Delia and I were bemused and shaken by this experience and spoke at length over many cups of tea about how if we ran a charity, it would be very different to the norm. We spoke about a very simple form, absolutely no tick boxes, our phones on all day every day, and that we would give freely of our time to those who may not have much time.
Along with no tick boxes, there would be no discrimination between age and gender for applicants, meaning that anyone of any age with any life threatening, life shortening, and terminal condition could apply, and that we would deal personally with all applicants, emphatic to their needs, and matching those as much as we possibly could. Quite a simple task in the early days of me & dee with on average 12 families a year supported. Fast forward 13 years and this is over 100 families a year, but the ethos remains the same, the same quality of personal service albeit this takes on average 200 volunteer hours a month for me to run.
Over 3,000 families have been helped over this time, from the early days of a ‘treat’ charity to now providing a holiday at no charge, in our new lodge based at Sherwood Hideaway in Sherwood Forest, a place to enjoy peace and quiet, a place to make memories.
I simply could not be prouder of what I with a very small team manage to achieve each year for these very precious families facing short and uncertain futures together. I carry Delia and the ethos of all that we thought was important in my heart and know that she would be so proud too.