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Issue NC08 Spring 2020 Digital


On top of the world

Run, Danny, Run

Our team offers support during the crisis: Page 3

Mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE praises our work: Page 4

30in30 becomes an autumn challenge: Page 7

Our news issues are kindly funded entirely by a private donation from the Hawerby Trust

Foreword Committee role is a joy CatZero has the support of a strong board of Trustees, which comprises of talented individuals whose skills complement each other in guiding and advising on the vital work we do. David Bishop has been with us in this capacity for nine years now and in this foreword, he reflects on the work of the charity. NOW retired, I was working at KCOM Group as director of strategy, back in 2011, when I was invited to become a trustee. KCOM has been an enthusiastic partner and supporter of the charity from the outset. I was a trustee of the company pension scheme and occasional dinghy sailor so assumed a good fit! In truth, of course, it was my corporate governance and strategy experience that was seen as potentially useful. Alongside securing funding, governance and strategy inevitably dominate trustee board meetings. The real joy of being a trustee comes in being involved with the amazing team of people led by Dave and Danny and the immensely valuable work they do. In the extremely challenging times, which we all find ourselves in, it is a testament to the team that they are still actively supporting our clients and past participants. This kind of effort, going ‘over and above’, is typical. During my time with CatZero, I have tried to get to as many of the end of programme presentations and pop up café events as I can. Witnessing the impact that the programmes are having in changing people’s lives is truly humbling. I would recommend to anyone to try to attend at least one. I have grown personally too, taking on the chair of the audit committee for the last few years with the board’s support and encouragement.  No organisation stands still, and the programmes have evolved and developed over the years as we have sought to address the needs of some of those most left behind in our region. I am particularly encouraged by the positive impact of our first Full Families early intervention programme in Grimsby (as recognised by the participants themselves, core funding partners and independent assessors).

To deliver lasting personal change requires addressing root causes and I believe this programme can make a real difference for these families and their communities. I think it also shows what can be cost effectively achieved when all the support agencies involved work together in a real spirit of partnership. None of this valuable work would be possible without the support of grants and other contributions by philanthropic organisations, corporate partners and individual fundraisers and supporters. Whilst the majority of our programmes do receive public sector support, this is invariably now restricted to partial funding by the financial constraints on them. Thank you for your support and I wish you all the very best. I look forward to seeing you at our events once the country emerges from our present crisis and please stay safe.

Coronavirus Stay safe and we're here to help


An important message from the CatZero Chair of Trustees, Jim Dick: “THE continuing coronavirus crisis has changed the country, indeed the world, forever. The way in which we go about our lives has altered in a way none of us could ever have imagined. Here at CatZero we have needed to explore new ways of supporting our most needy and vulnerable clients. Whilst our regular programmes cannot continue presently, plans are in place to engage with all who need us. We are staying in touch with participants and families on our Full Families programmes, of which there are around 75 in Grimsby. There is also contact with the wonderful NHS staff, police, firemen and other key workers who are doing a remarkable job. I also want to thank all the team here and we hope to see you all again soon. In the meantime, keep safe.”

also been looking at the current jobs market (with demand in certain areas), updating CVs, directing clients to online free Open University, employability and mindfulness courses, answering queries for job seekers and ensuring support and help for other vital services. Craft activity ideas are also being sent out for children.

The following update is from our Director of Operations, Dave Bertholini:

The CatZero team members to contact during the current COVID-19 lockdown are:

Full Families Grimsby & Preston Road, Hull (supported in Grimsby by the National Lottery Community Fund and in Hull by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF): Regular telephone contact is being made with families to support them with any specific needs. The priority has been to sort out practicalities, such as the allocation of food bank vouchers and help with job searches. We are logging all our solutions to better inform others.

CLLD Scunthorpe (programmes 1,2 & 3), past CLLD programmes in Hull (supported by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), and the past Lone Parents programme in Grimsby: The progressions team is supporting current and past participants, especially those close to achieving full time work, or further education and training, and the most vulnerable. The team has

Veterans’ Support: While still recruiting for a new programme to start as soon as is possible (see page 9), programme manager Pete Tighe is keeping in regular contact with past participants. Twice-weekly phone calls are being made to ensure peoples’ welfare and to continue with their action plans. In general, he says, the veterans are keeping positive – with one taking up yoga and tai chi!

• • • •

Sean Cahill, Programme Manager and funding enquiries: 07879 775193. Clare Bradley-Taylor, 2019 Veterans participants, financial and admin management queries: 07855 534191. Sarah Coulson, Grimsby Full Families Manager/Delivery Officer and looking after other Grimsby past participants: 07805 659505. David Andrews, Hull Full Families Delivery Officer: 07958 711536 (until June 1st). Fiona Daggett, Progressions Officer and looking after Scunthorpe CLLD past participants and North Bank past participants, including 2018 Veterans: 07855 534190.

