Looking round the new SDH Children’s Unit…

Looking round the new SDH Children’s Unit…

First published in Wain's World Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author by

… with fellow-Governors last Friday, I was reflecting on how much effort everyone’s put into fundraising. A lot of it has been upfront – quiz nights, charity suppers, street collections and so on. Other tasks were less obvious. Over the past three years we’ve spent hours stuffing envelopes for chief fundraiser Dave Cates.

But it’s all been well worth the effort. The new unit is absolutely splendid, the more so because much of the design and decoration has been inspired by local schoolchildren. But there’s still lots more we can do to make life comfortable for sick youngsters, which is why Caring4Kids is one of the charities benefitting from the Rotary Club’s latest Swimathon at Godolphin School on April 9.

Normally this is a great occasion, especially when you get to use the Godolphin’s excellent indoor pool. But for some unknown reason it's become clear that 2011 team entries are down. Usually by now the Swimathon’s over-subscribed, but not this time.

Perhaps people don’t understand that it’s just a matter of 8 team-members spending just 55 minutes swimming as many lengths as they like, having persuaded friends to sponsor them. Maybe that’s the problem: at a time when money’s tight for everyone it’s difficult seeking sponsorship. In fact it isn't really a problem if you use the online Just Giving system. It’s very discreet and saves embarrassment all round.

Watching John Simpson’s front-line reportage…

…from Libya has been alarming. Being with untrained and badly-armed rebels facing aircraft, artillery and armour is always hazardous. But standing beside parked vehicles clustered on an otherwise empty road (as he was recently) is downright dangerous.

Nearly 40 years ago during the Yom Kippur War journalists who made the same mistake were killed by Syrian gunners when they targeted a press convoy. Old sweats say it's not the bomb or shell with your name on it that kills you: it's the one saying "To Whom it May Concern". I hope my old friend John bears that in mind.

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