. 

So, really there isn't much more to say other than "wish me luck!" and see you on the other side!

Hope... Out!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be 

frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at 

every attempt to intimidate me.” 

If someone were to ask me what my weaknesses were I would be able to tell them straight away that I am stubborn and I am impulsive. When you throw these two things together you are in for some serious fun OR I am going to stress myself the HELL out. It can very easily go either way!

So when I decided to start this year of fundraising by doing ridiculous things it was impulsive and everyone thought it was a bit of a crazy challenge to set myself but luckily my stubbornness saw me through and it has lead me to raising over £6,000 and have met some great people doing it and had some memorable times with my friends and family who lets face it are all one and the same!

Now, coming to the end, I am organising a fabulous event which I know a lot of you are now familiar with (sorry, not sorry) which has been the outcome of again my impulsive nature but has lead to the stressful repercussions. 

Who thought that bunging together a few prizes, balloons, band, food, people, decorations, venue, chair covers, speakers, photographer, invitations, posters, advertising, sponsors and budgets together would be so difficult? Sod organising a wedding after this! I am hiring someone to do mine!

Anyway... Today it almost got to me - I can prove this as I went to get ready for bed I found I still had my bra on. Now people who know me well will be shocked to know that I was at home, for hours, and didn't take it off as soon as I walked in the door. That's how you can tell it's a bad time for me! While doing a full-time job I thought maybe finally I had taken on too much and was on the verge of caving but a few things pushed me through... Firstly my family, jumping right in and picking up phones, hiking around where I live delivering leaflets and generally sorting me out. Secondly the wonderful staff at The Autism Trust for answering every question and demand I have of them! Thirdly that stubbornness..... that voice in my head that says "don't give up. what's the point in giving up? You'd just be lazy and dumb to give up on it now!"

When I was in Primary School I had a teacher, Miss Hinnigan her name was, who used to moan that I have up on things when I found them hard. It was true, I did. But in my defence it was algebra and WHEN HAS ANYONE EVER USED IT IN REAL LIFE?!

Even now I give up when things get hard... in the gym I don't always do all 10 squats because it hurts, and who cares if I have a toned bum or not!? or wearing heels all night. Sod it, I am just going to give in when my feet hurt, not worth the gain for the pain!

However, this, raising money for a good cause and having fun doing it is not something I can give up on and I won't. I will make this event amazing, and so worth it! I want to make myself cry with pride! I want to say I have achieved something, and not only for myself. 

So lovely people, buy tickets, buy beautiful dresses and get those suits dry cleaned and come join me in doing something great! We are going to have SUCH a good time because I will make it so!

I know I have flogged this a million times but here is goes one more time: 

Saturday 1st November
Alexandra Suite, Swanley
7pm - 1am

Tickets are £55
Larger group bookings can get a cheeky discount

You can get tickets if you message me, or via the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ayeartomakeadifference, or pigeon, smoke signal... any way you see fit!

Well that's it for tonight. 

Hope..... Out

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Speed is not of the essence

“If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.” 

Sometimes I can get a teeeeeny bit carried away. Apparently I have a rather impulsive personality. Don’t worry, I wasn’t told this as part of an intervention or anything, it wasn't a surprise, I kind of already knew.

Impulsive and stubborn which can be a dangerous combination. Almost a very dangerous one this time.

So, I mentioned a while ago that my sister and I were planning on roller skating from Swanley where we live to London Victoria. Well I thought this was going to be as simple as hula hooping for 24 hours. Turns out I was WRONG. So terribly terribly wrong.

Now, we have both mastered skating forward, pretty much stopping on flat surfaces and I reckon if I really put effort into it I could cope with backwards (pillow strapped to my behind of course!). However, downhill is just something we cannot comprehend as something we will be able to do anytime soon. Well, not so much that we can’t go downhill. That bit we are fine at. It’s the gliding at a rapidly increasing speed downhill where there are busy main roads at the end of that hill bit that we aren’t so keen on.

I foolishly (and naively) figured 2 weeks practice would have us ready for a 17 mile skate to London easy peasy. Wrong. So very wrong. It was driving back from Bromley (which is a 20 minute drive from me) that it dawned on me that this challenge was a death-wish. There were minimum 6 steep steep hills that ended with roundabouts, a lot of traffic or required me to jump off and on pavements. we would have literally ended our lives on 23rd August. I was not #keen as my friends would say. Mostly because I have a Ball to organize still and a holiday in October, and I am desperate for a tan!

So as I drove home I got a bit down at the fact that we wouldn't be able to complete my challenge.

However there is a heroine to this story and of course a happy ending….

My good friend Ellise (now she really knows I love her genius because it is forever written down on the world wide web!) came up with a bit of an idea!

