First-timer to take on the London Marathon to raise funds for Francis House Children’s Hospice
First-timer to take on the London Marathon to raise funds for Francis House Children’s Hospice
Alistair Orr is gearing up to run the London Marathon this Sunday to raise vital funds for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Alistair, from Leeds, is hoping that months of training will be enough to get him across the finish line, as Alistair has never run a marathon before.

Francis House provides care and support to the families of children and young people with life-limiting conditions from its base in Didsbury, Manchester.

In preparation for the marathon event, Alistair has been pounding the streets of Leeds and running circuits over the Humber Bridge to his hometown of Hull.

The 33-year-old runner said: “I used to enjoy sprinting at school but have only taken up longer distances over the past five to six years, taking part in parkruns, and a variety of 10K’s and Half Marathon’s.

“Over lockdown, I managed to complete a 15 miler which was the first time I thought a marathon might be possible, and since getting a place to run the London Marathon, I have built up the mileage progressively.

“The longest I’ve run to-date is 22 miles so I’m hoping the crowd on the day will help to keep me going for the remaining miles.”

The mass participation event returns to the streets of London on Sunday, October 3, with more than 40,000 runners expected to take part.

Alistair said: “I have always wanted to attempt it – it’s an amazing event to watch as a spectator and certainly one that’s been on my bucket list for many years. To be able to soak in the support from the crowds around the entire course and pass all of its iconic landmarks will be something special.”

Alistair’s fiancée Emma Stanbury is expecting the couple’s first baby in December and will be in the crowd to cheer him on.

“Emma is the reason why I started running longer distances, she’s supported me throughout my training, and always believed that I could one day do a marathon so I’m hoping to make her proud with a good time.”

Running has also given Alistair an excuse to get outside after two years of working from home.

“Friends got me onto Strava which has been a great tool to keep track of my training and encouraging me to go out on those lazy days when I would love to put my feet up and watch TV instead.

“Running is so accessible – you can open the front door and just run. Doing long distances lets you see more of the city and the changes that are going on around it over time.”

In 2018, Alistair ran the Manchester Half Marathon for Francis House and when the invite came through to apply for one of the hospice’s marathon places, he jumped at the chance.

“It’s great to be supporting a local northern charity who are doing some fantastic work in helping support vulnerable children and families going through extremely difficult times.

“I’m hoping to come in sub 3hrs 30 minutes, but I think on the day I’ll be happy just to make it across the finish line.”

Julie Williams fundraising officer at Francis House said: “We wish Alistair good luck on Sunday and would like to thank him for choosing to support Francis House and hospice care. We rely heavily on the generosity of the public, it’s an uphill struggle to raise the £4.2 million in running costs that we need every year, and we are very grateful to everyone who has sponsored Alistair.”

To support Alistair and his fundraising for Francis House click here

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Francis House Children’s Hospice, on Wednesday 29 September, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

Local air ambulance charity to hold recruitment event
Local air ambulance charity to hold recruitment event
For the first time, local life-saving charity, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT), is holding a recruitment open evening to showcase the wide range of exciting job opportunities they currently have available.

The event, which will take place on Monday 4th October between 5pm and 8pm at their North Weald Airbase, 10 minutes from junction 7 on the M11, is free to attend and open to anyone that may be looking to take the next step, in their career.

Caroline Beresford, Head of HR at EHAAT explained the reason behind the event. “EHAAT is a charity that provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for the critically ill and injured of Essex, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas. We operate out of our airbases at North Weald and Earls Colne. Our charity team consists of around 60 people, working across the three main functions: fundraising, clinical and operational.

“Due to new innovations, promotions and career development, we have several vacancies that have opened up, so we have decided to open our doors and we are asking people to come along – armed with their CV – to talk to us about joining us in our mission to save lives!”

Almost entirely funded by public donations, EHAAT attended 2,366 life-saving missions last year across Essex and Hertfordshire and it forms an important part of the emergency services supporting the NHS.

