Hello and a very warm welcome to my newly relaunched blog. I'm Paul a 40 year old family man from the UK. In this complex, information overload 21st century world, too often we lose sight of what's really important. Here I want to celebrate life, share inspirational stories, throw the spotlight on charities and causes close to my heart. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Smiles that can change our world!

No matter what kind of day I've had, there's one thing that's always guaranteed to bring on instant happiness.

Every time I see my little boy's face light up with wonder, beaming a huge smile back at me, suddenly all the troubles of the world just melt away.

So continuing on that theme here's three very special charities which I would like to bring to your attention

1) Miles of smiles http://miles-of-smiles.org.uk/

You may well have seen the link on the right hand side of this blog as I first featured this charity a month or so ago after a fellow writer on dooyoo told me all about it as it provides much needed care for her grandson.

Kent Kids Miles of Smiles was founded in March 1993, with the sole aim of spreading some sunshine into the lives of sick and disabled children. It's a small regional British charity that has really struggled for funding during the recession, so I'm more than happy to give it any extra promotion that I can.

The lady in question kindly gave me her permission to publish an extract from the deeply moving message she wrote to me - I think you'll agree it's much more powerful and personal than anything I could write here myself

"I just wanted to mention a charity very close to my heart, Kent Kids, Miles of Smiles. They are a Kent based children's charity, who have supported my young grandson, Miles Griffiths, for over 18 months. Miles was born with spastic quadriplegia, he is 8 this year but cannot sit, mobilise, speak or even swallow due to his condition.

He is fed via a jejunostomy tube into his bowel (as his stomach does not work) and his care needs are so great that my daughter was unable to continue caring for him at home. She has two other children and was becoming ill with the sheer hard work involved after 6 years care giving with little or no help.

We try to do our bit for the charity and support their fundraising ventures, but as you can imagine the current recession has hit the charity's donations very hard. If you would consider highlighting Kent Kids on your blog, I would be very grateful."

2) A smile for a child


The second charity I want to highlight today is another very small UK charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged children to get into sporting activities in their communities. I'm a great believer in the benefits of sport and making all sports universally accessible, so although I've only just found out about them it really is a cause close to my heart and I'll certainly be looking to get actively involved with them in the coming weeks, months and years.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Proudly announcing this months donations!

As I mentioned a couple of days back, I've tallied up the online earnings now ready for cash out this month and am very pleased to announce the latest donations I've been able to make, along with some details about the charities.

A total of £75 collected this month added to the previous £81.40 brings the grand total for the year to date


So still well on track to the £1000 target , especially as I'm close to pay out for a number of £30-50 thresholds so hopefully plenty more to come in the next few months.

Also, really chuffed to now have 66 followers signed up already, and thanks again to all of you out there for all the amazing, positive comments I've received so far - it really does spur me on, and as a result of the community spirit I've got to know about some incredible causes that you support out there.

If anyone out there is thinking of trying this for themselves and donating on line earnings, please look out for my up coming blog entry where I'll highlight some of my own favourite and reliable "top earner" cashback, survey and review sites. Also, once again can I appeal to you all to get in touch about your special charities and I will do my utmost to highlight them here.

And so to the most important bit, the charities.

1) Makomborero Zimbabwe - £25

Back in April, one of my old University friends had got in touch to tell me about the bold and visionary project called Makombero (meaning blessings) that is now finally getting close to becoming a reality for Mark and Laura Albertyn.

They are native Zimbabweans, who have spent the last few years working in the UK, but have always with the dream to set up an A-level school back in Zimbabwe. It has taken some time to get the funds together but now finally they are heading back to Zimbabwe in a month or so's time.

Please, please, please take a look at the charity's website at  and also their blog at  http://makomborero.info/ it tells the story much better than I ever could. There you will find details of how you can get involved, support, volunteer, donate and become a part of this community adventure.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The power of connections - running for Epilepsy research

So back to work today, over into our Birmingham office this morning, and once again another remarkable connection made in the chain of good causes that this blog has opened my eyes to.

In my recent posts, I've written about the London Marathon, written about Serene Low's fantastic epilepsy awareness blog and on comedian Russell Howard running for the National Society for Epilepsy charity.

As a new month begins I've totalled up the available online earnings funds and am in the process of sorting out donations to the charities I've highlighted in the last couple of weeks.

Then whilst in the office canteen getting my morning tea and toast, there I see a small notice plaque about one of my UK based work colleagues Mark Pickard, running in the London Marathon on behalf of Epilepsy Research UK.  tear off a strip of paper with the fundraising website address


Here in their own words are their reasons for taking part on behalf their son Harry.

"We have decided to run the London marathon this year TOGETHER! and we are running for the charity Epilepsy Research UK, for a cause that mean a lot to us.

Harry is a very happy and healthy 9 year old, but in 2005 he started to collapse for no apparent reason, at first it was thought he was having "normal" childhood feberal convulsions, however as the frequency and severity of these collapses increased further tests diagnosed Epilepsy. Our worst fears were realised as Fiona has had live through her father having Epilepsy for over 30 years. However Harry's type of Epilepsy has now been diagnosed (Atonic) and he has been treated successfully for over 4 now and we have had only a few recurrences. Hopefully he will grow out of his Epilepsy, but he may well have to be on medication for some time maybe indefinitely. However both Harry and his Grandfather are very well, and we have no reason to think that Epilepsy will adversely effect their lives.

However the experience has motivated us to try and repay in some way the support we have had in diagnosing Harry's Epilepsy, and we have decided to try and lug our bodies around the streets of London on the 25th of April.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Going the Distance!

Well another very busy but hugely enjoyable family weekend for me, so sorry I haven't had much time to write and catch up with my fellow bloggers

In amongst grass cutting duties, swimming lessons, and numerous trips out chasing after our ever energetic young "son"shine, I even managed to squeeze in a 7 mile run on the treadmill, but frankly those exertions seem ridiculously insignificant in comparison with the super human efforts of Ivor and his team pictured above.

As you'll hopefully already have seen in my recent blog entries, over the last four days, Ivor and friends have been running a phenomenal 90Kilometres (56 miles) from London to Brighton, to raise money for the Children on the Austistic Spectrum Parents association or CASPA.

By all accounts they've had to battle through the very worst of British May Bank Holiday weekend conditions with howling winds , rain and mud to contend with all along the route.

From the update reports on facebook I know they had reached the 70KM mark by late last night, and were hoping to be in Brighton by 3pm today.

I have absolutely doubt they've made it by now, and hopefully they are  enjoying a very well earned rest in a deckchair, icecreams in hand, the works!!

For the very latest please take a look on the blog,

Show your support and join up with the facebook group at:

STOP PRESS : Here they are at the finish line in Brighton - what an achievement!!

Or to make a donation on :

From one of Ivor's most recent updates looks like they've raised well over £3000 which should go along way towards a new club facility for the kids. What a fantastic example to us all!