My 2016 Trans – USA Cycle Ride For MSF – Fantastic News

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Sometimes you just meet people who make you feel so comfortable and relaxed that you feel like you have known them forever.  This happened at the Devonshire Fell in Burnsall on Monday.

I was invited to join a magnificent group consisting of Business people, Journalists, Authors and Artists all associated in one way or another with Cycling.

I was invited to attend by the wonderful Wendy Preston the who gave me the opportunity to talk to these inspiring people about MSF and the unsupported Trans USA cycle ride that I am going to do in 2016.

Each one of the guests had a fascinating story and a gift – either in business , writing or the arts and I felt honoured to be among them. We talked a lot, cycled through some breathtakingly beautiful countryside, went to the pub and finally ate like kings at the Devonshire Fell.

I am excited in the extreme to announce that I now have a kit sponsor for the 2016 ride.  I will be proudly wearing cycle wear by FAT LAD AT THE BACK.


Fat Lad Logo


This is a huge help and motivator for me and I am very grateful to Lynn and Richard for their support. I am also most chuffed to be wearing the clobber of what may be the best name  ever for sportsgear!

Thank you to everyone who made this day so special. Particular thanks to Wendy for keeping the day on track and making it seem like it was easy! You are a master of your craft.

Leer Hospital – Before and After The Recent Violence

The pictures below were taken before (by me) and after the violence in Leer. I am not going to comment further on who did what or state opinions on the situation. I only aim to highlight the tragedy in Leer and to once again make it clear why donating to MSF is so important. You can donate by hitting the “Sponsor me” button – the money goes direct to MSF.

For more information on the events at Leer click HERE and HERE

Thank you.

Store – Full of Milk powder, Plumpy Nut etc for the Nutrition Project:

Food Store 4 2013-09-04


The Store now:

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In Patient Ward:

IPD 2 1 2013-11-28


In patient Ward Now:

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My Ambulatory Feeding Centre:



The ATFC now:

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The Operating Theatre:

James Chuol gunshot wound and amputee 24 2013-08-30


OT now:

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Body in Harrogate, Mind in South Sudan

250px-South_Sudan_hd_(orthographic_projection).svgOn the road - out for an evening stroll with Doria  2013-11-23World AIDS Day 2013 12 2013-12-01


Its a very strange time the EOM (end of mission). It was lovely arriving back in Amsterdam and then in Harrogate just a couple of weeks ago. Since I left Leer however , everything has changed in South Sudan. Conflict is spreading throughout the country and people are once again being dragged into a fight motivated by the hunger for power and tribalism that has plagued many nations through history.

My friends and colleagues are working hard in Leer and all over South Sudan. I think about them every day and have many mixed feelings about being back safe at home while they are in the projects.

At times like this I think of the quote from Nicolas de Torrente, executive director of MSF, who once said:

We find out where conditions are the worst, the places where others are not going and that’s where we want to be.

I guess that is South Sudan right now. The thing to remember is that the media have finally located South Sudan on a map and today its getting coverage. The Philippines and Syria have fallen out of the news and Haiti, decimated in the 2010 earthquake has no chance. This took 20 seconds to find :

“The cholera outbreak which began in October 2010 has continued. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it is considered the worst epidemic of cholera since the 1994 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[263] By August 2013, it had killed over 8,231 Haitians and hospitalized hundreds of thousands more” (Wikipedia).

I am going to close the website for 2013 with a request and a promise.

I ask that you help Doctors Without Borders in their work  by donating (easily done via this site through the ‘sponsor me’ button which donates directly to MSF).

My promise is that I will be redoubling my fundraising and awareness work in 2014. Standby for more obsessive scrounging in the New Year.

Thank you  for your kindness and support while I have been away and for the ongoing dedication to helping MSF that you have shown. I know a lot of people that are alive because of YOU.


Burlesque Without Borders 6 – My Thanks

BWB6 BWB6 The Lovely Audience

So right now I am in possibly the least Burlesquey (new word for you there) place on the planet. There is a complete absence of glitter, basques,Isis wings and pasties – don’t get me started on merkins!

I did however feel a definite connection to Harrogate and Burlesque Without Borders 6  last night. In the past I have spent a lot of time helping to set up for the nights and could picture the scene as a nice room at the Manhattan Club is transformed into a sparkling palace. It takes a lot of work to get the place ready for the night. Its fair to say that it actually takes MONTHS. The room with all its sparkle and shine is just a room until it is filled with performers, crew and amazing caring people we call the audience who know how to have a good time and help others while doing it.

Lily La Belle puts on the best Burlesque show in Yorkshire, this isn’t just my bias opinion – read the reviews on FB and other social media.  She spends literally months planning the show, booking performers and co-ordinating the remarkable team who give up their night to make it happen. As always, I am not going to name names as I would hate to leave anyone out. You all know them wether they have sold you a cupcake, filled the room with sound , picked up discarded pants and bras or shimmied their rear in your general direction.

I am waiting to see the photos and hear the full story of last nights show, what I know so far is that it was a huge success both as a spectacle and as a fundraising event with over £1300 raised for charity. Half of this goes to Doctors Without Borders and half to the Alzheimer’s Society  another very worthwhile cause that affects so many of us.

I see every day what that money will be spent on. This doesn’t happen without YOU:

ITFC Consultations 1 2013-11-16 - Version 2

So to close, Thank you to Lily and the BWB team, you are the best and thank you to everyone who supports the night and is part of the success.

