Change Lives

Change Lives

Monday, 29 February 2016

Easter Eggs At Alnwick Branch Of Newcastle Building Society.....

And carrying on with great support from companies, I'm delighted to say that we have also been successfully nominated as the Alnwick branch of Newcastle Building Society's Charity Of The Year. As part of the campaign the staff at the branch are running an Easter Egg raffle.....

Any supporters who live locally can pop into the branch and buy tickets at £1 with the winner being announced on the 21/03/2016.

There is also a book sale, and anybody wishing to donate books to help raise funds for us can do so by popping them into the branch.....

I'd just like to thank both the staff and customers of the Alnwick branch for all their efforts and support!

Chronicle Wish Appeal..... We Come 7th!....

We are really proud to announce the result of the Chronicle's Wish Campaign which saw us finish 7th out of nearly 200 other organisations! A fantastic achievement as you sent us 44,784 tokens and helped us not only to a top 10 finish, but also a brilliant prize sum of £573.44!

Thank you all so much for your support!

Here's a piece from tonight's Chronicle.....

A special THANK YOU to Joan who counted and stuck every token!
 Good causes have got their hands on a share of Chronicle Wish Campaign cash, thanks to the determination of their token-collecting supporters.

This year we gave away £30,000 to not-for-profit organisations benefiting communities across Tyneside and the North East.

And to decide how big a share of the pot each group received Chronicle readers and supporters of the causes have been busily collecting tokens from our papers.

The top 10 organisations yesterday collected their cheques from Matt McKenzie, editor at NCJMedia, at a special ceremony at our Newcastle offices.

Mr McKenzie said: “Wish is one of the big events in the life of the Chronicle every year. It’s a day we can celebrate being a part of the community we serve and it’s today we have the honour of giving something back to our readers.”

For the fifth Wish Campaign 180 not-for-profit groups registered to receive a share of the cash, and a staggering 2.3m tokens were collected.

Once again Newcastle-based cancer charity Daft as a Brush, which transports cancer outpatients to and from hospital, lead to way in the tokens race with more than 186,000 collected in its name.

After collecting a cheque for £2390.17 Brian Burnie, who runs the charity, said: “It’s amazing to collect 186,000 tokens. I don’t know where they have come from. Over the last year we did more than a quarter of a million miles and fuel is our biggest expense so it’s constant fundraising for us. We just want to thank everyone.”

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) came in second place with 167,512 tokens bagging them more than £2,144.

Amanda Simmister from the lifesaving charity said the money would help pay for much-needed helmets for its crews.

“We would just like to thank all the supporters for their kind donation and tokens,” she said. “And we would like to thank the Chronicle. We are going to put the money towards new helmets for the crews. They are £1,800 a piece so it will come in handy.

Other groups in the top 10 were: the PDSA, Out of Sight, Help Richard Live Life to the Full, Newcastle Pin Point FC, Blaydon Youth Community FC, Shak , HCPT Group 41, Cullercoats RNLI and Out of Sight.

Lynn Little from Blaydon Youth FC said: “We are absolutely over the moon. We didn’t think we would get in the top 10.”

The club plans to use the money to train up four new football coaches.

Mr McKenzie thanked all those who had taken part, either by promoting their causes or collecting tokens.

He added: “You are the ones that do all the hard work in this campaign, and without your efforts it would not be the success it is so thank you all for your efforts.”

You can see the full report and pictures at:

No Course Thursday.....

I'm sorry to have to announce that the course by Leigh Smyth on Parasite Control this Thursday has had to be cancelled. She will announce a new date soon.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Official 10th Anniversary Tee's Available Now.....

As it is now 10 years since I lost my best friend, it seems only right that he is remembered as the dog that started all of this by appearing on an official SHAK T Shirt. Shak was my soul mate and companion for 7 and a half years till Lymphoma took him away. I miss him.....

You can get your hands on the SHAK Pop Art Tee's initially just available till June 19th by following the link below......

No Reiki Course This Weekend.....

Due to unforeseen circumstances I'm afraid the Reiki course for Sunday has been cancelled. Leigh will be in touch to announce a new date very soon.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Busy Times And Sad Times.....

It has been a really hectic couple of weeks, and the general running of everything that is SHAK has meant I haven't had a great deal of time to update here. There is so much work goes into the day to day organising, so it was fantastic to see some positive results recently.
Sue McCabe of Muttamorphosis.
January the 21st of course brought a brilliant night at HQ with our very special guest Sue McCabe from Muttamorphosis, whilst the 28th of January saw a fantastic night with our good friend Leigh Smyth. Both nights were sell outs, and it was really interesting to see so many familiar faces, as well as so many new faces that quickly became new SHAK friends.

Leigh Smyth of Essentials For Equilibrium
I'd like to thank everyone who attended, and of course to Sue and Leigh for not only putting on two great nights, but for also such wonderful support in the work we do.

I'm delighted to say that I can also confirm two more dates for your diary, one of which involves us inviting another very good friend of ours to come and tell us about the work we do. On Tuesday the 15th of March at 7pm Emily Renton from Moorview Vets is coming to give a talk concentrating on 'Preventative Health Care & Canine First Aid.' So it's another great opportunity for you to come along and gain some really good information and tips, as well as coming along to support SHAK.

However, before Emily's visit we have another 'Join Our Team-An Opportunity To Learn More About Joining The SHAK Team.' The previous sessions have both been great successes, and we're hoping that the next one on Saturday the 12th of March at 10.30am will also be a great day to make new friends.

I'm afraid that during this spell it hasn't all been good news, and I'm really sad to say that SHAK lost a real old lady and such a special girl in Lottie on the 24th. Lottie was a little old stray when she arrived, and in Jules she found her perfect soul mate. She would often sneak away with Jule's credit card and purchase things on the SHAK Wishlist for her old friends, and she never forgot us. For that I will always be grateful. Run free little Lottie, and thank you to Jules for everything you did for her.

The 24th was already a day where another special girl was in my thoughts, as it was 3 years since I lost a real love of my life, Nina.

Nina was very much my dog at the kennels,there was a love there from the very first morning she was with us after she'd burst out of her kennel during the night. A love that is still there now, despite her being gone for so long.....

"Words can't describe how we're all feeling today, as we discovered the beautiful Nina had passed away in her sleep. She looked peaceful, but it shard to believe that she has gone. Nina was a brave girl, you'll remember she survived a massive pyometra in the summer, so if there was anything sinister happening she never let on.

Used and abused before coming to us, she was another Daddy's girl who would deliberately misbehave so I'd go and carry her home to her kennel. She helped so many dogs in her time with us, and shared kennels with George, Wilf and right to the end with Bobby. In fact in the 6 weeks or so she lived with him, Bobby was the happiest I've ever seen. Below are her playing with Jetta who was due to be destroyed for being dog aggressive.

We're all going to miss her, perhaps me more than most, and we'll all never forget her that's for sure. Nina had been badly abused, but allowed us into her life and with it came love and trust..... from both sides.

Here's how we will all remember an amazing dog, and an amazing friend."

There has been a few coming's and going's too, and whilst I'm not going list them all here, there's one little girl who has arrived and stole a whole load of hearts. Milly was booked into a vets locally to be destroyed. I think the picture below asks its own questions..... but being able to help her and save her life gives us a the strength to go on, and looking at the lives Lottie and Nina had because we're here makes all the hard work I mentioned earlier so worthwhile.....