Firstly, a massive congratulations to Martin Wainwright for completing his mammoth scull from Oxford to London this month - he raised a huge amount for the Treehouse Project and completed an incredible journey in doing it.
At our end, a contractor has now been secured for the Project who has agreed to complete in May 2019. There are 3 designs we are currently considering - however, only one of these is within our current budget! Fundraising work will continue this year in terms of bids to the National Lottery and Surrey County Council.
We will also be seeking donated materials from a range of different companies, in order to provide the best possible resource to patients at the Holy Cross Hospital. If anyone would like to get involved in this or other fundraising ideas then please don't hesitate to get in touch - [email protected]
We are so pleased that everyone's efforts have guaranteed access to the woodland for the patients of the Holy Cross Hospital - everything is now geared towards making the most helpful and meaningful resource possible for them. Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed towards this cause - we massively appreciate it and you have made a huge difference.
So the Brighton Capel Monster was ridden successfully by 95% of those who entered at the weekend, despite the blazing heat and heavy weight of the ludicrous amounts of cake in Capel bearing down upon contestants.
Highlights included 12 year old Barney completing the course with his dad Ben, the wonderful ladies of Capel Methodist Church putting on enough food to feed an army and our friend Phil coming all the way over from Canada to ride.
Also a special mention has to go to endurance athletes George and Vic, who were volunteering at the start having just completed one of the worlds hardest endurance races in Ireland. After mooching about a bit they decided to rent incredibly slow and heavy Brighton Bikes for a laugh, yet still managed to complete the blimming thing! Beers kindly donated by the Farr brewery brought the event to a chilled out finish by the beach.
The whole mood of the day was brilliant and the level of fundraising has gone up to over £13,000! The implementation of the Treehouse Project gets ever closer with the support of people like you. A massive, heartfelt thankyou has to go to Helen Kellar, Stuart Wilson and all the staff at Rayment Cycles for doing the organising. Cheers! :)
Hey everyone, just a little note to show some of the training the amazing people who are supporting the Treehouse Project are doing in order to succeed in their various quests - we have 9 year old Joe preparing to ride the Taff Trail, 30-something (ish) Martin training to scull the Thames and the ever youthful Stass getting strong enough to scale 3 mountains in a 24 hour period. This on top of a variety of riders beginning to raise funding through the Brighton Capel Monster, which runs on 30th June - if you know anyone who is up for this then please do ask them to get in touch! Everyones support for the Treehouse Project is deeply appreciated and will do so much to improve the quality of life for the people we care about. Thanks again.
Hey everyone. We now have a final design for the Treehouse Project, which I will try to upload here as soon as I get the technology sorted. It looks amazing though and we are really excited about the experience we will hopefully be able to provide for patients at the.Holy Cross.
We also have a sponsored bike ride going out of Brighton on 30/06/2018 - please ask anyone who might be interested to enter, we really need their help! http://brightoncapelmonster.com/ Entry is free to anyone who raises a mere £50 in sponsorship for the Treehouse Project. If anyone has any questions please do ask them to email me on [email protected] Cheers everyone!
The Friends of Holy Cross are a charitable organisation who support and raise funds for the hospital on a regular ongoing basis. It consists of local people and friends and family of patients. I heard today, that, inspired by the story of the Treehouse Project so far, they are contributing £10,000 to the project! With this contribution and everyone else’s ongoing determined and inspirational efforts to get the treehouse built, we are going to get there. Thanks again everybody involved. Please keep going!
Well it has been a big week for the Treehouse Project and some significant strides have been taken forward to make this a reality for patients at the Holy Cross. First up we had the Treehouse Project Quiz, organised by the ever lovely Jo Speed, Manager of the Holy Cross who managed to rustle up 60 participants in a very short timescale! We raised nearly 400 hundred pounds for the Project through this night alone and also raised awareness of what the Treehouse Project is all about with people in the local community. OK, our team came last but you can't have everything.....
Next up Michael Kirkby (Colin White Tree Surgery) , Glenn Rackham, Chris Browne and Tom Clegg (Edge Rope Access) did an absolutely amazing (if slightly terrifying) job of felling two trees in order to create space for the platform. Weeks of cycling have left me with seemingly no upper body strength and so I just sort of scurried around panicking and cleaning up after them whilst they did the real mens' work. It looks great though and has cleared more space than we realised existed, which is great and could mean an extension of the platform to allow more space for patients to be with their families. Please see below for a picture of Michael up a tree.....