We can still skate… just pick somewhere flat instead! GENIUS!

So now my sister and I are going to be skating around London Hyde Park. It will be the equivalent distance around Hyde Park. You will find us quite easily – we will be the ones flailing around being passed by elderly people and toddlers!

For this challenge my sister has created a page – all donations will still go directly to the Autism Trust but as this was her idea and is more her challenge than mine – mostly because she falls down more than me – I am using her page for donations https://www.justgiving.com/Lana-Anscomb

So everyone please take a little look and if you have spare dollar please help push her along!

Hope... Out

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Guess who's back.... back again - hint: it's not slim shady

“I do not count what I fetch from Life, I do count what I give it in return” 

So I'm back 

I know I kinda failed everyone the last couple of months by being sucky and not having time to do anything else for The Autism Trust.... Shall I update you in my life so you known what I have been up to and I can try and feel not so bad about going AWOL 

- I got a new boss at work who is lovely and great for the company but everything went insane so I had zero time to myself to organise any kind of event - I had flat issues, so I ended up having to move home. This involved a lot of organising bills, moving all my crap into one room which overspilled to the garage, to the loft pretty much to anywhere it would fit! - I went to Rome with my lovely lovely boyfriend who puts up with all my insanity! - I got a promotion at work which was great but still piling on the work...- I have passed two (possibly three) exams - they have all merged into a big blob of accounting so who knows! 

That's about it. And that's all my excuses made for why I have been poop at fundraising recently which I am annoyed at myself for because I pledged to do this for a year.... 

Anyway, enough feeling sorry for myself! I have given myself a kick up the bum and am making more time for myself / being a little bit more sneaky with my time? I am currently writing this on the train on the way to yet another exam! 
So I was sitting at home with my sister and mum (who are on a par of ridiculousness as me) trying to come up with some ideas for my next challenges.... One in August, one in September and one in October before my ball (I will come back onto this later)...

Some of the ideas were less than ideal but then my sister (who has her genius moments) came up with my next challenge... Ready....?? 

On Saturday 23rd august me and my sister (and anyone else that wants to join!) will be rollerskating from Swanley to London! 

I imagine THIS is what we will look like and not as glamorous as below!

It sounds ridiculous and it quite obviously will be. I am going to put it on a par with the 24 hours of hula hooping in that I am not an avid skater and haven't done so for many many years! But I figure.... How hard can it be?!??!?? 

The details are yet to be confirmed as this was only brainstormed the other evening but of course it needs to be MORE ridiculous so of course we will be in fancy dress! 
There will be a planned route that will see us skating through Sidcup, Eltham, Lewisham and Camberwell so you will be welcome to see us at checkpoints along the way or even meet us at our final destination (Victoria station most likely so I can get the train home and my legs have to do as little as possible after no doubt destroying them from skating 17 odd miles!).

This challenge of course will be sponsored and you can do this on my usual justgiving page (www.justgiving.com/ayeartomakeadifference) 

Now, I think we can do it in 5 hours - this is based on google maps saying it will take 5 hours 40 minutes to walk! What would be great is if I got bonus sponsorship for doing it under this time....??? Cheeky I know! 
So obviously there will be an update closer to the time but for the moment this is the outline plan. 

In the meantime I still want to point you towards the fact that I am still holding a ball on 1st November which will be FULL of fun and entertainment, the chance to win prizes and of course dress up to the nines! 
The invitations are being designed as I speak but I wanted to put all your minds at ease that it is still going ahead and I will be releasing details very soon and that you should all save the date.... Remember, Saturday 1st November. If you are reading this on an iPhone or other such like device I know you can pop that into your diary straight from this blog so NO EXCUSES! 

As a slight side note I am holding a raffle and auction during the evening of my ball, if anyone knows of any business or organisations that is willing to donate any form of prize please let me know as I would be grateful for any help you can offer! 

Well this has been a long one but has relit the fire for doing this for such a great cause (www.theautismtrust.org.uk) so watch this space! More good stuff coming up soon! 

For the time being

Hope... Out

Saturday, 26 April 2014

My Bad

"Time is flying never to return" - Virgil

As the title of this post mentions... My Bad - my bad for not being around much lately. Unfortunately (or fortunately - depending on how you choose to look at it) I have another life other than this ridiculous stuff. I have a real job and grown up stuff to do and organise. In fact work has really cranked up the pressure so I have been on full-time working and no time to take a break and write to you lovely people - whoever you may be. I am assuming you are all lovely. I mean if you are reading a blog about charity fundraising I feel it is a pretty decent assumption that you are good peoples. 

So I have been busy but now I have got a bit more of an equilibrium and am back on the fundraising bandwagon. I mean I am in no means going to get anywhere near this guy... 


