How I launched the story of the Skipping Sikh

When 74-year-old Rajinder Singh released a video of himself skipping during lockdown, his daughter Minreet Kaur, a newly-qualified journalist, knew he had a story that people needed to hear. She dubbed him Skipping Sikh and battled to get his story out there. Despite an initial rejection, her perseverance saw Rajinder’s inspirational tale take on a life of its own. He went on to raise thousands of pounds for the NHS and inspired many to dust off their skipping ropes and get fit during those first weeks of the pandemic. Rajinder is now planning to mark his 75th birthday by taking …

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Fundraising drive as demand grows for cancer support centre

A support centre offering a lifeline to cancer patients across the Midlands has launched a new fundraising drive as it prepares to reopen post-lockdown and meet growing demand. The Cancer Support Centre, in Sutton Coldfield, was unable to run its normal fundraising events during the pandemic, but it survived thanks to grant aid and individual supporters taking part in sponsored events. Now with demand growing again, it is looking to raise even more funds and is setting up a new dedicated team to help raise £150,000 or more to support people who have been affected by cancer and delays in …

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Run For Joel colour blast fun run is back

The Smile For Joel charity run returns to Sandwell Valley Country Park this year and entries are now open. Run For Joel will take place on Sunday, September 5, starting at 9am. There will be a 5k and a 3k option to suit all ages and abilities. Last year the run was held remotely, with people taking part at home because of Covid. This year the runners can attend in person again and there will be a colour blast, back by popular demand. The event will raise money for Smile For Joel, the charity set up by Suzy Evans and …

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Family members join skydive challenge in memory of Tunisia terror attack victims

Family members and friends of the 38 people who died in the Tunisia terrorist attack in 2015 will be jumping out of a plane to honour their memories and mark the sixth anniversary of the tragedy.  The skydive will be held on July 3, just after the June 26 anniversary, and will raise money for Smile For Joel, the charity set up by Suzy Evans and her son Owen Richards who lost three loved ones in the attack.  Suzy and Owen will be joined by family members of other victims from across the UK for the event. Suzy, from Wednesbury in the West Midlands, lost her son Joel, …

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Suzy Evans: How I learned to embrace the media

When Suzy Evans and her son Owen found themselves in the full glare of a worldwide media spotlight after three of their loved ones were killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia, inevitably they were unprepared for such intense, agonising attention. Six years on, they now say they’ve learned how the media can be a force for good. That’s because of their mission since – raising awareness of Smile For Joel, the charity they launched in memory of Joel, Patrick and Adrian to help other families torn apart by murder and violence. Here Suzy talks about that steep and emotional learning …

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Owen and Suzy with store manager Richard Kirk. Picture by Carol Bailey

Currys staff raise thousands for Smile For Joel

Staff at Currys in Wednesbury have raised £2,000 to help the Smile For Joel charity after a year in which donations plunged. The staff held various events, including cake and samosa sales and there were collection boxes at the tills. Suzy Evans, from Smile For Joel, said she was delighted with the donation, which was particularly welcome after fundraising was hit by the pandemic. She said: “We are overwhelmed with the support we have been given by Currys at Junction 9. They have not only been fundraising for us, they have also donated very generous raffle prizes. They are so …

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Owen facing fears with Jump For Joel

A Black Country man is preparing to jump out of a plane at 10,000ft in memory of his brother, uncle and grandad who were killed in the 2015 terrorist attack in Tunisia. Owen Richards is joining a group of other fundraisers to take part in Jump For Joel in July. The group will include members of other families who also lost their loved ones in Tunisia, who are coming from across the UK to take part. They are raising money for Smile For Joel, the charity set by Owen and his mum Suzy after the attack in Tunisia that saw 38 …

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Coast-to-coast trek will raise thousands for Acorns in memory of Tiffany

A nurse and businesswoman is preparing to walk from coast to coast via Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for Acorns Hospice in memory of a little girl who died aged just three. Michele Ibbs is raising money to pay for five heart and oxygen monitors which will enable children to spend time away from the hospice, either at home or out on day trips. Michele, from Westcroft, near Wolverhampton, said: “Sometimes these children can’t be nursed at home because their oxygen levels need to be monitored. The monitors mean they can spend time at home and on day trips. “As …

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