In two months’ time I’ll be running the Brighton Marathon in memory of Arabella. I’m raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), so for those who’d like to donate I’ve added a link in the sidebar→→→→→

Please do consider donating, or at least read the rest of this blog post before you decide you don’t want to.

I’m no runner. Or at least, I wasn’t until I signed up for the marathon. I was always one of the group walking at the back in ‘cross-country’ at school. Until recently I was running in a pair of £9 trainers bought from Sports Direct in 2011. I’m getting the hang of it though. If you’re the running/cycling type yourself, you can see my progress on my Strava profile.

Selfie pro

Arabella was (my partner) Rosie’s cousin, but much more like a sister. She died in May from a cardiac arrest, just 16 years old. The three of us spent a lot of time together, along with Arabella’s mum Clare and the rest of the family. I can only be thankful that we spent her last day together.

According to CRY, 12 young people in the UK die each week from undiagnosed heart conditions; a handful of these completely unexplainable, as in the case of Arabella. The randomness of the event makes it all the more devastating for the families of people who die in this way. This short video gives an accurate representation:

CRY are a great charity. They were quick to offer support after Arabella died and continue to do so. If you decide to make a donation, your money will be spent on CRY’s services such as bereavement support, as well as clinical research and their screening programme. Hopefully the work supported by CRY will someday reveal the mysteries of sudden adult deaths like Arabella’s.

I’m not the only one doing things to raise money. For starters I will be running the marathon with Rosie’s sister, Amy. Amy’s husband Peter will be walking 100km from London to Brighton in May. Rosie did a bake sale, and her brother Richard sang carols in Borough Market. Arabella would have turned 17 on February 21st. I’ve set up a Thunderclap on this day, which is where lots of people sign-up to send out a simultaneous tweet or Facebook post. Please do so by clicking here – it won’t cost you anything.

Arabella is missed so much by so many people. Please help us raise as much money as possible for CRY.


#AppIdea – TipWell

I hate tipping. At best it holds down wages; at worst it’s unfair and discriminatory. But society pressures me to tip. I don’t want to look cheap. The solution – TipWell.

Instead of your money going to the waitress or the taxi driver, it goes to charity. Let’s take the example of a meal in a restaurant. Here’s how TipWell should work:

  1. Your bill arrives: £46.20 total.
  2. You get your phone out and open TipWell. You select ‘restaurant’.
  3. Using your location, the phone figures out which restaurant you’re at. You then take a look at your bill and see your waitress’s name was Deirdre, so you type ‘Deirdre’ into the appropriate box. There’s also the opportunity to leave a little message. The app records the time and date of your visit.
  4. You input the total bill amount and select the percentage you’d like to tip; 10%, as is customary in the UK.
  5. You select which charity you’d like your money to go to; let’s say, Amnesty International.
  6. Using PayPal, you complete your payment of £4.62 to Amnesty International.
  7. Waiters and patrons alike then log on to the TipWell website and build profiles for themselves. Patrons can see how much they have tipped, waiters can see how much they’ve earned for charity. They can also see messages left by diners.
  8. Everybody in the world stops tipping. Fewer people want to be waiters as they know they won’t get tips. Restaurateurs have to pay their staff more.

Somebody please build this.