As much as we all love our friends, we so often take for granted that we know them and what they are capable of. And then, now and then they surprise you…
I met Monty, theoretically, just after I started work back in September 2005. I say theoretically because I don’t actually remember meeting him but sure I must have done at some stage. But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started to get to know him and his then-girlfriend (now wife) Sam better.
Sam and I are in some ways kindred spirits and in others, chalk and cheese. She’s blonde and blue eyed, stunningly gorgeous, I’m brown haired and brown eyed. We both have similar figures and would fit in brilliantly on the set of Mad Men being traditionally hourglass shaped. More importantly we have both been through periods of deep depression and suffer from low self-esteem. Despite being in totally opposite industries, I’m an accountant and she was, at the time, working for the BBC, we developed a firm friendship and even though we’ve had our ups and downs, I’d still class her as one of my best friends.
When Sam changed jobs to work in PR one of the things she was required to do was to join Twitter and from there she read a blog post and become friends with a blogger, Jayne, otherwise known as BeachBumBeauty. Sam commented on a post of Jayne’s detailing her experiences and a project was born. That project came to be known as Blurt.
The purpose of Blurt is to give support to people with depression through mentoring, to provide a friend during what feels like the most isolating experience anyone could go through. They don’t counsel, although the founders are in the process of training in counselling, they listen and as depression doesn’t discriminate neither do they.
On August 20, the Daily Mail featured an article about Blurt and its plans for the future. Since then Blurt has been overwhelmed with e-mails requesting mentoring and media requests. But the big area where they need help, as well as further volunteers as mentors, is funding. Sam has recently left her job in PR hoping to be able to focus more on Blurt as well as furthering her own ambition of writing and publishing a novel. Both Jayne and her husband Dom are hoping to be able to focus more of their time on Blurt in the future but no-one can live on good deeds alone. They would need to be able to live and therefore draw some sort of salary from Blurt which requires funding.
They have started on fundraising with their first event having taken place on August 6th where three of the founders, Jayne, Dom and Monty exercised for 24 hours in half-hour shifts (Sam could not participate as she wasn’t very well although she was there for nost of it cheering everyone on). In that time Dom ran (yes, ran!) for three and a half hour and between that and 2 hours on a bike, covered a total of 91.01km. Jayne ran for an hour and a half and cycled for six and a half covering a total of 112.36km. Monty ran for half an hour, cycled for 3, covering a total of 79.74km and spent the rest of time weightlifting (suffice it to say Monty is looking fairly ripped these days).
Their next fundraiser is The Big Blurt Raffle and tickets for the first draw (to be drawn on 12th September) are on sale now! There are some fantastic prizes including clothes from French Connection, treats from Elemis and Yes to Cucumbers, Revlon nail polishes, TIGI hair products and a £70 Matalan voucher! And that’s only the first draw! Tickets are £1 each or 6 for £5, go on, have a go!!