Please keep an eye on our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) where we are sharing any useful information from local authorities and other organisations.


Spotlight Alan Hinkes OBE inspires people to improve self esteem.

You can climb any mountain, or you can sail any boat – activity, and meeting people who inspire and lead can improve confidence and self-esteem and increase an individual’s resilience. SO SAYS Alan Hinkes OBE, who CatZero was delighted to welcome on board our yacht for one of our sails last year. For those who don’t know Alan, he is famed in the world of mountaineering being the first Briton to climb the world’s highest mountains. The peaks, 14 of them at 8000m, are all in the ‘death zone’, where human survival rate is measured in hours. Quite simply, they are the most dangerous on the planet and have only been conquered by Alan and 11 other people. Many have perished in their attempts. With a list of accolades to his name, Alan works as an outdoor equipment technical consultant, writes for magazines and lectures on his exploits. He is an accomplished cameraman (filming 11 documentaries), photographer, author, motivational speaker, environmentalist and mountain guide. His book 8000 Metres Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains won TGO Awards Outdoor Book of the Year.

Alan’s quirky logo.

During Alan’s sail with us on the Humber, we had the opportunity to outline the work we do in using a combination of outdoor activities,

Climber is a positive role model for charity sailing and the gaining of more formal qualifications, to support people on their positive journeys of change. Alan very much understood and appreciated our recognised methods of success and was keen to promote what we do. “There is no doubt that what I do has taken challenge to the extreme and this is not something that many people would desire to tackle. However for me, it is not about the level of the challenge or the risks taken, it is about supporting people to gain the strength and personal resilience to take on something that they may otherwise have never done, to push themselves and to truly understand that they can do things. This is what organisations, such as CatZero, are able to do and they are to be congratulated, supported and encouraged,” said Alan.


Riding the waves

We will sail again, but for now we must all accept the need to stay home and stay safe. As we look to the future when our 72ft Challenge Yacht can take to the waves once more, can we tempt you to come on board and experience the adventure of a lifetime. Remember, the money you spend with us enables us to match-fund grants so that we can continue our vital work. Treat yourself, or how about buying a place on our yacht as a gift for someone else?

Round the Island Race: Our participation in this wonderful event is cancelled for 2020 but back with a bang in 2021 ... why not treat yourself, or how about buying it as a gift for someone? Organisers of this annual highlight on the racing calendar have postponed this year’s event until September. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments our yacht is unavailable, and we will therefore not be competing this year. But we are already taking bookings for 2021, when the race is scheduled for Saturday, July 3. For a donation to our charity of £635 per person, racegoers are fully kitted out with wet weather gear and safety equipment with all meals and refreshments provided on board. Participants meet on the Isle of Wight for a day’s training before joining around 15,000 other sailors and 1,400 boats to race from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes after which the fleet races west to The Needles, on to St Catherine’s Point and the Bembridge Ledge buoy before returning to the Solent and the finish line, back in Cowes. We only have 12 spaces. Please email: for more booking details.

The 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, the experience of a lifetime from only £2,950 per person: This 650nm offshore race is one of the most iconic and demanding in the world, attracting many entrants from around the globe. Crossing the Celtic Sea to round the Fastnet Rock off the coast of Ireland, the race will finish in Cherbourg, France for the first time in its 95-year history. Twice Round the World Skipper Danny Watson and his experienced team will guide the crew throughout the training and the race. Participants will join CatZero on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth for inductions, kitting up and boat familiarisation.  A training sail will take place on Friday August 6 across to the Cowes Yacht Haven, Isle of Wight, ready for six days of action-packed racing, which commences on Sunday, August 8, 2021.   The race starts just outside Cowes at the Royal Yacht Squadron start line. The fleet head west to Lands End, before heading over to the Fastnet Rock near the south-west corner of Ireland, before sailing back around the Isles of Scilly eventually finishing in Cherbourg, France. After celebrating the race finish, there is an opportunity to sail 90nm back to Portsmouth (allow an additional day).


The big challenge Simply 'Runbelieveable'! With preparations going well our Director of Sailing, Danny Watson, was all set for his 30in30 challenge this spring – yes that’s a mighty 30 marathons in 30 days, consecutively. However, as the impact of the coronavirus continues to take hold, the correct decision has been taken and 30in30 is postponed, hopefully to take place in the autumn. So, let’s recap on Danny’s plans ... A MARATHON successfully completed is a feat of achievement for most, but for Danny that’s certainly not enough as he aims to run a mighty 30 – one after the other, in just 30 days. With initial dates in April and May now set aside and his 30-day challenge suspended until the end of September/October, Danny’s training had been going well. He has now stepped his intensive daily runs down a level, but is still out up to six days a week and is combining those workouts with a revised regime, including core work using light weights and stretching exercises. For those who don’t know, Danny has undertaken a series of annual challenges – alone and with fellow supporters – over the last six years, with their intensity increasing progressively. They have included marathons, an Ironman event, a Humber swim and country-wide cycle rides. This year, to mark his 50th birthday, he is planning

