November 2011 News Update


A quick update on things at The second Chance Children’s Charity.

Little to report on the previously mentioned Citroen Mini Bus saga. The main dealers in Southampton have now had the vehicle for 4 weeks to assess its problems and suggest a solution. It would seem the problems were even bigger than we thought... we still haven’t heard anything from them but I am reliably informed by local volunteers that the bus can be spied parked outside the garage so it’s still there!!

I’m delighted to say that following our last email update someone sent a cheque for £10,000 towards the replacement of the burnt out Land Rover Discovery. This, along with the insurance payout will go a long way to replacing the vehicle. Thank you so very much.

Doug had the sad privilege of attending Sakari Seppala’s funeral in Kotka. It was a lovely service done in the beautiful Orthodox Church by the Bishop of Helsinki and the local minister. Sakari will be missed by all and not least the children that this charity benefits, he was a good friend.

Our run of bad luck with things mechanical and structural continues... Whilst attending Sakari's funeral we found that there had been a very bad Autumn storm during that week and our main 18’ boat that we keep at the cottage had slipped its moorings and been dashed against the rocks. The keel and the bottom of the boat seems to have been smashed off. It may be that it is repairable but although Doug was able to secure the boat from further damage and get it to the shore, it was too large for Doug on his own to salvage and with no scheduled visits before the sea freezes over it may well be that we have lost the boat. Time and the spring will tell.

The beginning of October saw a gathering of friends and supporters of the charity for an ‘End Of Season Fishing Party’. This took place at Dever Springs Fishery, Barton Stacey near Andover, home of the big still water trout. The weather was amazing with temperatures into the mid 20’s. In the past it has been customary on this occasion to gather in the Fishing lodge around the giant log burner - not this year!! Despite the bright sun and little wind, the fishing was great and almost everyone caught fish, some well into double figures. The occasion raised £1,000 for the charity and it was good to spend the day with people who have such a heart for the charity. Check our web site for next year's dates and come along. This year's dinner at the House of Commons is Friday the 9th March 2012.

One of the Houses at Churchers College in Petersfield have adopted us again this year for their fundraising efforts. At the end of November, Chris Best, one of their Masters, and around 7 sixth formers from the house will be running 'Hellrunner'; an 11 mile race at Longmoor army camp and they are asking parents/students and staff to sponsor them. If anyone wants to join the sponsorship feel free to contact Chris at Churchers College Petersfield.  It’s a tough race... see the link below for a brief Youtube advert on the event.

When you get a run of bad luck with things mechanical, structural and personal as we seem to have done of late there is always light ahead and the youngsters can often put it all into perspective. Doug had the privilege of attending one of our youngsters ‘graduation’ event recently. This youngster came to the charity as a troubled teenager with a difficult background, several foster homes and numerous childrens homes had been her lot in her childhood. Poor attendance at school meant low grades and an early pregnancy put paid to future plans of a career. However with the support of the charity and despite having three young children and a spell in a woman’s refuge, the young lady in question has completed 4 hard years at college studying beauty therapy and such things that she was able to collect her certificate and receive a special commendation from the college for exceptional effort and achievement. This citation was a complete surprise to us and we were immensely proud when it was read out in the large hall. She now hopes, along with a colleague, to set her own business up and she is still only 24 years old. Seeing a youngster beat the odds like this makes everything seem worthwhile. This charity cannot be a numbers business  and we would do it all for just this young lady, but we have scored a number of notable and similar successes this year... this makes it all worthwhile... The journey continues!