Those wishing to come along on the 4th October should visit for more details including directions, along with viewing the current list of vacancies available.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, on Wednesday 29 September, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

Room to Reward are delighted to announce Kellie Rixon MBE and Robert Richardson, Chair and CEO of the Institute of Hospitality, as the latest figures to join the charity as Ambassadors. The Institute have long been supporters of the initiative, which utilises unsold hotel rooms to enable charities and community groups to give ‘thank you’ breaks to their most outstanding volunteers.

“I am delighted to become an Ambassador for this brilliant charity,” said Mr. Richardson. “I first came across Room to Reward when I signed up to the scheme as GM of The Grand in Folkestone. It’s a wonderful way of thanking those who do so much for others and I look forward to being part of the team.”

Kellie Rixon took over as Chair of the Institute in September 2020. “Room to Reward is a wonderful way for hoteliers to use a couple of empty rooms to create memorable experiences for some truly deserving people,” she said. “I encourage all of our members to find out more and get involved.”

Founded in 2015, Room to Reward now works with over 500 hotels throughout the U.K, including the likes of Jurys Inn, Iconic Luxury Hotels, Bespoke Hotels, Splendid Hospitality Group and Harbour Hotels. After COVID-19 brought a halt to much of their operations, the charity relaunched in June with a special campaign to recognise volunteers who had stepped up during the pandemic.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Kellie and Robert as Ambassadors,” said Adam Terpening, Director of Room to Reward. “We have been fortunate to benefit from the wonderful support of the Institute for a number of years and their endorsement is a huge boost for us on our journey to recognise and say ‘thank you’ to more Hidden Heroes.”

To find out more about the hotels involved with Room to Reward and some of the 1000+ volunteers granted a break through the initiative, visit:

To find out more about the Institute of Hospitality, visit:

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Room to Reward, on Wednesday 11 August, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

Disabled War Veteran Sends Heart Wrenching Video To PM
Disabled War Veteran Sends Heart Wrenching Video To PM
Army Veteran, Nick Wilson, has sent an emotional and heart wrenching video message to the PM, where he asks Boris Johnson MP, “Prime Minister, what is the point fighting my addictions, fighting my pain, fighting loneliness and isolation and fighting for the fact I just don’t care about my life anymore. If you do nothing, if you don’t act now, then Prime Minister please tell me, why should I go on?”
Nick is questioning why more hasn’t been done to reduce the impact of a mental health crisis which is rapidly gaining momentum and calling for the government to finally recognise the invaluable service VCSE organisations provide. Instead of expecting them to do so for free and relying on Volunteers, make more money available to them through providing a share of the money invested by government on mental health.

With ONS reporting depression and anxiety disorders doubling during 2020 and there already being an increase in suicide rates pre Covid, 75% of all suicides are still that of males and we have seen the first increase of suicides amongst teenagers for decades. The cost of poor mental health and mental illnesses has also increased for; UK employers from £35billion to £45billion and the UK economy from £95billion to £105billion annually.

Whilst the government did invest £10million to the Voluntary, Charity and Social Enterprise VCSE organisations UK wide early on in the pandemic to assist with mental health, they then announced a £175million winter mental health plan in December 20, which was predominantly given to the NHS and spent on “Interventions”, opposed to “Preventative Measures”. This was part of an agreement made by the government three years ago and none of which was made available to the VCSE’s, the very organisations who have kept our communities going throughout Covid and there has been no specific action or investment to date, aimed towards the impact of Covid on peoples mental health over the past 16months OR the ongoing impact and fallout, to peoples mental health, post Covid.

With the true number of patients on waiting lists yet to be identified, we do know it is currently reported to be approximately 4million, though suggestions have been made it is more likely to be around the 14million mark, the likelihood and expectations of mental health professionals is that many people’s mental health will decline into crisis whilst waiting to be seen.

Nick Wilson has been involved in mental health for over 5years now, since 2016 when he attempted suicide following his experiencing burnout, being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, gained during his 14yr military career including deployments to; Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and went on to spend time in rehabilitation with Combat Stress.

