Welcome to the August edition of the makeabigdifference newsletter; your one stop shop for all Young Heroes news and updates.
Half way through the year already! Where does time go?
It’s been a really good and busy couple of months for both fundraising teams at Young Heroes. Sharon Brown and myself being part of the Super Heroes team went all out with the Summer Ball back in June and are already planning more events, so watch this space!
We haven’t been the only ones busy fundraising this month, Jack Brown and the Wyke Writers workshop held a wonderful Poetry evening with sales of the book ‘A Cat and a Kipper’ going to Young Heroes, which you can read about in this months newsletter and also 2 brothers from Whitley Bay sparring for 100 rounds of kickboxing against some well known faces!
You can also read about Team Super Heroes’ latest volunteer who is no stranger to the newsletter and will be featuring her own articles in each edition as of next month. We’re really excited to have Katie on board and her involvement with the charity and the newsletter will be most beneficial.
I hope you enjoy this edition and wish you all the best until next month. Remember if you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter please email me on
Let’s get ready to rum-bull…
2 martial arts mad brothers from Whitley Bay have pledged to raise £10,000 for Young Heroes by joining Young Heroes Team ‘Relentless’ & competing in a mammoth 100 rounds of kick boxing.
Andy and James Olsen (pictured below with Kerry Louise Norbury – seven-time world kickboxing champion along with Bradford Bulls players Jamie Langley and Wayne Godwin) will be taking centre stage on the Grattan Stadium pitch, home to the Bradford Bulls Rugby League Club to battle their way through 100 rounds of what is sure to be an extremely hard and gruelling challenge.
The pair have been training tirelessly since announcing the challenge.
Andy, the eldest of the brothers, says “We are training very hard for this event, and your help and support would be greatly appreciated”.
He goes on to say “for those who don’t know, James has Downs Syndrome. He is Rugby League (in particular the Bulls!) and Martial Arts mad and was delighted when we arranged to do this. We have had fantastic support in getting this far, but your sponsorship is the key to us reaching our target”.
This spectacular event will take place on Tuesday 15th September 2009 between 1pm and 8pm. You can sponsor Andy & James on their JustGiving page by visiting
Further details about this event will be available shortly on the makeabigdifference website so please keep a look out!
Charlie’s War Wound
Charlie Dowen, the leather clad lady from Bedfordshire has unfortunately had to postpone her 26 mile walk which was originally planned for next month due to a foot injury.
The injury comes as a major blow for diabetic Charlie who has been unable to train for the charity walk since 4th July and has only recently been able to start gentle exercise on the treadmill after the injury left her unable to walk on it.
The walk is now planned for November giving Charlie a chance for her foot to heal and get fighting fit again.
The 26 mile walk will begin from Old Hunstanton in Norfolk through Heacham, Snettisham, Ingoldisthorpe, Dersingham, Sandringham and back round to The Le Strange all whilst wearing a Miss Whiplash black pvc dress, leather whip and accessories!!
You can sponsor Charlie on her JustGiving page by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/charliedowen/
Charlie so far has raised an astonishing £1323.00 for Young Heroes but has set a target of £2,200 which will pay for a young person living with cancer to have a respite break in Lanzarote for a week which is an amazing gift at a time of such stress, uncertainty and upset. “What we all take for granted is like a dream come true to them” says Charlie, “these young people on a daily basis fight so many challenges that we cannot even begin to understand. Big kisses to you all and on the walk I will be selling Whip Lashes and kisses for a tidy sum to go in the charity buckets!!”
Please be generous with your sponsorship and support.
Poetry Evening in aid of Young Heroes
Young Heroes would like to thank Jack Brown and the members of the Wyke Writers Workshop for organizing a poetry evening in aid of Young Heroes. The charity would also like to thank Lyndsey Moon for her illustrations and reading of the book A Cat and a Kipper.
The event was held at Wyke Christian Fellowship on Tuesday 28th July 2009 and proved to be a great success and a great night was had by all who attended.
The evening started with poetic readings from members of Wyke Writers Workshop and readers who kindly stood in for those who could not attend. A Cat and a Kipper was read by Lyndsey Moon accompanied by her graphics on the projector.
After the refreshment break, Young Heroes’ very own Bev and Rob Law gave a fantastic speech about the work the charity undertakes and why it is so important to keep donating.
Shortly after, newly appointed Super Heroes volunteer Katie Brooman read a poem she’d written which can be viewed further down in the newsletter.
The evening raised a total of £80 which includes sales of the book ‘A Cat and a Kipper’.
We caught up with Jack Brown, the organizer to find out the inspiration behind the idea “The idea to support Impact Young Heroes with a poetry evening came after seeing the fundraising ideas on the Make A Big Difference Web Site” says Jack “I decided that the recent booklet A Cat and a Kipper that Lyndsey Moon illustrated would be an ideal fundraiser and set about printing 150 copies.
