GUEST BLOG: NICK’S STORY by CARINA TALMEY

We recently donated a weekend away at the Wiremill as a prize for a fundraising event which will be held in honour and support of Nick Stanley on Sunday 11th September. This is the story that encouraged us to help Team Stanley, told by his good friend and former colleague, Carina Talmey.

After years of hard work at school and university, I was loving my new job as an Occupational Therapist (OT) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, but after a long illness which saw me out of action for nearly eight months, the thought of returning to work was pretty daunting. That’s when I met Nick Stanley.

Nick was a Locum OT at the hospital (meaning he covered shifts across a range of specialties – an incredibly competitive sector) and worked in the Trauma Unit, to which I was returning. Not only was he a fantastic colleague and OT, he also quickly became a great friend. He held my hand as I made a tentative return to a crazy world, stood by my side when I needed him and encouraged me to stand alone.

In the six short months we worked together, I learned more from Nick than I ever had from anyone. He rebuilt my confidence and left me believing in myself. He also helped develop my love for the Trauma Unit –  I am now the lead OT at my local hospital and am training to become a specialist in spinal cord injury.

You can imagine my horror when a few months ago, news reached me that Nick had been involved in a serious accident. He’d been knocked off of his bike whilst cycling to work and was left fighting for his life in intensive care.

Against the odds, Nick bravely fought back from the brink. Tragically, he had sustained life-changing injuries. A severe spinal cord injury had left him paralysed from the waist down and further injuries resulted in him losing the use of his left arm. As a friend, I was devastated by his life had changed and as an OT, I understood exactly just how much.

But Nick had so many reasons to get better. His wife of nearly 3 years, Nicole. His little girl, Rylee-May. The unborn baby his wife was carrying at the time of the accident. An entire family and friends who loved him. And his patients of the future.

Having had such an impact on my life, I knew I had to do something to support Nick and his family in their time of need. They are always the ones that help others – now it was our turn. A close friend of the family set up a fundraising page and friends, family, colleagues and former patients flocked to offer their support. I wanted to offer something to help but I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could turn my donation into something more.

Cue the Team Stanley Fundraiser.

I hired a community centre, invited some friends along and wrote to local businesses, asking if they would be able to support the event in any way. I envisaged a raffle with maybe one or two nice prizes, a little cake sale in the corner and hoped to perhaps raise a few hundred pounds for my friend and his family.

It’s now three months later and I feel like I’ve taken on a second job as an events planner! With the support of my own incredible family and friends (particularly my loyal sidekicks Emma and Sam), we’ve created an event which we hope will be really special.

There’ll be a buffet, alongside the cake sale, a whole section for kiddies with a tombola, lucky dip, guessing games and face-painting (I offered to have them try a few faces on me – I now look as if I’ve had a bit of a dodgy tan!). There’s also a raffle so phenomenal I can still barely believe it. For even in a time when money is tight and business is tough, unbelievable generosity from local businesses has seen us create a raffle with over £1,000 worth of prizes! We’ve had so much support; we’ve had to put some of the prizes in a silent auction! With generous donations from people who can’t be there (and also monetary donations from some local businesses too), we also have a healthy fund – before the day has even arrived.

It’s schemes like the Random Acts Of Kindness project that make it possible for people like me to do things like this. They have helped me turn a little idea into a huge fundraiser. That in turn is going to make the most amazing difference for Nick and his family. The money can be used to help make their property accessible. It can take off the financial strain (neither Nick nor Nicole have been able to work for many months now, being stuck miles away from home with Nick in a spinal rehab unit). It can take away some unnecessary worries and it can allow Nick to focus on his rehab to regain as much independence as his injuries will allow. It will quite literally help change their lives for the better, at a time when they have had to face so many difficult challenges.

So thank you – family, friends, businesses. Thank you to projects like The Random Acts Of Kindness. Thank you for helping me help my friend.

Written by: Carina Talmey

365: 18 LOOK. SEE. FEEL.

We tip our hat to Amnesty International for this beaut’ of a video. Yes, we got a little bit teary when we watched it (Allie got VERY teary. She’s a sensitive soul, that one!).

May we suggest you sneak a peak? It’s a worthwhile four minutes of humanity, love and yes, KINDNESS. We dare you not to start sniffling!*

*tissues at the ready!

365: 11 SAIL AWAY FOR £15,000, BABY

YO, HO, HO and a bottle of rum…

Aaaaarrrgh…and away they went! The big bosses left us this weekend, embarking on a journey across the seas, playing pirates and raising a staggering £15,000 for charity.

It was a good weekend for RAOK! The 2016 Interbrewery race started on Friday with Tim, Anthony, Jason and Ed setting sail alongside the crew from CPL. They even spotten royalty (K-Midds) along the way.

Anthony took over as cap’n at one point  (with appropriate headgear, of course) – horror for the entire ship – but Tony the skipper, fondly known as Superman, quickly took back the reigns.

