Countdown to the 50th Consecutive Donation: No. 5 – Wales 18/02/2004

Bobath Centre – Cardiff, Wales by Ian Black

Bridie, Big Dave J, Combat, Scottie the Piper, Sunshine on Leith and I met at the supporters’ game ( which we won 5-1 ) and we went off to the Bobath Centre in the Heb Bar bus, for which much thanks to Davie the driver. Scottie played as we marched in and they all seemed awfy pleased to see us.

There weren’t any weans with cerebral palsy at the presentation except a nice wee lad called Keiron, who was there to collect his free ticket for the game from Gol and get his picture taken with them.

There are no resident children. They come in for courses of treatment lasting about an hour or so and then go home.

The Bobath Centre asked for publicity, which they find invaluable and they reckon that the few paras and telly minutes that we got them was worth 15-20 grand to them, which is more than the Sunshine Appeal has donated up to date. They sent out their own press release to get the media to come, as did Gol and as did I on behalf of the Sunshine Appeal. If they had wanted us to hand over the cash “quietly and unobtrusively”, then we would have done so. Give us a bit of credit for sensitivity.

We and the staff picked up the money after throwing it up in the air. Several times, as they kept asking us to do it again. They loved the idea of Scots throwing away money, as did the media. That was the idea. I now freely confess that I have worked in PR.

The presentation was fun. Everybody laughed all the time. The head of the Centre kept jumping up and trying to catch the notes as they fluttered down and she laughed a lot. She told me that they hadn’t had such a good time for ages.

Everybody of our lot (eventually) agreed that it was a good wheeze. The Bobath folk loved it. We made page two in the South Wales Echo. We were also on the Six O’Clock News in Wales.

The staff thought we were great, we thought they were great, and they are doing a great job. We helped them a tiny wee bit with it, that’s all. We got to go away. They got to stay and do the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) stuff. They still need money.

Bridie had captured a documentary maker, Gregor, at the game and brought him and the crew along, so ten out of ten for initiative to him. It looks as if it might be a good docu as well, as I was much impressed with Gregor.

Neil Dymock from Gol was there with his pal Tim and Tim’s son Chester to present the Centre with six tickets to the game, which also went down rather well. Tim had the best line, as one of the staff thought that Bridie, who was wearing his bridie, was dressed as a chicken, and there was some mention of headless chickens. “More like a chickenless head “, said Tim.

We had a tour round the facilities and then left, with Scottie doing us proud as we marched down to the bus through the hospital grounds with people smiling and clapping.

Now a shock confession. None of us have actually seen £1000 thrown up in the air. I got a call early next morning from the Centre. They had counted the money most carefully and only had £900. The balance was still in my jacket. They now have it.

Then it was on to Clwb Ifor Bach (I’m not making this up, and it is spelled correctly) for a bite and a pint before taking the goodie bags, full of the stuff supplied by JimFaeKdy, flags etc. round to Burger King, which we dressed rather well with the bunting etc. I thought the kids loved it, but after spending an hour or so with the them, Louise said: ”I’m getting a hysterectomy in the morning”!

Everywhere We Go!

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