A chance meeting with Tina Watkin (Bradford Writers Circle and local radio presenter) meant an interview on Bradford Community Broadcasting where we were able to advertise the Young Heroes benefit.
Wyke Writers Workshop have supported several charities over the years including Wyke New Horizons Interest Groups, Manorlands, Headley Court Military Hospital to name but a few”.
A CD of the radio broadcasts is available to anyone who is interested and A Cat and a Kipper on sale now priced at £3.00 + £1.00 p&p.
Every penny raised from the books will go towards Young Heroes so why not purchase one for your children, grandchildren or even yourself!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your orders.
Young Heroes update – Katie Brooman
Katie Brooman’s story was the first to be featured in the makeabigdifference newsletter back in November 2008. The 22 year olds’ touching story left readers in admiration at Katie’s bravery and determination to fight Osteosarcoma and come through it with such dignity and positivity. She is a remarkable young lady and for those new to the newsletter you can read her full story by clicking here.
Here 9 months on, we catch up with Katie to learn about life nowadays, her health checkups, learning to drive again and volunteering for Young Heroes.
“This year has been a busy one so far, January was a very exciting time for me as I started driving lessons again. I had started driving lessons before I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and passed my theory test, but you need to pass the practical test within two years of passing the theory test, so unfortunately this had run out whilst I was having treatment. It took a bit of getting used to driving again with my right leg now being mostly metal, but I feel that starting lessons again was a great boost of confidence and independence for me. I got a motability car in January, which is great and will give me so much independence when I pass the practical part of the test. I passed my theory test at the beginning of April.
July was a busy month with us moving house. I hope to live independently again in the future and I am hoping this will be possible once I have passed my driving test.
I have also been involved and hosted various charity and awareness events and I am also a member of a teenage and young adult research group. I am now on 16 week check up’s in Leeds, at these appointments I have blood tests, x-rays and see my oncologist. I am grateful that so far everything is ok. In June I had my 6 month check up with my surgeon, he was so happy with how my leg is doing he doesn’t need to see me for a further 12 months! I feel my mobility has improved a lot this year, I still have problems walking slowly and not being able to walk very far, but at least I CAN walk”.
Super Heroes latest recruit!
The Young Heroes Super Heroes team is pleased to welcome Katie Brooman on board as an active volunteer. Katie, who has helped at previous fundraising events, was keen to be involved with the charity after having a respite break with us back in April 2008.
Katie felt that she wanted to give something back and help other young people in a similar situation.
She says “Being involved with the charity and influencing research is a pleasure for me to do, I feel that it is giving something back and will hopefully benefit current and future patients”.
Katie is currently underway with her first fundraising challenge which is to get 10 people to fill 10 tubes of Smarties with 20p’s which totals a whopping £150.
It is a simple yet very effective way to raise money for the charity and I’m sure Katie will prove it to be a success. Good Luck!!
My Poem by Katie Brooman
There was a big lump on my knee;
The doctors didn’t know what it could be,
So off you go to physio and we shall see.
Two years down the line and I was still not fine.
What on earth could this problem be?
We need to look inside to see what we can see;
Osteosarcoma is what he said to me,
10 weeks chemo it had to be;
And St James’ in Leeds is the best place to be.
ROH was next for the replacement of my knee;
The tumour was high so they replaced my thigh.
The physio’s were neat; they got me on my feet;
I didn’t feel great but they couldn’t wait……..
To get me on that bleeping machine.
For 30 weeks I did not roam; only to St James’;
My second home.
My dad was a star; he took me everywhere in the car.
Whilst mum made the butties and packed.
The doctors and nurses were great;
Unlike the food that was on my plate!
That year did not zoom;
But I would be in my own bed soon.
To get the news I couldn’t wait; I was in remission.
It was great!
Fundraising idea of the month – Curry Night
Spice up a quiet week by holding a Curry Night at your local Indian or Asian restaurant for what will prove to be an evening of fun, food and fundraising!
Firstly you have to approach local restaurant owners and find out which nights they are quiet (usually early in the week).
Then suggest that, if you arrange to bring a large number of people on a certain night, they could provide a menu or buffet for a set amount. The lower the cost, the better.
You will have to tell the restaurant approximate numbers – it may be worth asking people before hand to gauge how many would be interested. Then arrange a date (usually a week beforehand) to confirm numbers.
You then sell tickets for the meal at an increased price – this additional amount being donated to Young Heroes.
Maybe you know of a singer, comedian or band who would be willing to donate their evening to the curry night (you would need to obtain permission from the restaurant) to add that little bit of entertainment.
To promote the night you could put leaflets into the restaurants takeaway bags and menus a few weeks ahead and see if your local paper will help promote the night. The restaurant gets more trade than they might usually mid-week and you raise money for Young Heroes.