Welcome to the November edition of the Young Heroes newsletter.
With less than 5 weeks to go until Christmas, we understand that your Christmas shopping will be well and truly underway and you’ll be busy making preparations for the all too special day so at Young Heroes we very much appreciate you taking the time to read our November newsletter.
In this newsletter you can read about Antonio Machin Martinez, a young man from Las Brenas in Lanzarote who is the first young hero the charity has supported from outside of the UK. We also speak to 19 year Jason Tony who recently returned home from a refreshing break in Lanzarote.
Also you can read about young hero Kim Leeming’s christening of her beautiful twin daughters, the website makeover plus we have the final installment from Katie Brooman’s Lanzarote adventure in ‘Katie’s Corner’.
In our newsletters we always mention and give thanks to the wonderful people from this country and abroad who are working hard to fundraise for or donate to Young Heroes and this month is no exception.
There’s Charlie Dowen’s mammoth 26 mile walk success, several restaurants who have donated meals to young hero Antonio, coin filled smartie tubes and a fundraising event in Lanzarote.
Until next month,
Staff from Young Heroes last week welcomed the first Spanish young hero to be supported from outside of the UK on what was a most fun packed and adventurous week’s break.
18 year old Antonio Machin Martinez comes from Las Brenas, a beautiful rural village in Lanzarote and until now had never flown outside of the Canary Islands, only making regular trips to the main hospital in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria where he was undergoing intensive treatment for cancer.
At the tender age of 13 Antonio was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, a rare cancer which is usually known to affect middle aged and older people. Shortly afterwards he developed secondaries in the blood vessels within his lungs.
As Antonio got older and began to feel well enough he began to lend a helping hand in the family’s business, a lovely rustic restaurant called Casa Marcos in Las Brenas where he still helps now by cooking and serving customers.
Young Heroes first heard about Antonio through a local gentleman who knows the Martinez family well and thought that the charity may be able to support Antonio in some way or another.
A group of generous locals on the island donated some money towards a trip and Young Heroes funded the remainder.
Knowing that Antonio had not traveled outside of Spain, staff at the charity thought it would be a wonderful experience for him to visit England and show him the best of what our country has to offer.
Antonio’s adventure began the minute he landed in Manchester where he was whisked off for some relaxing time at his accommodation before been taken to see the Christmas lights been switched on in Manchester City Centre. Plenty of fire works, Performance from X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke and the hustle and bustle of the city centre left Antonio amazed and he had a fantastic night.
The following day, football-mad Antonio visited Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford where he enjoyed a tour of the stadium with Young Heroes support staff Nicola Mullen and John Doran.
Over the weekend, Antonio had a wonderful time in London where he was wowed by the Natural History Museum, enjoyed the unparalleled views over the capital on the London eye, saw the most famous clock in the world Big Ben and the home of the British Government, Westminster.
When the sun went down, Antonio enjoyed his fine dining experience in a well known restaurant and then danced the night away in the bars and clubs in the famous West End which he thoroughly enjoyed and thought it was a fabulous experience.
After returning to the north, Antonio spent the next couple of days in York with Bev and Rob Law, the charities Health and Support coordinators, where despite the cold, dreary weather, he sampled the quaint shops on the cobbles, the Yorvik Viking centre amongst many other tourist attractions, and enjoyed drinks in an exclusive bar in the centre.
Assisting in the language translation was Tom Higson who kindly donated his time to help communicate between Bev, Rob and Antonio. Tom is currently studying languages at York University and was pleased be of assistance.
Antonio’s spent his last day relaxing with Bev and Rob in York before returning to Manchester for a wonderful meal at Mediterranean Restaurant, Ego in Preswich along with the charities’ support and fundraising staff.
Before Antonio flew home on Thursday I managed to catch up with him to do a video interview about his experience in England and his thoughts about Young Heroes.
The interview will be included in next months newsletter
Young Heroes would like to thank the following people and organisation’s for the generosity and support they have shown Antonio during his Young Heroes Respite Break:
La Tasca, Trafford Centre, Manchester
Ego Mediterranean Restaurant, Prestwich
Lucia Wine Bar and Restaurant, York
Café Rouge, York
Tom Higson, Language student at York University
We would also like to thank all the people behind the scenes who made Antonio’s trip possible and ensured he had a trip to remember.
We would also like to extend our gratitude to Antonio’s parents who have kindly offered a free meal in their restaurant to a number of young heroes who visit Lanzarote.
Question and Answers with Young Hero
19 year old Jason Tony recently returned home after a relaxing yet fun respite break in Lanzarote with girlfriend Chloe. The break came as a wonderful surprise for Jason who has a nasopharyngeal tumour and especially at a time when he most needed it.
Jason has kindly shared his thoughts in our Questions and Answers about his respite break, the support he and Chloe received whilst on their ‘dream’ break and why he would recommend Young Heroes to other young people with cancer.
What were your first thoughts when your CLIC Sergeant worker mentioned Young Heroes and the break in Lanzarote?