Danny with a member of his family as he finishes a past race.

to bring these to an end, with his incredible challenge to complete 30 runs of at least 26.2-miles Leaving Brighton the route, which has already been ‘reccied’ by professional events company Across the Divide, will take him into London, through Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. He will run into North East Lincolnshire and Grimsby before crossing the Humber Bridge into Hull. In Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire Council Chief Executive and keen runner Rob Walsh has pledged to run the local leg with Danny. On the north bank, Danny is being joined by CatZero colleague Callum Leach, a 2019 participant of the round-the-world Clipper race. Then it’s into Yorkshire and York, before skirting Durham, heading into Newcastle and crossing the border. There are still two weeks of marathons before finally reaching John O’Groats. It is hoped that 30in30 will raise thousands of pounds for CatZero as well as heightened awareness of the charity’s work with full families across the Humber region. Danny’s six previous fund-raising challenges have seen more than £80,000 raised for CatZero and a select number of other charities.

Danny enjoying one of his challenges – a Humber swim!

It is hard to believe, but Danny has not always been a fitness fanatic, in fact he couldn’t run a mile eight years ago when he was told, during his biannual medical for sailing, that he was on the edge of being

obese. That was the kick-start to losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. Following his father’s death in 2013, Danny and his sister, Nicola, decided to run a marathon together in his memory and that began the seven-year challenge. “I used to be three-stone heavier and actually it was my dad and sister Nicola who were the runners,” he said. “When you are taking on these challenges, or actually any form of endurance exercise, it really is all about attitude. I now see it as a privilege to be able to train and undertake these adventures,” he added. “Working with vulnerable families has affected me personally especially as I now have a family. I have used the principles we have developed in CatZero in changing my own life. I am passionate about the work we do with children, young people, and their families creating lasting change. “I am willing to put myself on the line to raise further funds to help full families improve their lives and as we look for new dates to complete 30in30, I would like to thank those who have supported me so far and I am looking forward to getting in touch with you all again soon,” said Danny. Those who have already donated to Danny’s run via his Virgin Just Giving page https://uk.virginmoney. are assured that the money will be held there until 30in30 is complete. •

With up to 100 families in the East Marsh area of Grimsby now being supported by CatZero in a joint programme with CPO, the charity is expanding this work across the region as it looks to a long-term approach to delivering change to families in crisis. For more on our Full Families Grimsby programme, see page 8.

Before the onset of the coronavirus crisis Danny’s fellow CatZero team member David Andrews was planning his own personal fundraising challenge. This has also been postponed – but you can read what he was planning, and aims to reschedule on page 16.

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CatZero’s O-Zone magazine is written and produced by Southbank PR, Grimsby. Copyright 2020.


Programmes Impactful and of major worth A new, independent report has praised the “passionate, committed, enthusiastic workforce” dedicated to supporting families on a successful Grimsby programme. SINCE October 2017, ‘Full Families’ has endeavoured to reach out to more than 300 people in the most deprived areas of the town by using flexible approaches, practical advice, activities and innovative ways of engagement as tools to help those in need. Working in the East Marsh, West Marsh and South wards, Full Families is delivered through a joint partnership with Hull-based charity CatZero and Grimsby organisation CPO (Creating Positive Opportunity). CatZero’s programme manager Sean Cahill, who is based in Grimsby, said: “We commissioned the report to provide an independent analysis of the programme and inform our work moving forward. “The programme is designed to give people a space in their lives where they can reflect on what is working well, what is worrying them and then what would they like to change. From this starting point they prepare a family plan to implement the steps they need to achieve to make the identified changes. The GFF staff support all of the family throughout this journey.”

He continued: “Initial referrals mainly came from the local authority and social services, but as time has passed and through community word of mouth we are seeing an increasing number of self referrals. This shows the impact that the programme is having as families are recommending it to others in their community. Qualified social worker Lesley Wilkinson MBE compiled the report for the Full Families team having had extensive experience in delivering family support in Hull and Leeds. She has led on a number of key policy initiatives in children’s centres, family resource centres and was previously seconded to work with the Families at Risk Team (DCSF) for Yorkshire and Humber, in 2008. Lesley said: “The Full Families programme is making such a difference across Grimsby. It is a benchmark for good practice.”

Families enjoy one of many activities available to them.

The glowing report also contains several quotes from Full Families service users who have benefited from the activities and support available. One younger family member said: “We are all involved in it; we all have a voice, even the younger kids.” A Christmas pop-in saw the Full Families team engaging with service users, who took the opportunity to receive a festive food parcel and

During the Covid-19 crisis, our programmes are suspended in their normal form. Please refer to page 3 for details.

