It’s only 13th June but what a whirlwind of a month already!

It’s 4am on Thursday 2nd June and I’m wide awake preparing for a full day of media interviews– 10 different interviews on radio stations across the country – a fantastic opportunity to tell our story! There’s been a lot of interest in research we’ve recently published, which shows that a third of young adults don’t feel confident with their reading skills, so it was great to talk about the difference Beanstalk reading helpers can make to people’s lives. Although my head was spinning afterwards, the interviews were great fun. Especially my interview on Yorkshire Radio and remembering my early teaching days in Leeds!

Sadly there was no rest at the weekend. Months ago, some friends and I signed up to do a 10km relay swim in the Jubilee River to raise money for Anthony Nolan…and now the day was upon us! Thankfully, it was a beautiful day and the sun was shining as we set off. I’d done plenty of training in my local indoor pool and had one practice swim in Shepperton Lake, but it was still a surprise how hard it is to swim in a wet suit…as well as how cold the water is! Despite this, Team G did well –we managed to complete it in 2 hours and 45 minutes…we’re now signing up for the Serpentine Splash.

From wetsuit to ball gown. Monday 6th June was the Beanstalk Ball, our biggest fundraising event of the year, so time to practise my speech and visit the venue. The room looked amazing, the creativity with books and magical props really reflected what we’re about at Beanstalk. Annie – our Director of Fundraising – and her team did an incredible job, and later that evening the room was filled with so many of our friends and supporters who make our work possible - it was an absolute privilege to meet so many of them.     

My particular favourite moment of the night was Peter Snow interviewing three Beanstalk supported children, it was lovely to hear in their own words how they feel they’ve benefitted from having a reading helper – as well as what they want to be when they grow up. All in all, it was a great night and we managed to raise £118,000 to go towards our one-to-one support.

Next up is a few days of relaxing on a holiday to Spain, where I’ll hopefully be swimming in warmer waters. 

Until next time,