J: I couldn’t wait, I was just so excited and really in need of a break.
What aspect of the holiday were you most looking forward to?
J: I was looking forward to the whole experience but mainly just chilling out with my girlfriend and of course sampling the bars and clubs in Lanzarote.
How did you find the support you received whilst in Lanzarote?
J: The support was excellent, just amazing. Bev and Rob the health support staff were brilliant and on call 24/7 so it was really reassuring for us if we needed anything, they’d be there.
What activities did you do whilst in Lanzarote?
J: What didn’t we do? We did everything. We went on the bikes, sunbathed, went shopping, went to some bars and clubs and some fabulous restaurants. We also swam a lot in the pool.
In and amongst we both found plenty of time to relax and enjoy the sun.
How did you find the villa and the setting?
J: Beautiful. The villa was amazing and in a great location as it was close to everything you needed.
Was it nice to get away from hospitals for the week?
J: Yeah definitely, it was great to get away and not have to think about appointments and tests.
How did your respite break help you?
J: I returned home relaxed and feeling like a big weight had been lift off my shoulders.
Would you recommend a Young Heroes break to other young people in the same situation as you?
J: 100%, definitely. It was an amazing experience and I didn’t want it to end so yes I would totally recommend it.
I just want to say big thank you to everyone for making our break happen.
If you are one of the many loyal visitors to Young Heroes makeabigdifference website then prepare to see some major changes over the next couple of months.
Behind the scenes, the site is being restructured and re-designed with the hope that the new design will reach out to and engage more with young people; providing them with all the information they need about our services at a click of a button.
The design changes are set to make the site more contemporary, interactive and easy to navigate whilst the new text will be more informative and centered round being ‘young person’ friendly.
Look Out For..
In the new year we will take a tour round the new-look website highlighting the changes we have made and why.
Congratulations to Charlie Massey and husband Stephen for their incredible achievement in walking 26 miles for Young Heroes.
Charlie (41) from Milton Keynes had been preparing from her marathon walk months in advance slowly building the miles she walked each week but back in August was left disappointed when she had to postpone the walk after a foot injury left her unable to put any pressure on it. With plenty of rest and physiotherapy she was back on track and ready for her big day.
Diabetic Charlie, and her husband, who was dressed as a school boy, set off on their expedition on Saturday 7th November at 8.30am from Le Strange Arms Hotel in Old Hunstanton where temperatures were a mere 3 degrees and gales blew on them and fellow supporters. “Thank goodness I was dressed as Miss Whiplash” Charlie says “The outfit kept me really warm which I was most grateful for with top temperatures reaching just 12 degrees”.
As you can imagine wearing a PVC ‘Miss Whiplash’ outfit she certainly managed to raise a few eyebrows along the way and with the help of a local radio station advertising Charlie’s walk, dozens of car horns peeped as drivers showed their support.
Thankfully as the morning went on, the sun shone over Charlie and Stephen as they ventured past Snettisham, Ingoldisthorpe and Dersingham, even finding time to visit the queen’s residence at Sandringham, although Charlie laughs “Unfortunately she was out”.
By 1.00pm they had hit the half way point and turned round to start the grueling walk back.
For the last few miles, an exhausted Charlie and Stephen were joined by Charlie’s mum and dad who walked an impressive 3 miles by their daughter’s side.
Charlie was also joined by her brothers’ children on the sea front stroll who did a wonderful job shaking their fundraising buckets and collected a fantastic ?70.00.
Just 3 and half hours later Charlie was greeted back at Le Strange and was left overwhelmed by the support and welcome she received.
“I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all who have supported me in my quest and know that the Young Heroes are truly grateful too,” she said.
Overall Charlie’s event has raised a jaw-dropping ?2,390.00 which will ensure that a young person living with cancer and their carer will have an incredible and memorable respite break abroad.
On behalf of myself and everyone at Young Heroes we would like to say a big thank you to Charlie for her time, effort and commitment in raising such a magnificent amount of money for the charity and thank you to all who supported Charlie and donated money.
You can still congratulate Charlie for her incredible effort and sponsor her by visiting
Young Heroes’ twins Christened
Young Hero Kim Leeming, the wonderful and very brave young woman who last year gave birth to twin girls has recently had them christened.
Jennie Louise and Donna Bridget, who have also recently celebrated their 1st birthday, were christened on the 10th October and the girls looked beautiful in their matching christening gowns.
Friends and family of the Leeming’s packed into the church in Bradford and had celebrations afterwards at the Grattan Stadium, Bradford.
Congratulations to the girls and best wishes to proud parents Kim and Jay.
Kim’s Trafford Centre Day Out
Prior to the christening, Kim and the girls enjoyed a trip to the Trafford Centre with volunteer support worker, Nicola Mullen to choose the christening gowns for the special day. They had such a wonderful day and did plenty of shopping, even finding time to grab a bite to eat.
