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Why I’m fundraising for a recovery garden: Kelly’s story

Posted on 07 March 2017

Kelly Clifford, Luton resident and brave lady, is doing a sponsored skydive to raise money for a Groundwork project. She tells us why.

Kelly in front of the site that will become a reflection garden

On 27 April, I will be throwing myself out of a plane to raise money for a project at The ResoLUTiONs Hub in Luton. Groundwork Luton & Bedfordshire will be creating a reflective space in the garden there, to give people somewhere peaceful to think and to spend time with each other.

I am a local girl, Luton born and bred. I teach Pre-Registration Adult Nursing at the University of Bedfordshire, having been a nurse for ten years.

When I was a child, my father was an alcoholic and he died when I was 13 years old. We weren’t aware of any resources that could support our family at the time. The treatment for alcoholism used to be that the patient would be treated in the psychiatric unit and then sent home. There wasn’t a lot beyond that, except structured appointment-based centres that were limited in their resources to fully support the person.

When I became a nurse, some of my patients were alcoholics and I saw that it affected them and other people in the same way that it had affected my family. I realised we weren’t alone.

I think it’s really important to support a local cause – I thought I was on my own living with this thing but actually it affects lots of people in the community that I live in. I found out about ResoLUTiONs Hub through other professionals who understood I wanted to help locally.

When I visited the Hub, I felt like I walked round it with my mouth wide open! Before I got there, I was a bit apprehensive but it was so welcoming. Everyone there was laughing, learning and sharing skills. I looked at the garden where they grow produce, visited the café and the bakery, and breathed in the smell of the curry the group were cooking.

The Hub is an inspiring and proactive place. Those who use it are always engaged in a productive activity; they can’t just sit drinking coffee and smoking all day! They help with the functioning of the place and they maintain it with pride. Being able to come to The Hub stops them being isolated, as everyone looks out for each other.

This isn’t the first charity fundraiser I’ve done – my husband sent me on a 170ft bungee jump when I turned 30 and I loved it. I decided to do that one for Luton’s Alcohol Services for the Community (ASC), which offers outreach services to help people live without reliance on alcohol or other drugs. I managed to raise about £1000 for them so I know I can do it. Any contribution you can make would be amazing and will go to a brilliant cause, directly helping people in my community.

> To donate, visit Kelly’s Just Giving page

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