It’s been emotional #teamhonkrelay

Just one last bit of the relay to go. I’ve cycled 50k, walked 20k and even endured David Cameron for 5 minutes, I’ve been to Tanzania, I’ve visited a food bank in Nottingham.

This week has been a incredibly emotional week. It wasn’t meant to be. I expected to feel relief that this 10 week project is over. I won’t lie, #teamhonkrelay has hugely disrupted my personal, work and family life on a daily basis. It became a lot bigger than we thought it would be, but I couldn’t not give it my all. And I hate not doing things properly, and I’ve had to accept it can’t be perfect, which makes me cross. So I’m tired.

But I feel more fire than ever in my belly. I want to see the end to world poverty. I want to see the wealth shared. I’ve found my soap box.

£25,000 is utterly incredible, it will make a huge difference and I want to thank everyone who has donated, you are incredible.

In my heart I know there is more money out there and that I can’t stop there.

This week I’ve dealt with the inevitable wave of grief that hits you when you do something new and incredible but can’t share it with someone important. I say inevitable, once again I didn’t see it coming and it knocked me sideways. But I’ve blogged about that over on my new site, I thought those posts deserved their own home. I found a way to come to terms with it.

It’s been a big week.

Now to put on those trainers and join in the Sainsburys Sport Relief Official Games on Sunday. Six miles in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It’s amazing to be part of something really big and I can’t wait.

My goal is to run it all, no matter how long it takes. Any cheering on in the form of sponsorship would be amazing.

Get your kit ON, with Cycle Centre

Cycling gear

Cycle Centre very kindly agreed to sponsor my kit for Nottingham’s leg of the #teamhonkrelay. I might have looked like a complete amateur on the day, but underneath that Robin hood costume from Joke I was fully equipped and prepared for anything. It was a good job really as we suffered 8 punctures on the day, so lots of waiting about in the freezing cold. Continue reading

Rate the Date – Mr A’s take on Direct Line Icy Roads

A few weeks ago I was invited to take on the skid pan in Kettering with Direct Line. As it was a night away from the kids and the sort of thing Mr A would love I asked if I could bring him too, Direct Line kindly said yes and that he could probably get a quick lap of the skid pan. On the day another blogger dropped out so Mr A was lucky enough to get the full experience.

The end of the clip says it all really, don’t you think?

My account is over on my other blog, but I’m handing over A residence to Mr A today: Continue reading

Trunkis Long Haul Flight Tested, plus bags for grown ups.

DSC00235The kids moaned lots about not having a Trunki when we did out Med cruise, so when we were offered two to review we were keen to give them a whirl. Miss L has Moshi Monsters Katsuma and Mr G has a Trunkisaurus.

We travelled from London to Miami ready for our cruise with Carnival Cruises. Here is how we got on. Continue reading

Spotlight on SSE, a Sport Relief Official Partner

sport-relief-why-were-involved_2Official Partners like SSE play an essential role in helping to raise both awareness and funds for this year’s Sport Relief. The more I get involved in Comic Relief, the more I want to know about how this all works!

Sport Relief began in 2002 and is held every two years as part of Comic Relief. In 2012 it raised a record-breaking £67.9 million — bringing the total so far to an incredible £195 million.

This month, Sport Relief 2014 will be bringing the nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. I madly decided doing #teamhonkrelay wasn’t enough and that I would also join in the Sainsburys Sport Relief Games. So I will also be running 6 miles in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for Sport Relief.

I’ve been blogging lots about raising money through sport, but did you know there are other ways to raise money?  I am going to share three very simple ways to trigger SSE donatiing £2, £4 or maybe £6 to Sport Relief. You don’t have to be a SSE customer either.

Sport Relief Official Partner SSE are major supplier of gas, electricity, phone, broadband and heating and the largest generator of renewable energy in the UK.

As an Official Partner, we’re proud to pledge our support to a fantastic charity which helps transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and around the world.

The good news from SSE is that you can still take part and make a difference without getting sweaty. SSE is offering you the chance to support Sport Relief 2014 with a few simple steps that you can complete in minutes from your phone, laptop or tablet.

This year, SSE will donate £2 for every customer who signs up for Direct Debit. SSE will also donate £2 if you switch to paperless bills. Support Sport Relief, the environment and save yourself money – huge win!

It doesn’t matter if you are not an SSE customer though.

You can still take SSE’s quick energy efficiency survey to find out how you can reduce your bills…raising a further £2 for Sport Relief 2014, donated by SSE.

SSE will also be donating £2 for each registration to SSE Reward, which will not only give you access to exclusive benefits and rewards, but you’ll also have the opportunity to win tickets to some of the best UK sport and entertainment events.

Be quick though, you only have until Monday 24th March 2014 to do this.

You can do all these things on SSE’s Sport Relief page

Disclosure – post is sponsored by SSE

Portrait: Six women inspiring #lastingchangefor International Women’s Day

Claudia the soap maker

Claudia the soap maker

Happy International Women’s Day!  AnnieTanya and I are here in Tanzania helping Comic Relief raise even more vital funds by highlighting projects that have helped women in Tanzania get jobs, start businesses and secure a future for their families and communities. It gives me great pleasure to bring all six together. Jambo! Continue reading

Meet Lucy, one of the inspiring women creating #lastingchange in Africa #iwd2014


If Africa could regain just an additional 1% share of global trade, it would earn $70 billion more in exports each year – more than double what it receives in development assistance.

