Having felt as helpless as the next person in the case of Ahed Tamimi, I have tried to at least raise some awareness, and hopefully raise some much needed money for people from Ahed’s neighbourhood in the occupied West Bank, as well as in the besieged Gaza Strip.
For anyone that is unaware of Ahed, this article explains it better than I – aljazeera
Here is a little more background that will explain the reasoning behind Ahed’s actions – haaretz
As you have now hopefully read, child abuse is normal in the illegally occupied territories.
Anyway, me and my pal Lewis have knocked up a T shirt design that will hopefully be able to raise some awareness of Ahed and her families situation. With the help of TeeMill (Powered by my friends at Rapanui Clothing) we have put together some items for sale, with all profits going to charities within Palestine. Every little helps, right?
There are plenty of different colours available, and hopefully in the coming days, we’ll get some more designs up together. Any requests or suggestions are welcome too.
I am performing at this years AFA Charity event in Nottingham.
I will be playing an acoustic set at Saltbox Nottingham in the evening, but more importantly, I will be putting my boots back on for the first time in years, as part of that afternoons charity football match.
If you are in the area, check it out and support the cause.
I have spent the last two Fridays in a young offenders institute just outside Derby. I am lucky enough to be involved in a musical project called ‘Lives and Lyrics’.
The idea of the project is to take stories from different areas of society, and put them into song. Other musicians are with different communities across the County. At the end of the project, we will release an album and tour the songs around the local area.
It has been an eye opening experience, and now I need to put pen to paper and do these kids justice.
I am gathering up as many football shirts as I can, so I can post out to Gaza, and the West Bank.
There are several kids and teenagers in Palestine, that love football, but don’t have access to football shirts, and equipment.
One bonus of Football Clubs ripping off fans by changing their kits every year, it that we all have plenty of old shirts we rarely wear.
I am sending out a bag full of Derby County shirts, but would love to send out shirts from as many other clubs as possible. If it is sat in a drawer, unworn, it should be being enjoyed by someone else. That’s my think anyway.
Contact me on Twitter, or email me through the contact page and we will arrange to get the shirts sent out, Or you can send to me, and I will happily pick up the tab to send them out to Occupied Territories.
Our address is: Gaza Football Shirts, Suite 4, 185a High Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2PN.
This morning I woke to the tragic news that at 2:30 am, Lewis Mighty passed away peacefully in hospital, aged just 7 years old.
Lewis was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2008, at the age of 3. Since then the Mighty family have been raising money for Lewis to have ground breaking treatment in the United States.
The target was £300,000 and as I write this, the money raised stands at £242,000. The very thought that money, a piece of paper, should be the difference between life and death, should sicken every one of us to our very core.
The Lewis Mighty Fund (http://www.lewismightyfund.org.uk) is incredibly close to many peoples hearts, including my own. People all over the Country attempting incredible feats to raise money for Lewis. BBC’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ even featured Lewis’s illness.
Despite all the pain and anguish, Lewis, and his Mum and Dad, never complained. They just kept on going, and kept on ploughing through. Lewis, Perry, and Jaime are a true inspiration to all of us.
I had the pleasure of hanging out with Perry a couple of times, and he even came to support me at one of my shows in Derby. He really is a top bloke and for someone like him to be suffering like this is heart breaking.
Lewis was symptom free for 2 years and all of us genuinely thought the little star had defeated this horrendous disease. But on May 12th is was reported that Lewis had taken a turn for the worst, and the Cancer had returned.
Since then the entire City of Derby came together in support of Lewis. Hundreds turned out to candlelight vigils, and thousands sent messages of support.
On Monday night we launched an attempt to get #prayforlewismighty trending Worldwide on twitter. Several locals and friends across the Country bombarded the site with messages of support.
With massive stars from the World of music, Football, and film, joining in, #prayforlewismighty did in fact become the number one trend across the entire planet. A fitting tribute to an inspirational little boy, that has touched the hearts of all of us.
When I woke up this morning and heard the news, I, like everyone was truly devastated. As I write this, I am laying in bed with tears streaming down my face. But if a 7 year old boy can show such incredible courage, then so should we. As much as we mourn his passing, we should be celebrating what he achieved in a mere 7 years.
And more than celebrating his life, we should learn from it. If every single one of us wakes up every morning with the sole intention of being ‘more like Lewis Mighty’, then I really don’t see how we can go too far wrong.
In my eyes Lewis Mighty will always be a reason to be a better person. And I truly hope that Lewis passing will raise awareness of Neuroblastoma and therefore, save many other Children’s lives in the future.
In the past, I have completed two charity fundraising attempts for Lewis Mighty. (Videos at the bottom) But next year, when my leg is healed, myself and my friend Steve, will be attempting the biggest one yet.
Neuroblastoma is not well known enough, and awareness should be raised to this disease. I admit, before I came across Lewis Mighty, I had never heard of the disease either.
Next summer we’re swimming from the Isle of Wight to mainland England, walking the 191 miles to Derby, and then cycling on to Glasgow.
With every mental wall we hit, or pain barrier we are struggling with, one amazing little boy will push us through. A 7 year old boy with the heart of a Lion.