Thursday 15 April 2010


Every night we put Sanne to bed, a few rocking motions enough to bring those ever increasing eyelashes down and close her massive eyes. Every morning we are greeted by the sound of her having a waking conversation with someone unknown from within the wicker walls of her Moses basket.

Parents all over the world do the same thing, every hour of every day. Just over 5 years ago now, Neil and Rachael Salmon did the same, they put their 3 year old son Joseph to bed.

Joseph never woke up.

When I first read Neil and Rachael’s story 2 years ago I could appreciate their utter devastation. Now as our own long awaited daughter sleeps just feet from where I’m writing this, it sends shivers through me, sickening my stomach with unwanted dread.

In the years that followed Joseph’s death, Neil and Rachael took it upon themselves to create some good out of their sadness. They created the Joseph Salmon trust. The death of a child is usually not something people expect, nor make financial preparations for. The trust raises and distributes money to parents and families that have lost children, helping with the unexpected burden of funeral costs, a headstone, maybe a treat for siblings, or perhaps just paying an electricity bill while the family wage earners try to hold their world together.

The trust works locally in the Huddersfield area of Northern England, is completely voluntary, and operates with very small amounts of money.

Dan, the most sickeningly nicest man on the planet, but more importantly a friend of Neil and Rachael, has taken it upon himself, not for the first time, to try and raise funds for the trust. The poor chap is not very inventive, but he is ambitious, and in July this year he wants to raise money by simply walking.

He has managed to convince (or as I’m legally forbidden from calling it, 'emotionally blackmail') me, and 58 others to walk with him, across the width of England.

On 5th July this year, 60 people coming from the UK, Holland, and the United States are leaving family and comfort behind, in their own time, at their own expense, to walk for 6 days and 84 miles along the historical Hadrian’s Wall trail.

The goal is for us to raise £20,000 for the trust, for the families in the area that will unexpectedly lose a child in the coming year, all in memory of one little boy who left his own mam and dad far too soon.

In the grand scheme of things £20,000 is a small amount of money, but it is of unmeasurable value to the trust, and more specifically the people the trust helps.

I’m sure some of you could blow that target out of the water with a couple of keystrokes, so feel free. I’m sure more of you could manage to help a little towards the target, also feel free. Those not in a position to help financially can help by spreading the word, stumble or tweet this post, or any of the links below.

While I go and make sure a certain someone is sleeping soundly, I ask that if you can give a little or a lot, please do so here.

Thank you.


Gail said...

Well I'm going to pay a small fortune for heckling rights as you trample across my glorious landscape!
So much easier than walking!

Dan's THE man!

Veronica Foale said...

Makes me wish I could walk along with you.

Anonymous said...

On my way to contribute something.

darcie said...

such a great thing you all are doing - I've read a few of the posts of some of you hooligans doing this walk - oh to be a fly on the wall, err, shoulders...of you guys when you are walking...

what an amazing thing you are doing -

Limerick Gal said...

I knew a couple who buried two of their three very young children, several years apart. It's heartbreaking and I wish it could be different for all the families who endure it.

You're doing a wonderful thing!

Jenni said...

Good on you.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Look forward to following along.

Anonymous said...

With no offense intended and you may delete this comment after you read it.
Just to let you know something you may not. It is pretty common internet etiquette to warn readers if you will write about a young child or baby's death. Many people have emotional difficulty reading of something like this and while they are most likely activists and advocates for differing causes of sudden or early death, they choose not to read stories that give an emotional shock. It is simply too painful. Many do but at least they are warned and aware that they will be brought to that sadness. It is polite to give that choice in my opinion.

I'm sorry if I'm rambling and not explaining myself clearly, I hope you understand my point.


Martin said...

@Gail - He is that!

@Veronica - easily said from the safety of Australia ;-)

@hotmamamia - Thank you if you do.

@darcie - Should be interesting ;-)

@Limerick Gal - Glad you have an understanding.

@Jenni - Cheers.

@James (SeattleDad) - should be worth following for sure.

@Anonymous - No offence taken, and I wouldn't delete it at all.

I hope neither you, nor anyone else was upset, and I hope people can see the bigger picture.

I tried to broach it tactfully and tastefully, but straight up just like everything else I've written for 3 years or so here.

I understand and appreciate your point, but I don't think I would change it in any way.

All the best, thanks.

Tara R. said...

This is such a wonderful event. I wish you all the best of luck in your fundraising efforts and on the trail.

I Stumbled your post... hope to get you some more attention.

Barbara said...

Oh bloody hell. I'm going to end up sponsoring each of you individually aren't I?

Martin said...

@Tara - thanks, it all helps, really.

@Barbara - just me will do :-)