Finally, and perhaps most crucially, we found ourselves a structural engineer - Derek Mason of Super Structures Associates. Derek is an ultra marathon runner (this means distances of around 100 miles a time), a published author and a deeply experienced structural engineer, who was involved in the construction of the Olympic Stadium. He has an intuitive understanding of the benefits this project will provide to profoundly disabled people and we are really happy to be working with him. Derek's website is here if you'd like to find out more about the work his company does - http://www.superstructuresassociates.co.uk/
Next steps for the Project include a sponsored group bike ride we hope to run out of Brighton on June 30th - please get in touch if you'd like to ride yourself or offer support in putting the ride together. Once Derek, Jo Speed and I meet on the 17th of April, we will know more about what materials will be used for the Project - the search will then be on to find companies who can support us with the provision of building materials. Our proposed build date for the Treehouse Project is 11th - 16th July 2018, so time is tight - but the kindness and good hearts of people we meet on this journey is making us feel ever more confident that we can succeed in this. Cheers everybody!
Tom is having a well earned rest day in Madrid. Here's what he had to deal with going over the Pyranees
(sorry about giant sizing -tech skills need much improvement)
This is an update from Tom on his Greenwich to Portugal mission via me:
So I made it... to the base of the Pyrenees. France has been
pretty hardcore, very little open due to the time of year,rain 6 days out of 7,
head winds 5 days out of 7, 'roads' that end in a river (see attached) and a
boar hunter momentarily mistaking me for prey, raising his gun at me before a
hastily barked 'monsieur! ' assured him that I was in fact human. So I am a
fair bit slower than I hoped for, but still have time to complete this and
actually quite surprised I am still going having lived in wet clothes all week.
Without wishing to labour the point, I am very lucky to be doing this and not
everyone has the same privilege. All sharing and sponsorship for the Treehouse
Project would be massively appreciated. The Pyrenees are tomorrow if I can just
get my bike fixed! Cheers.
This refuses to paste the right way up but I'm sure the problem is still clear to see!
Tom has managed to get the frame soldered and is planning to ride over the Pyranees tomorrow. Best of luck Tom!
Well Chris has returned - he managed the Arctic trek fine (although apparently a team mate suffered frostbite) but couldn't do the snowmen as apparently ultra cold snow doesn't stick together! Here is his updater and a few pics from the saga:
"Well that was an experience!
What it was: 5days trekking/ cross country skiing over 100k in the Arctic circle (Swedish Lapland). Days were spent spending between 7 and 9hours a days pulling a 40kg pulk (sledge) with a frozen beard, eating lots of calories and the occasional mild white out. Whilst nights were spent setting up camp, more eating and trying to sleep as the temperature dropped to -28c.
Who was there: - The expedition leads had both lead expeditions to the north pole and 1 had been to the south pole multiple times. Both also set up the Montane Spine race in the UK, which is a 425km race along the Pennie Way in winter over 7days. - 2 people were training for a world record attempt to cross Lake Baikal in Siberia. Which is ~650k in 12 to 20 days (weather dependant). - Someone else was training for a south pole attempt later this year - Someone who used to own an Israeli security company that advised militaries. (He now works for a school) - 1 of the very few female finishers of the Montane Spine race - Someone else had done the Spine race and Marathon des Sables (one of the toughest ultramarathons in the world), 250km in 6 days in the desert. I'll stop now, but its safe to say I was definitely out of my comfort zone among these guys! The biggest take away in regard to the other people on the expedition is just how friendly and inspiring everyone was.
Things I learnt: - Slow and steady wins the race. If something is hard I normally want to just get my head down and get it over with as fast as possible. It turns out for lots of technical as well as physical reasons this isn't the best approach… so instead we have a routine of walk for an hour then stop for a few mins to take on water and snacks and then get walking again before you get cold. We repeated this for ~7hours every day until it was time to stop for the day and start again the next day.
- It's too cold to make snowmen!!!! The snow doesn’t stick together and is more like dust. - Its dry, most of the moisture we have to protect against is sweat and condensation from breath. - Everything freezes!… so if you use your pee bottle (yep we each had a bottle to wee in at night) you have to leave it in your sleeping bag with you otherwise it will freeze and you will have to melt it. Even my alcohol gel froze
- I love snacks. Whilst hard core explorers can train their body to process blocks of butter as food. I choose Haribo Tangtastics, nuts, dried fruit and breakfast bars… mostly tangtastics though!
- If you provide your body with the right fuel and stay positive, you will be surprised at how much it can put up with.
The main thing I learnt was just how beautiful the artic is! I would definitely go back (probably not skiing on an endurance trip though… give me a kite or snowmobile!)"
Pegging Out - Please see above, a video of me shivering in the cold, whilst Glenn demonstrates where the Treehouse Project will be built. I really hope it isn't that cold on the way to Portugal!
On a warmer note, I am hugely pleased to say that Richard Mathers-Jones of the Nash Partnership has agreed to be our Architect Lead on the Treehouse Project on a pro-bono basis. We massively appreciate his work and the support of the Nash Partnership, whose awesome track record in architecture has to be seen to be believed - The Nash Partnership The Treehouse Project just got one big step closer to reality..... cheers all!