Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tired and Emotional

Bernadette is knackered.

The countdown clock - and frequently cardinal hacker Kevin - tells us there's only three hours and 40 odd minutes left. That means more than two-thirds of Charity Hack is over. But after more than eight hours of effort another three hours plus is a long time.

I've every faith Bernadette will pull through though. Optimism, gratitude and a big dash of love will get her to 9pm.

Working with Bernadette for Care After Prison are her champion companions Justin, Holly, Bronagh and Breifne. A post-lunch pitch of their two best ideas by Justin prompted applause. It's one of those ideas the fab four are progressing today, with plans to activate the other later this year.

Bernadette is a big fan of the two ideas being worked on that will both raise awareness of the Care After Prison cause as well as potentially raise funds. "They're really easy to implement and we can start running with both of them," she told me, explaining her support.

The idea being worked on right now involves a school programme Care After Prison already delivers. The school programme as it stands sees Care After Prison personnel visit schools at no cost to help show what life paths students should avoid at all costs.

Today Charity Hack experts have suggested building up the relationships Care After Prison has with schools. Whereas before the end of a school visit was followed with a goodbye wave, from now on it's hoped it will be just one strand in an ongoing relationship that will see the school help ensure Care After Prison's survival by hosting a fundraiser in the wake of the visit such as a coffee morning.

As I write Bernadette's group has split up (amicably) - Breifne is compiling a database of schools, Holly and Justin are working on the fundraising product and Bernadette and Bronagh are looking at the letter that might be sent to schools outlining the project.

The school project isn't the only thing Care After Prison will have going for it as a result of Charity Hack however. A simple but effective second plan is just waiting to be unleashed later in the year. That plan - dubbed 'A Mother's Voice' - includes mothers and tea bags, and we all know how powerful that combination is.

"I'm knackered," Bernadette said just now, before adding that she's "a little bit in love with everyone". "I know I started the day saying I'm feeling emotional," she said, "but I just want to hug everyone. They're giving 100%. They're so into it - even referring to the charity as 'us'. I'm overwhelmed to have so many brilliant people giving us their all."

As tired and emotional people go, Bernadette is one of our favourites!


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