His work has included successful mental health campaigns in 2018/19, reaching over 250,000 people and literally saving lives. Raising awareness of PTSD and mental illnesses through sharing his own experiences to reduce; Stigma, Prejudice, Preconceptions of mental health and Toxic Masculinity, whilst showing the way for other men to come forward. Most recently, during Covid, he formed a men’s mental health support group within Northamptonshire, using his War Pension to cover operational costs, due to little financial support being made available, and were the only mental health support services in Northants, offering continued safe face to face meetups throughout Covid.

On the face of it, this may seem no different to what many other selfless individuals were doing around the country, however, Nick has managed to achieve all of this whilst managing physical and mental disabilities such as; PTSD, Depression, Fibromyalgia and 7 pro lapse discs of the spine, resulting in his experiencing chronic levels of pain throughout his body, every minute of every day.

“How are we meant to be able to offer support, guidance and direction to all those who are struggling with their mental health, when waiting lists are so long and the government are demonstrating no leadership or empowering individuals to better manage their own mental wellbeing!? It just isn’t right, the time for talking about this is over and it is now time for action” – Nick Wilson.

Nick has invited the Prime Minister, and his colleagues, to attend one of his talks where he; openly shares his experiences living with mental illness and seeking to gain support from NHS mental health services and the importance of Self-Management, where people take ownership and accept responsibility of their own mental wellbeing, which Nick has offered to provide for free.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Racing Minds CIC, on Wednesday 11 August, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

The multi award-winning and UK’s number one jive and swing band, The Jive Aces have just released their brand new music video “Bad News” on Sunday 8th August as part of their official Summertime Swing festival.

Taken from their latest album “Diggin’ The Roots Vol.1: Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues”, the song “Bad News” is an original track. Inspired by the constant doom and gloom in much of the sensationalist media and the impact this can have on one, the band’s song is a satire about negative news and about the conflict and controversy found on social media. Here’s the link to the video: The video is a full production put together by the band themselves.

Ian Clarkson lead singer of the band commented: “We had this concept and started filming for the music video, spent lot of time putting it together, then lockdown hit and we were faced with an unpredicted obstacle. So, we started all from scratch and did a brand new one. We had some new ideas and our trombone player taught himself how to do all these special effects, plus finding great old footage from some old movies in public domain and we came up with this video which we think puts across the message that our Bad News song intended. We have released the video right after our charity festival Summertime Swing and we immediately received hundreds of positive responses. We are looking forward to its success.”

Just a few days ago the Jive Aces have achieved the astonishing record of 500 consecutive days of free live streams which started on 17th March 2020 helping thousands of people getting through the depressing times of the lockdown days, reaching people in every corner of the globe. And to mark this landmark, the band released the afore mentioned music video.

The band, who throughout the years have accumulated award after award, including the prestigious Telly Award for Best Music Video for their hit song Bring Me Sunshine – over 3.5 million views on YouTube – also received an award from the Variety Club Society for their contribution to music and constant support to charitable causes.

The band is scheduling a full return to their tour of British theatres and even back to the USA in Spring next year, including finishing a new album. So it really is going to be good news from here on out!

For more information about the band:

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Jive Aces, on Monday 9 August, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

Festival of Highlife...its in the drums: Tribute to Ginger Baker [Hackney Empire 7th Oct 2021]
Festival of Highlife…its in the drums: Tribute to Ginger Baker [Hackney Empire 7th Oct 2021]
In Spring of 2019, Abass Dodoo and Ginger Baker started the process of jointly establishing a charity to teach African Drumming to the young vulnerable people at risk so they could learn about the legacy and origins of ancient African drumming rhythms that Ginger loved so much, during his time in Africa.  Sadly Ginger became ill during the Summer of 2019 and passed away on 6th October 2019.  Two years later, after a successful round of grant funds received from generous donors and sponsors who wanted Ginger Baker’s legacy as one of the best drummers of the world to continue, Abass Dodoo, along with friends and family of Ginger Baker, will be hosting a performance tribute in honour of the Ginger Baker, two years after his passing, at the Hackney Empire on 7th October 2021.

More details to follow, including the performance line-up and when tickets will go on sale.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of One-Drum Foundation, on Friday 6 August, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow