There are so many good and worthy causes out there that you can dedicate your time and money to, and that you know will have a benefit for someone in need. Like most people, I try to do my bit for charity. But, (and I’m guessing that this is also like most people), I can sometimes become a bit ambivalent, a little worn down, by the seemingly never ending list of charities who would like me to help. Nevertheless I always think that it’s amazing that there are so many people out there who care so deeply about helping others that they can give their time to raise money and awareness of their cause. It’s just that I can’t physically or financially help everyone.
Every now and again though there is a cause which touches your heart, and helps you to shake off any ambivalent feelings. Most recently this happened to me when I heard about Millie’s Trust. Fair warning here folks, this isn’t going to be easy reading for everyone.
Millie’s Trust was set up by Joanne and Dan Thompson, the parents of Millie Thompson. Millie was your average nine month old girl who was by all accounts full of life, and clearly adored as the first child in the Thompson family. However, tragedy struck on Millie’s third ever day at nursery, when she choked on her lunch and shortly afterwards passed away. The coroner’s inquest heard that not all the staff at the nursery had basic first aid training, which may have helped to save Millie’s life.
As a father who, at the time of first hearing about Millie, had a nine month old daughter at nursery, I was crushed by the thought of this happening to anyone. And so when I heard that Leah from Your Wedding Angel had also heard about Millie’s Trust and had been moved to organise a charity ball in order to raise funds to provide free first aid training to parents and nurseries, I offered my services to help in any way I could.
So it was that on Friday 7th March 2014 I arrived at the lovely Blackbrook House in Belper, Derbyshire to run my event photography studio and coverage of the evening. Leah and I weren’t the only suppliers to offer up our services for free – the very talented Ben Hicklin AKA Just Ben was there to compere for the evening and entertain the guests later.
The room looked absolutely lovely, as always at Blackbrook. I’ve shot a few weddings there before and it’s always a pleasure to go back. The guests of honour were of course Joanne and Dan, Millie’s parents. Joanne spoke for a few minutes just to let everyone know of the fantastic work that the Trust are doing, and how the money raised that evening would be put to good use. She also introduced us to some of the very cute MT merchandise on offer, including the very cuddly toy giraffes, all of which can be purchased from the Millie’s Trust online store here.
In the end, after the charity auction of football shirts and the raffle, plus a few daft games orchestrated by Ben, we raised over £3000 for Millie’s Trust! It was an absolute pleasure to be part of the evening, and I will continue to support Millie’s Trust whenever and however I can.