I’m writing to friends, colleagues and some of my favourite ex-clients to ask for your support in a fundraising event that I’m going to be involved in on May 22nd – my 71st birthday

So, there we were – three friends, sitting there having a drink in the Whitchurch Inn, chatting about charities and fundraising, as you do.

Julie mentioned that she is involved in a Voluntary Service Overseas fundraising effort in our village, Whitchurch, just outside Tavistock. VSO has always been close to my heart and, as a Rotarian for 25 years, I have worked with a number of young people travelling abroad under the VSO umbrella. I simply couldn’t resist the invitation to join in with Julie.

Together, with some encouragement from my wife Ginnie, we convinced each other that a parachute jump would be a splendid way of raising money. And what better day to jump out of a plane at 15,000 ft than my 71st Birthday, May 22nd?

Then our horizons changed. VSO will need about £1,250 so, we thought, why not go all out for a major fundraising target?

We decided that, after the VSO contribution, any money raised will be split between two charities that are hugely important to all three of us – the Plymouth and District Leukaemia Fund (PDLF) and Muscular Dystrophy

As many of our friends will know, I have supported the cause of Leukaemia research and support for 10 years, from the day that I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. With friends and Rotary, Ginnie and I have raised about £15,000 for leukaemia charities. In 2011, Ginnie, did a parachute jump in support of Leukaemia. Her main parachute didn’t open, but that’s another story and she’s still here to tell the tale. She raised over £4,500 for Cure Leukaemia.

Three years ago, my Leukaemia came back, and I got into real trouble. The wonderful staff at Birch and Bracken Wards in Derriford Hospital saved my life twice and, since then, their support and treatment have helped me to regain a very high quality of life.

I have long wanted to repay even a little for the life that these people have given me and, when I heard that PDLF has a fundraising effort to extend and improve those wards, I jumped (literally!) at the chance to offer my support. The staff at Derriford are amongst the best in the world at helping people with Leukaemia and if we can raise a significant amount of money to provide them with equipment to match their brilliance, then that will be a tremendous achievement. 

… and anyway, the parachute can’t fail to open again, can it?

Julie’s Charity is Muscular Dystrophy UK. More than 70,000 people in the UK have MD or a related condition. MD is caused by mutations in the genes, which cause changes in the muscle fibres, interfering with the muscles’ ability to function. Over time, this causes increasing disability.

The funds that we will be raising will go towards funding research into Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. Since 1959, Muscular Dystrophy UK has raised and invested more than £55 million in high quality research into muscle-wasting conditions and we are proud to be able to do our bit to help, however small

Please visit our Just Giving page and help us to raise money for these fantastic charities. We are paying all of the cost ourselves, so everything that we get from the Just Giving page will go to them. 

This is the link to the page


… or the other way is just go to the Just Giving main page and search for Julie and Graham 007.

Thank you so much for your support!!

With my very best wishes to you all.