‘Successful fundraising in Lanzarote, benefits Young Hero Jason Cox ’
The Inn Plaice is a restaurant bar, situated in Punta Limones, Playa Blanca, run by a very special lady called Maria, along with staff, Gary and Sophie.
For some of our Young Hero visitors’ who crave an English meal whilst on their memorable break, the Inn Plaice has provided them with good home cooking and wholesome food.
The Sunday lunches are especially renowned for quality and taste, let alone the portions!! Maria can be found searching for good quality vegetables in the local fruiterria.
Maria having met some of the Young Heroes, and taken an interest in the work of Impact Young Heroes charity, decided to put on a table top sale during the summer months. Lanzarote has suffered badly in the world recession, and with tourism being 40% down this year on the island, she took on a hard task.
However, her efforts were rewarded and we were able to collect 105€ in September. The money was given to 19year old Jason Cox, one of our Young Heroes, to put towards the £400 spending money given to him by the charity, which enabled him to enjoy good food and partake in activities’ on the island.
He and his partner Chloe enjoyed a wonderful holiday with bright blue skies and balmy evenings and returned to England relaxed.
The photograph shows Bev and Rob receiving the money from Maria, and also Jason saying thank you to Maria for her efforts to support a young person with cancer.
During the summer months a number of people took part in a Young Heroes fundraising challenge in which they had to fill empty smartie tubes with change. Between them they have managed to raise ?60.00 and are still collecting so big well done to everyone and keep up the good work.
Monday 5th May 2008 (Continued)
We had such a wonderful time in Lanzarote and over the last week we all had a few jokes about not going home just yet, not for one second did any of us think it would come true! The next thing we knew we were at the boarding gate and were told to go back to arrivals, collect our luggage and check in again! Whilst in the queue to check in again we learned that our flight had been cancelled, they were filling the other planes up which were going to various locations in the UK. I was in a wheelchair so after the families with children were sorted out we were next in the priority queue. The flight we were originally booked on went to Manchester, which isn’t far from where we live; we were offered a flight to the East Midlands (nearly 3 hours drive from where we live) and then a coach to Manchester. There were four problems preventing us from accepting this flight;
- We had extra leg room seats booked and they could not guarantee we would get them (I could not get in a normal seat, let alone sit in one!)
- We needed wheelchair assistance as I could not walk around the airports (I knew wheelchairs had been booked so therefore did not bring mine from home).
- I could not get on a normal coach; the one they were providing was not a wheelchair accessible one.
- They wanted an immediate decision!
Luckily the lovely Bev and Rob came to our rescue and the villa was empty for the next few days as the next flight out wasn’t until Thursday. It was very surreal going back to the villa that evening, but we were so grateful that we were able to.
Tuesday 6th May 2008
We had a relaxing day today and recovered from our evening spent at the airport! We had a trip to the supermarket to get some food, went for a swim and had a Barbeque for tea.
Wednesday 7th May 2008
Today we went to Puerto Del Carmen which is the main tourist town on the island of Lanzarote. Mum and Dad went on the beach for a walk whilst me and Bev went for a walk along the prom (me on my scooter). Then we all went for cocktails! We had a Barbeque at Bev and Rob’s villa for our tea.
Thursday 8th May 2008
Our final day today (yes really this timeL) we all went to Playa Blanca for ice creams as a last day treat and crepes for lunch. Our flight was delayed by about 40 minutes, but luckily that was the only problem this time. The airport staff recognised us from Monday and really looked after us; we took off at about 9.30pm, arrived in Manchester about 1.30am, and arrived home and settled by about 3am!
Thank you for reading, I really hope you have enjoyed my Lanzarote diary, and for the people who may be going in the future I hope it has given you a bit of an idea about the place and some ideas of things to do. Thank you so much to everyone at the charity and the endless fundraising that is being done to provide holidays like mine to people who may not have the option without the special people that support Impact Young Heroes.
See you next month at Katie’s Corner!
Fundraising Idea of the month
Sponsored Sporting Activities
There are tremendous opportunities to combine fundraising for Young Heroes with a hobby or interest you love.
Whether you play a competitive sport or simply love watching your favourite team on the telly, these sport related fundraising ideas are perfect motivators to get all sport-loving people involved in fundraising activities:
Sponsored run – Compete in one of the country’s big marathons, half-marathons or 10Ks, or you can organise your own sponsored run. Ask donors to give a bonus donation when you run a certain distance, or if you complete the run within a certain length of time.
Sponsored swim – Swimming the English Channel is the most famous sponsored swimming feat, but you can also swim laps in your community pool or take a dip in a famous river or lake.
Sponsored bike ride – Cyclists have a variety of road and off-road courses at their disposal, taking them the length and breadth of the country. Choose a course suited to your ability and start pedaling!
Whatever sponsored activity you decide to undertake, make sure to practice and train well before the big event. Depending on your current fitness level and the activities you plan to do, this may take several months.
Set a clear goal, such as competing in the London Marathon, and begin preparing far in advance. The more you do in preparation for your big day, the more successful you’ll be.
Good luck fundraisers!