The fabulous charity Alice’s Escapes is the legacy of 17-year-old Alice Pyne, who fought a brave battle against Hodgkin’s lymphoma and sadly passed away with her family at her bedside in 2013. Alice won the hearts of the nation through her courageous approach to her impending death, demonstrated through the medium of her online blog where she shared both her bucket list and her determination to help others. Although I wasn’t blessed with a chance to meet Alice, I feel as though I knew her. I can tell from what I’ve seen and heard exactly the type of person she was – focused, caring, passionate, appreciative, loving, modest, selfless and humble. A rare and precious combination of all the good things that a person can be, let alone a child. I wanted to help Alice’s charity simply because of her. I’m still in awe of how brave she was, even though I’ve since learned that she didn’t consider herself to be brave at all. Sorry Alice, but brave is certainly how I have always perceived you. 💜
Alice decided to help other bereaved families as her own life was slipping away – in my eyes, that level of courage is immense. Alice’s Escapes thrives today, providing complimentary holidays for families with terminally-ill and seriously-ill children, focusing on offering them an opportunity to make precious memories with their loved ones and simply the time to enjoy being together. They also offer bereavement breaks for families who have sadly lost their child. The idea of it warms my heart.
I chose to support Alice’s Escapes in May so that I could join her famous Purple Army and complete the Coniston to Barrow in her memory. I enjoyed training for the event and raised £375 in sponsors before a health issue prevented me from taking part. Gutted doesn’t cover how upset I was – but that’s where Suzanne Steele came up with an amazing suggestion that cheered me up no end. Suzanne is both the Barrow and Urswick Boogie Bounce Xtreme fitness instructor and a dear friend of mine. She offered to host a charity night with me on Friday 26th May 2017, to raise more money for Alice’s charity. St Pius Hall kindly donated their Barrow venue free of charge and Suzanne and I sold 30 tickets for the night of the event. We all wore purple for Alice, sipped purple energy drinks, enjoyed vitamin bars and other naughty treats, covered the hall in purple balloons and our faces in purple paint.
Suzanne kick started the class with a host of funny games which had us all in fits of laughter – Stuck in the Mud was my personal favourite! Then, she delivered an incredible Boogie Bounce session – my favourite one of all time without a doubt! 15 minutes longer than a standard class and jam-packed with her regular bouncer’s best tracks, it was a total success! Bouncers that had requested individual songs performed the routine alongside her onstage – my turn was Sigala’s ‘Sweet Lovin’. Seeing everyone’s smiling faces beaming back at us was the best bit – in addition to the Boogie Bounce socks and whistles that we were all sporting (courtesy of Suzanne again). Once the class was over and we were all suitably bounced out, my Auntie Lisa and Mum Paula presented the raffle. We had sold plenty of tickets between us and the prizes were amazing. It was fab to see everyone smiling as they claimed them. Local businesses had been so kind in what they had offered and I would personally like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart:
The Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Debenhams Barrow, Velo Bikes Ulverston, Katherine Kay at The Brow & Lash Bar at Queens Hair Salon Ulverston, Mel Hickey, Harmony Cosmetology, Ulverston Leisure Centre, Ami Carr, Lavish Hair Salon Ulverston, Paula McSweeney, Tara at Paul French, Fern Leah Ulverston, Samantha-Jane Walton, Suzanne Steele, Dalton Leisure Centre, Pastures New Health Shop, Liz at Feel Fabulous and many more that were kind enough to help out.
The event was just fabulous – we laughed, we bounced and better still raised £1,120 for the excellent charity, taking my overall contribution to £1,495 which I’m understandably thrilled with! That money is for you Alice and the amazing cause that you encouraged until your last breath. Keep smiling from the sky, beautiful. 😍
Finally, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone that came, and/or donated, to everyone that helped out in whichever way, to St Pius Hall, to all of the businesses listed above, to Alice’s Mum Vicky who it was an absolute pleasure to meet, and my fiancé Darren for his awesome photography. Last but certainly NOT least, thank you once again to the wonderful Suzanne Steele – for throwing your time and effort into helping my fundraising quest and for knowing exactly how to make me smile. 🐸💜