They have turned a tragedy into something remarkable

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Sometimes I sit back and look at what I’ve achieved and I’m pretty proud of it.

I believe all the travelling I’ve done and the adventures I’ve been on are more valuable than any degree or any job title.

I often get people making the assumption that my life is somewhat glamorous or fascinating, because they think I spend my days mixing with the famous and either in front of or behind the TV cameras.

How wrong they are. Yes I think I’ve done okay for myself, built a life I’m proud of and one I’ve worked damn hard for.

But I tell you what, nothing I’ve achieved has ever come close to what an old school pal of mine has done.

I’m so proud of Lorraine Blackburn and her partner, Chris.

Nothing I’ve achieved has ever come close to what an old school pal of mine has done.

They’ve somehow managed to turn a terrible tragedy into something quite extraordinary.

Lorraine and Chris lost their son, Owen, five years ago. He was a premature baby and passed away from bowel and liver ischemia.

I can’t even begin to imagine their heartbreak, but what began as a fundraising gesture in their son’s memory has now become something truly remarkable.

So far they have raised more than £200,000 in Owen’s name for The Ickle Pickles charity.

That’s incredible.

They’ve got numerous fundraising efforts coming up too, including an abseil down the Spinnaker Tower next month.

They are an amazing couple and I’m blown away by how they’ve somehow managed to find strength from something so truly awful that it would make most of us crumble.

Lorraine and Chris, I salute you both and I mean that with all my heart.

Continuing on this note, Matt and I were at St Mary’s Church in Portsmouth last Sunday when Father Bob White told the congregation about the Roberts Centre, a homeless shelter in the city with a special focus on supporting children.

St Mary’s wants to take in an Easter egg for every child at the centre and I for one will be donating.

All you have to do is drop eggs off at the church and they’ll do the rest.

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