They arrived safe and sound yesterday – minus a few bottles of rum…

365: 10 SUNDAY SANDWICHES FOR THE HOMELESS

We indulged in WAAAAAAY too much food yesterday (hello lazy Saturday). Unfortunately, not everyone gets to indulge in too much food – today, we decided to do something about that.

Ah yes, it was RAOK excursion day! We went on a mission; Allie popped into the Somers Town kitchen this morning and with the help our lovely chefs made some homemade Yummy sourdough sandwiches (#SundaySnackPack!). She handed them out to homeless people at different locations around the city and even popped into the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church to donate a few.

The church hosts a free Sunday Roast lunch every week (talk about RAOK!) and we’re thrilled to receive some sandwiches for people to take away with them.

Good karma? We think so! You can help out too – check out Streets Kitchen for more info.

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WE’RE ON THE HUNT FOR MORRISONS…

…or rather, the lovely lady from Morrisons who inspired us with her random act of kindness. If you haven’t already read about Lin (where have you been hiding the last week?!), sneak a peak below.

Lin, if you’re reading this – just you wait. We’ve got something special planned for you because we think YOU’RE SO DAMN AWESOME!

To be continued…very, very shortly (that is, as soon as we get ahold of her).

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HAAAAAAVE YOU MET OUR HEAD OF RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS?

First thing’s first. A big whopping THANK YOU to all the lovely, beautiful, amazing, charming people who applied for the position of Head of Random Acts of Kindness. You put time and thought into your messages and that’s special in a world where it’s “Hello, CV, send” in a nano-second. You also shared some great stories and we really wish we had more than one spot to give away.

We also hope you enjoyed your free drink – our thank you for sending in an application!

And for the big reveal…*drumroll*…everybody, welcome Allie – part social butterfly, part kook, part journalist student – but most importantly, she’s now your go-to for all things kindness (and as it turns out, she’s also pretty good with the techie stuff – hurrah!).

There’s plenty more to come, so watch this space. Oh, and don’t miss Friday. We’ve got a special surprise for you…

Allie, over to you!

FANCY HAVING THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD?

(let’s just answer that for you, shall we? YES, yes, you do).

You’ll get to spend your days being kind, making others feel better, brightening the moods of strangers. But wait, there’s more. You’ll be part of a family, part of the Yummy Pub Co loon army – equal parts brilliant and crazy.

Now we’ve got your attention, let us tell you what it’s really about. We’re looking for someone creative, innovative, inspired (and maybe just a little bit nutty) to help us help others. You’ll be part of a new project, a revolution, which at its core is about people and rewarding them for their incredible Random Acts of Kindness (small or big) – as well as creating some of your own and telling the world about them. 

Be it a cuppa, a meal for someone who can’t afford to pay or who just deserves it on the house, even a weekend’s stay at our country pub for someone who normally sleeps on the street; as they say, the sky is the limit (and it’s a very big sky…).

Ever heard of the guy who put five dollar bills in library books, the café that opened its doors to stray dogs on cold winter nights or the man who gave away money to 35 people on his 35th birthday, instead of asking for presents of his own? We have and we love it. It’s about giving something to others for nothing in return but really, it’s not just a selfless act because it makes you feel good about yourself, too. 

By all means, draft up a CV and slap on a gorgeous photo of yourself –  but what we really want to know is WHY you think you’re the right person for the job. While you’re at it, why not give us some ideas on Random Acts of Kindnesses that you’ve witnessed or even done yourself? Email us at jobs@yummypubs.co.uk

P.S Your title? Head of Random Acts of Kindness. Told’ya it was the best job in the world. 

What an incredible day…

I own an amazing company.

I realised whilst I was away on hols that its not been built by Anthony, Jason or I for sometime now, we’ve been guiding it, but its actually being built by my people. Yesterday & today have brought that home to me, more than ever.

I’ve had some fun. I’ve pulled my 24 hr shift, played with websites and Twitter and Facebook and been in meetings and meetings and meetings, but my guys and girls have been the one’s delivering. And thats what they do, day in, day out.

Today, I believe we have made a difference.

It just takes one.

One match to save a beautiful little girl like this one.

Yaser and Vicki are clearly never going to ever let anyone forget who she is, I actually think she might turn out to be one of the most important little girls lost the World has ever seen with the drive, passion and commitment they have to spread their message. It just takes one. One match.

Its been an absolute privilege to be part of the awareness campaign today. The drum will keep on banging, I’m keeping the yummy websites down until Monday with the takeover pages to tell anyone thats looking for a cracking boozer of mine, just have a look at what you could do first.

If I can be remembered as Keith has made sure Franca is remembered today when I part this big old lump of rock, I’d be skipping around the moon.

Live life. Love life.

Thanks to all of my loons. You’ve been exceptional.

http://flipagram.com/f/ZlL1pm8aHg

Love ya.

#Liveyourlifeday

#togethersavinglives