Please Help MSF’s Response To The Disaster In The Philippines




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Please take the time to read through this press release from MSF about the disaster in the Philippines. As it says, MSF is already in the country helping the people. This operation will cost a fortune . Please help if you can. You can donate to MSF via the “SPONSOR ME” button on here  (the money goes direct to MSF via Justgiving) or if you would prefer go to the official MSF site HERE. It doesn’t matter how you do it but please help if you can. Thanks a lot, Andy


The international medical humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is today launching an emergency fundraising appeal for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort.

MSF’s emergency teams reached the Philippines on Saturday 9th November, and there are now 20 international staff on the ground.

In the coming days, they’ll be joined by 80 to 90 more specialists including doctors, nurses, surgeons, water and sanitation engineers and psychologists.

The teams, which include British personnel, will be exploring the affected area by helicopter and speedboat to make sure aid reaches those who need it most.

Aid on the way

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Aid is already on the way – cargo planes took off from Ostend in Belgium and from Dubai yesterday carrying hundreds of tonnes of medical relief and humanitarian aid.

Nine planes in total will arrive in the coming days carrying tetanus vaccinations, hygiene kits, cooking kits, tents, plastic sheeting, water and sanitation equipment and an inflatable hospital.

Marc DuBois, General Director of MSF UK, said:

“This is a horrendous disaster, and the relief effort is proving a real challenge. We’re really concerned about the people there, forced into pure survival mode during these first days.


“Food, shelter and medical care are obvious priorities.  As a medical organisation, we’re also worried about clean water – there’s a real risk of disease spreading through contaminated sources and our teams will be looking to address this as a matter of urgency.


“Aid is already on its way but our teams are reporting that the conditions on the ground are incredibly challenging. Weather conditions are preventing them from getting to where aid is needed.

“The city of Tacloban has been devastated, and there are hundreds of other town and villages that were in the path of the typhoon and have not yet been reached.

“The magnitude of this disaster will quickly deplete our emergency funds. We’ve launched a fundraising appeal to make sure help gets to those who need it most.”

Expecting significant injuries

Dr Natasha Reyes, MSF’s emergency co-ordinator in the Philippines, said:

“Usually, in these types of disasters, the main needs are related to people being displaced from their homes, and the injuries are relatively minor – cuts, broken bones, head wounds.

“But with so many houses and buildings having collapsed because of the strong winds, we’re expecting to see some significant injuries.


“Injured people have converged on Tacloban airport, where the Philippines military is providing medical care.

“But they’re under intense pressure, particularly for drugs and supplies, so we will set up a medical team there to support them.

“People are bringing the injured to the airport from the town by motorbike or on foot, because the roads are blocked with debris – it’s a six-hour walk.

“As we are able to get more staff into the disaster areas, MSF will move outwards from Tacloban town to the surrounding region and islands.

“This includes Eastern Samar, which we will need to reach with mobile teams on speed boats and barges, so that we can provide medical treatment and supplies for people along the coastlines.”


A Quick Hello, An Update On My Mission & A Reminder

As I have previously stated, Im not able to blog how I would have liked from my Project but as I enter the last full month of my mission I wanted to drop something on here  to say hi. I will be telling the full story in talks back home and to anyone who will listen but for now ill let you know that Leer is a beautiful place (at times):


with some interesting visitors :

Bat in my Tukul 6 2013-09-22  IMGP0997


To my room:

My Tukul in Leer 3 2013-10-21

In my Tukul:



There is some great work being done by the whole team:

Stephanie and patients 2 2013-09-07 - Version 2

and some lovely success in the Nutrition Programme:

Sebit - Version 2


Lots of construction work to make the hospital a better place:

Mold with concrete rungs to line new latrines ITFC 2 2013-10-30 - Version 2

and all in all things are going well and I am happy :

Walk towards the Airfield 13 2013-09-21

Please continue to support the work of MSF  the next big fundraiser is :


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On Saturday 16th November with tickets from HERE . Ms Lily tells me they are selling rapidly so don’t miss out. It is YOU that keeps projects like mine working. Please support Doctors Without Borders whilst having an amazing evening.

Thank you all and ill be back on here soon. End of mission 12th December.








It’s Back – Burlesque Without Borders No 6



I am hugely grateful to Lily La Belle for putting together Burlesque Without Borders 6 . It is a huge show and a lot of work. I think I speak for everyone who has attended when I say to Ms L B – it is worth it. Not only will Doctors Without Borders and the Alzheimer’s Society make a lot of lovely lolly but you will have a magnificent time raising this money for them – Win – Win!

I will not be able to come to this BWB as I am on mission until the middle of December. I will cast envious eyes over the photos when I get back, I have just written a little “I cant be here tonight” speech for the evening so you don’t escape me completely.

Please support the work of MSF and the Alzheimer’s Society, book your tickets for BWB NOW!

Information as follows:

Fast on the heels of the sell-out successes of Burlesque Without Borders 5 and Saturday Night Feva, here comes Burlesque Without Borders 6!
A full night’s entertainment at the Manhattan Club, Harrogate, with sparkle, fun and friendliness raising money for Medecins Sans Frontieres and The Alzheimer’s Society.

We have a fabulous lineup compered by the one and only Snappy O’Shea:
Music from the sultry Velvet Divine, burlesque from a stellar lineup with Roxy Reveals, Maisie Martini, Betsie Baker, Cissie de Lish, LouLou T-Boo, Lily’s Ladies Who Lush and international burlesque beauty Miss Tobi James.  We have some wonderful salsa from Tamara Lievano Hinman and Martin Wintermeyer.

We are delighted that our raffle is sponsored by Nails by Tamara, Oakwood Aromatics, Born to Thread, Woolly Buddha, Wild Orchid and Madams Pinups.

We will also have stalls, tombola, cupcakes and magic by the master of table magic, Adrian Salamon.

All this for just £7! Buy your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment from .

Our fabulous flyer design is by Jacob Todd


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