The John Wood Appeal - £10 Donation
In 2021, I started a fund in memory of my late father. As we all knew, there were many families who were suffering financial challenges due to Covid, and for whom Christmas was a luxury they could ill afford. Here is why I started the fund.
Back in 1984, my father worked for the National Coal Board. Both my parents had served in the army, were just starting out with two children but had no savings. Then the miners went on strike and for the best part of a year, we had no income and no safety net.
We grew our own food, foraged and lived on food parcels, but this barely kept us fed. Despite this hardship, I remember the year as a happy one because my dad was at home all summer. He normally worked shifts so I never saw him, but in 1984 we spent the summer together, which for a six year old boy, was wonderful.
The experience was not the same for my parents. In June of that year it was my birthday, and a few days before, I saw my father in tears because he couldn’t afford to buy me a present. It was the only time in 37 years that I ever saw him cry and I remember it as clearly as if it was happening as I type this. But children are resilient, it didn’t matter to me that I didn’t get a birthday gift, but for my dad the weight of not being able to provide for his child weighed him down so much it broke him.
So, fast forward to 2021, and I decided to help parents who were in a similar situation to mine back in ’84, and I launched this fund to give cash donations to enable parents to get a present for their children or take an extra day off at Christmas and spend time with them. We ended up helping three times the number of families I had initially hoped to, thanks entirely to your generosity.
This year's appeal
Since I started this appeal, I've never sought any publicity from it. I've never named the families we have helped as I believe they should be able to keep their stories private. You have all generously donated, trusting me to distribute the money fairly, but I've always told you a little bit of the recipient's story as it wouldn't expose them at all.
This year however, I'm going to have to be even more secretive, and here is why. I have learned of two families that 2023 has not been kind to, and a member of each one of these households is a known local public face. If I told you their stories I am certain that some of you would know about whom I was talking, so would be an invasion of their privacy.
These two families, for very different reasons, could really do with a helping hand, and so once again I'm asking you to not buy a bottle of wine from me this week and to donate whatever you can to help these families this winter. You'll be bringing a bit of joy into their Christmas and for that, I'm incredibly grateful.
THIS IS A £10 DONATION