Are you good at spelling?

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Today is Misspelling Day and I am asking you to get involved on your social networks in support of Save the Children UK and the #ReadonGetOn campaign.

If we want children to achieve their potential and to enhance their life chances we need them to be good at reading.

This is what the #ReadOnGetOn campaign is all about – doing something to ensure our children read well rather than leaving it to chance.

It is so very easy to get involved in Misspelling Day.

Simply send a tweet or make Facebook post where you make deliberate spelling mistakes.

It is hoped that if enough people get involved (and it only takes seconds to do so_), it will draw attention to the #ReadonGeton campaign and get more people signing the petition.

Act Now: Sign the petition calling on party leaders to make a commitment to get every child reading well at age 11 by 2025.

Here is the message to leaders

I call on you to make a commitment to get every child reading well at age 11 by 2025. Together, we will ensure that all children have a brighter future.

If you find it difficult to argue with that, please sign the petition.

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    Can you remember learning to read?

    I remember when the shapes of letters started to have meaning to me and I remember the thrill of reading books but also things like road signs.

    My parents read to me and the house was full of books both fiction and non-fiction. Reading made me want to write and look where that took me. I read about Cambridge University when I was a little girl so when I was told I had an outside chance of getting in, I was inspired to work hard and to do so. I always remember my late mum saying it was impossible to be lonely if you had a good book.

    My Mum left school aged 11 so used to get the Reader’s Digest and learn the meanings of new words. She had an amazing vocabulary and could hold her own in any company despite her very humble background.

    Reading is the key to a child’s future: it unlocks their potential and opens up a world filled with possibilities and for our poorest children reading well is their best route out of poverty: they do better at school, better in the workplace and are better placed to give their own children the best start in life.

    However, every year in the UK, 130,000 children, leave primary school not reading as well as they should. This figure includes 40% of all children from poorer backgrounds – a shockingly high proportion. This means over the next decade almost 1.5 million children will start secondary school already behind with dismal consequences for their futures. As if poverty is not soul-destroying enough, the lack of good literacy skills keeps children trapped where they are with little hope of moving forwards positively finding themselves unemployed or in low paid jobs.

    Save the Children UK’s research has also found that the UK’s GDP could be an extra 2.1% higher by 2025 if we can get all our children reading well by age 11- the equivalent of £32.1 billion.


    I would love you to get behind the Read On Get On campaign – a national mission to ensure every child is a confident reader by age 11.

    Act Now: Sign the petition calling on party leaders to make a commitment to get every child reading well at age 11 by 2025.

    Here is the message to leaders

    I call on you to make a commitment to get every child reading well at age 11 by 2025. Together, we will ensure that all children have a brighter future.
    Together we can make sure that every child leaves primary school with the reading skills to shape a brighter future:

    Find out more about the campaign

    You have read this blog. You know the joy of reading. Take the time to sign the petition and play your part in fighting for a brighter future for our children.

    If you sign the petition, you can then enjoy the amazing David Walliams reading you and your child a story.

    Read With Me

    I am taking part in the Dryathalon fundraising campaign for Cancer Research UK. This involves giving up alcohol for the month of January.

    Whether by nature or nurture, I do like a tipple. My drink on a night in would be bacardi and coke. Sometimes I change this to brandy and coke which was one of my mum’s favourites. I like a glass or two of wine especially on the nights where my nerves feel a little frazzled. Baileys used to be a regular event back in the day but is a rare treat since having the children.

    After years of drinking, I am getting a bit fed up with it. I don’t cope with drinking as well as I used to. It can make me feel very down. I also find myself resenting the amount of money it costs. So I decided to give up drink for January and possibly beyond.

    Then I heard about Cancer Research UK’s Dryatholon and thought it would help motivate me to stay on track and also be a bit of a tribute to my mum who died from cancer in 2009.

    I have completed a full week without a drop of alcohol. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed with the low number of people who have sponsored me but I know lots of folks are doing sponsored events and also times are hard out there for people. The truth is the time to judge how I have done on the challenge and sponsorship wise is at the end of this month. It is also important to remember that there is no correlation between people liking you and people wanting to sponsor you. I like a lot of people who do sponsored events and I am pretty random at who and when I sponsor people. Often I intend to sponsor someone and then forget to do so.

    I don’t think I have met any of my donors (except myself). Who knew that strangers would donate? I get very excited as I see my donations increasing towards my target which I set ridiculously high at £150.

    So how have I found me first week as a dryathelete?

    I have enjoyed the process a lot. I turned down a glass of wine waved under my nose. I found a bottle of wine in a cupboard that was long forgotten and put it right back there. I am getting a bit bored of drinking diet coke but will investigate other non-alcoholic options.

    The joy is that I feel so much better in myself. I feel a lot more upbeat and also very motivated to take on challenges. I even beamed on the school run this morning. I seem to be getting more stuff done too.

    I have noticed that I seem to be dreaming more and have had a couple of nightmares. I don’t know whether that is related to giving up drink or not but something makes me think it might be.

    I have every confidence I will successfully complete this challenge.

    Here’s to another booze-free week!

    Sponsors welcome and here is my fundraising page

    I am always keen to raise awareness of charity services, campaigns and fundraising initiatives.

    Where hospices are concerned, the costs are huge and they rely largely on the help of the general public to raise essential funds.

    I want to let you know about a charity auction for a 1977 retro Vauxhall Viva will all proceeds going to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. The eBay auction goes live on the 9th of January and ends on the evening on the 19th.

    The car will go on a tour to raise vital awareness for the charity while raising money along the way through raffles and games.

    Thursday 9th January St Georges Square Huddersfield

    Saturday 11th January Rotherham United

    Sunday 12th January Fishgate Preston

    Wednesday 15th January Mill Gate shopping centre Bury

    Thursday 16th January Market Square Aylesbury

    Sunday 19th January Tesco Whitstable

    Alongside the Viva there are other items to bid on in the auction including an iPad air, Kindle HD Fire, Samsung Galaxy Note, Signed Sterling Moss Steering Wheel, signed Mel C photos, BTTC tickets and official Ferrari Goodies.

    Check out hashtag #MILES4SMILES of Facebook and Twitter.

    I am doing the Dryathalon for Cancer Research UK.


    The New Year is a time for positive resolutions.

    One of mine is to give up booze because I think this is a good idea in itself for me right now and also because I can neatly use this personal challenge to raise money for a cause close to my heart, Cancer Research UK.

    I have not had an alcoholic drink since New Year’s Eve and I intend to stay dry during January for this charity initiative.

    So you could say I am  not raising a glass for the New Year but raising money instead to support a charity that makes a difference.

    I support charities by raising awareness a lot but it is too long since I did something that involves more of myself putting myself out for something amazing.  That is going to change this year.

    Most individuals and families have been affected by cancer in some way.  We know of children and teenagers who have died too young.  We know of parents who are struggling with cancer issues right now.

    I am dedicating this fundraising venture to my Mum died from cancer in 2009.   Here is a little of her story.  This blog is her legacy to it feels good to tie it altogether.

    I know times are really tight for so many people right now and that there are so many demands on our purses and wallets for sponsorship for very good causes.

    I don’t have any particular reason why you should sponsor me instead of anyone else.  I just hope someone does or I may need to turn to drink lol.

    Go on! Make my day!!