Today I saw first hand that creating #lastingchange in Africa is about investing wisely in women who can take lots of other women with them on their journey to a better world.

Lucy is a woman with a mission. She wants to help others. She is a teacher by profession, like me she fell out of the profession when her husband needed to move with work, they moved from the country, to the city of Dar el Salaam, Tanzania.

She wanted to continue to teach and to further the charitable work she was doing in the country, helping orphans. But she felt lost after the move.

The UN estimates that 70% of the population of Dar es Salaam now live in slums. Continue reading

Welcome to Dar es Salaam! What do you want to know? #lastingchange


Annie, Tanya and I are in Tanzania with Sport Relief reporting on #lastingchange.

If you missed what’s happened, last night’s post is here. Here’s a little video…

It was a long journey, two flights, via Dubai. We finally arrived in Dar es Salaam. The city is huge, a mega city which is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Our flight is packed with a mix of travellers, weathly Dar residents returning from holidays in Dubai, business men, families and British tourists here to see the incredible nature and wildlife. To see Serengeti national park, to go on safari, to see Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.

In one of my many naps on the plane, I dreamt I saw a snow topped Kilimanjaro, my mind is clearly occupied with what I am going to see.

Behind the bright lights of the city lies another story though. The UN estimates 70% of Dar’s population live in slums.

It is a bright and cheerful place when we arrive. Hot and rainy. Busy with traffic and people.

The evidence of the need for resourcefulness to survive is everywhere. Each time the taxi stops from the airport to our hotel people smile at the window trying to sell things.The pavements are lined with simple stalls too.

It has been fleeting glances so far. But so much time to talk face to face at last again with Annie and Tanya, and with Sophie from Comic Relief. Excitement about really seeing the kind of projects where some of the money and hard work ends up.

Tomorrow we go to meet the women entrepreneurs who, with training from Sport Relief funded The Gatsby Trust, have set up their own businesses. I’m really excited, but  have you got any questions I can ask in case my mind goes blank?

How can you help?

5 MINS  Please RT, share and support any updates you see with the #lastingchange hashtag.

30MINS @Britmums have a #lastingchange Twitter party Friday 7th March between 1 and 1.30pm UK time.

DONATE You can help create #lastingchange by sponsoring #teamhonkrelay for Sport Relief

GET INVOLVED Join up for your local Sport Relief event here.

Why I am flying to Tanzania tonight #lastingchange

tanzania mother and childI’m facing a challenge today. I’m flying out to Tanzania with Comic Relief, Annie Mammasaurus and Tanya Mummy Barrow. Team Honk flies again.

We’ve been given a huge responsibility. No celebs to hide behind this year, just us. We’re out there to report on #lasting change. To show how Sport Relief funding makes a long lasting impact, how it changes people’s lives, their families lives, their communities.

To show that the smallest donation can create #lastingchange. We will be meeting female entrepreneurs who have been trained and mentored by The Gatsby Trust.

We can’t wait to meet the inspiring project workers and women creating #lastingchange. We want to really show people how even a small donation can totally change someone’s life.

We’re meeting female entrepreneurs, women creating business in challenging circumstances. We can’t wait to smell the soap, taste the food and wine and stroke the batik and textiles. We can’t wait to tell their stories. To prove that #lastingchange is happening.

Women in Tanzania have so many barriers to overcome in setting up a business, in a culture that sees them primarily as wives and mothers rather than businesswomen. Then there’s the demands of being primary carer, their lack of influence in decision making at home and beyond. Loans and finance are harder to access as a woman. Lack of education leaves women without essential literacy and numeracy skills they need.

tanzania woman at work

My journey with Comic Relief has been an incredible one, one that has made #lastingchange in me. I just need to really dig deep now and do these women’s stories justice. I would love your help, there’s some ideas below if you have a spare 5, 20 or even 30 minutes.

How can you help?

5 MINS Please RT, share and support any updates you see with the #lastingchange hashtag. We will be in the projects Thursday and Friday, 2 hours ahead of UK time.

20 MINS We would love to send you a digital postcard for your blog, and invite you to help us make lots of noise online on Saturday for International Women’s Day using #lastingchange #IWD14 Sign up here for postcards, but be quick as this sign up form is only open until 7pm, Wednesday 6th March.

30MINS @Britmums have a #lastingchange Twitter party Friday 7th March between 1 and 1.30pm UK time.

DONATE You can help create #lastingchange by sponsoring #teamhonkrelay for Sport Relief

GET INVOLVED Join up for your local Sport Relief event here.

Please continue to support #teamhonkrelay, we will be cheering them madly too!

Lots more info on the team honk blog here. You can find out how Mammasaurus and Mummy Barrow are feeling here.  I’m @AResidence on Twitter

Disclosure – our visit is not funded by public donations, this is further explained here