That is seriously impressive and inspirational! It's stories like these that should make us grateful for what we have. There are things happening to people all over the world (and probably on your street!) that you would never wish upon anyone so just remember - life is short. Do what you can to be happy and share it around!

So, I am afraid this month it is a little short notice and not particularly exciting... tomorrow me and my Rag Tag Team are off to do some bag packing at the local M&S. Thinking about it really, there are usually small boys or girls wearing scout or guide uniforms doing this. I wonder what the customers of M&S think about some twenty-somethings standing there asking to pack their bags. something to ask them all tomorrow I suppose.

So if you live in bromley or nearby and fancy dropping in to show some support, or point and laugh please do - although if you are planning on doing the latter I hope you have brought cash with you!

To make up for this not-so-ridiculous event I am planning on something a bit better for the next one and I have a meeting this week with someone about a marathon... of sorts. Think along the lines of the Hula-hoopathon but more ridiculous and perhaps even less thought through! 

Once I have more details I will let you know. Keep your fingers crossed for this lovely lady I am meeting to say yes!

Another bit of "news" on the fundraising front is that I have now got a date and a venue for my ball. Now because it has been a while since I have actually written one of these things (and I do not have the inclination to read back through all my previous posts) I am going to assume that I have actually never told you of my plan!

So, my plan is that at the end of my year I am holding a ball - and I think actually maybe I should call it a Jolly Good Time Partay. I am basing this on the fact that my friends and family and families of friends will be in attendance and the majority of them / us are not the most composed of people and when you say "ball" you think grand entrances, glamourous gowns and the most amazing etiquette.... yeah I think you get my point. So I am going with Jolly Good Time Partay.

Anyway, I have a venue, a date and am on the verge of getting a band. 

There will of course be food and as above - dancing - but I am also planning an auction, raffle and lots of party games! So look out for the tickets being on sale. I am aiming to get them out in June. 

What I am asking now is the IMPORTANT BIT! So I mentioned auction and raffle. What i would like all your fabulous help with is some prizes. If your company or friends or family have an experience or goodies or service they would be willing to offer up for my event i would be ETERNALLY grateful and you will be rewarded with good karma! :)

I am thinking beauty treatments, personal training, meals, drink, pampering, hotel stays.. you name it, I will make it a prize! If you have something that you think would fit this criteria please send me a message on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/hope.anscomb

Now you all feel a little less tense and relieved that you know what is going on in my life I shall get onto watching Greys Anatomy :) - if you don't watch it you should. I mean I have to say that Game of Thrones is now THE SHOW but Greys will always have a place in my heart and on my TiVo box!

Night all

Hope... Out


Saturday, 22 March 2014

It's all a facade

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” ― H. Jackson Browne

Now I have been thinking about what to do for my next challenge and I think I have decided... 

Now I will admit I have been slacking on the fundraising side. My brain seems to be so full of stuff from my usual 9-5 job that it has very little room at the moment to be creative and have interesting thoughts.

Then, when my imagination decides it's ready it is at 8am on a saturday morning. I MEAN COME ON! this isn't fair! 

On the plus side I am up and being productive and there are parrots in our garden which makes me feel like I am on holiday so it isn't all bad! PLUS (and this is the best bit) I am having no-bra saturday as well as no-bra sunday! I mean life doesn't get better than that! seriously, this is the peak of my week.

So... I am going to put forward a little plan for my next challenge.... Again, I am not sure I have thought this through very well but I don't seem to have done that for my previous challenges and it's worked out pretty ok! So this one is based on the same thing as movember which as you know if you read my blog was much more unpleasant as I had anticipated and actually I think this one may be worse... but here goes....


Now I am talking PROPER fancy dress... here are some ideas:

However if you have something you like in particular and you donate heftily then I am willing to try that instead!

The rules of this challenge are:

  • I will wear a fancy dress costume for one month (hopefully May if I can raise enough by then!)
  • The costume will be worn at all times outside of work - unfortunately I don't think I will get away with a mutant ninja turtle in work. The moustache was a little less obvious
  • The costume may change throughout the month dependent on dry cleaning fees and weather
  • If during my challenge you are in need of a "guest appearance" from an angry bird or tele tubby I can definitely show up for a donation
Now all I need you to do is get sharing and get donating to get this challenge on its way!

Tweet it, Facebook, write it in your own blogs, tell people at work and at the pub and in the supermarket. 

Now get going! help me get this money raised to get this going!

Hope... Out x

P.S. The drawings from my life-drawing class posing will be up on eBay at 7pm this evening so have a look and remember ALL money goes to THE AUTISM TRUST. Such a good cause people! FIND THEM BY SEARCHING "Life Drawing for THE AUTISM TRUST" or just my name hopeanscomb