Supporting veterans locally FUNDING has been awarded to deliver two CatZero programmes uniquely designed to support military veterans in our region. Positive Pathways Programme – which is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund – has supported us this year and next as part of its focus on helping veterans with their mental health and their journey back towards employment. The funding award follows the successful completion of our first two programmes, which were specially adapted for former Armed Forces personnel and ran in the East Riding, and North and North East Lincolnshire.

have a professional family picture taken at the event. A participant said: “It’s the first time I’ve had a photo taken with my two sons.” Although Full Families offers exciting trips out, in order to help families regroup, such as climbing walls, bowling and seasonal activities, the piece de resistance has to be the opportunity to venture out on the CatZero yacht, which is moored in Hull. Sailing on the seas was described by one young person as “the greatest experience I have ever had” - the adventure encourages family units to gain confidence and work together, which ultimately makes them stronger in their day to day lives. The flexibility of the Full Families programme, coupled with the diverse options available to those taking part, has shown that it is possible to keep families together, and children out of care, simply by creating a unique, supportive environment for those looking towards a brighter and better future – and the new report does indeed show that it is working. Sean finished: “The report has given a national authority to a locally held belief that this was a programme of major worth which was having an impact at the early intervention stage for families. It has informed our work moving forward and we have implemented many of the recommendations made.”

As we prepare for the start of these new programmes, we are appealing for potential participants to come forward who can be of any age, but whose lives have perhaps been thrown off course, after leaving the military, whether that was recent or a number of years ago. Participants will bond, together with the CatZero team, as they undertake a combination of challenging and motivational activities that will give them the qualifications, employability skills and the resilience they need to assist them in their future. Ongoing support is also provided by the team regarding their individual holistic needs as well as their destination planning. Programme manager Pete Tighe said: “On our past veterans’ programmes, it has been wonderful to see the participants work together. They have a special bond due to their respective military backgrounds and that certainly makes the work we do with them unique.” If you are interested, or know of anyone who might be then please email or contact the office on 01482 333303, between 9am and 4pm.



How friendships are made Age is just a number and there are no barriers to what you can achieve – especially if your friends are behind you ... THAT was the overwhelming lesson learnt by the latest group of participants on CatZero’s CLLD (Community Led Local Development) programme in Hull, which ended with a pre-Christmas celebration event in the city. The CLLD programmes are supported across both sides of the estuary by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). In Hull, the programme delivery officer over the three-month programme was Maria Brennan, who reflected on a wonderful course: “It was wonderful to see how the group developed with really strong friendships made. “They were all very motivated to gain new qualifications with two members of the group already moving into work. “Many of the younger members of the group were inspired by one of their more mature colleagues, Gill. They realised that age is just a number and no

Making a big splash on a previous CLLD programme.

matter what age you are, a positive and determined outlook on life, along with hard work, can lead to amazing new experiences, friends and overcoming challenges that would have once seemed impossible,” added Maria.

During the Covid-19 crisis, our programmes are suspended in their normal form. Please refer to page 3 for details.

'The sky is the limit' Meanwhile, over in Scunthorpe ... ALSO celebrating their successes were participants of the second of six new CLLD programmes to run in the town. Their achievements also ended with a wonderful celebration event.

Participant Andrea Morton steers the boat!

Here, delivery officers Sean ‘Bob’ Bobczuk and Steve Quinn were equally as complimentary as Maria Brennan, the programme delivery officer across the Humber, in Hull. Bob said: “The group was a pleasure to work with, with attendance, timekeeping and the overall feeling of unity within the group, amazing. “It’s so much easier to work with a group that turns up, on time and wants to get on. People have made some really great friends, are getting out more and engaging back into society, which gives them selfconfidence, self-esteem and a sense of worth. “The group encouraged each other no end and people really pushed themselves out of their comfort zones. If it doesn’t challenge you then it doesn’t change you. These guys challenged themselves every day and the change at the end of it all was obvious.” Steve added: “I can only agree with what Bob has already said. The group was a pleasure and

inspiration to work with. The participants were varied in age, background and life experiences, but were united in the desire to not only improve their own situations but to help and support those around them at every opportunity. “Hopefully, they all now get their desired outcomes going forward because they all put a lot in and really deserve to benefit from their endeavours.” Here are the views of some of our successful Scunthorpe participants: Sabrina Milne: “I came out of this with new friends and that’s a huge thing for me. I really liked the way the course was designed, where we have help and support from each other and can be open and honest without judgement.” Matthew Barnes: “When I started CatZero I had nothing and no one, but over 12 weeks I’ve gained so many new experiences, things to be proud of, memories to last a lifetime and most importantly, I gained my own little family.”

A cake made for the occasion.

Andrea Morton: “Before I was given this amazing opportunity I was in a dark place and struggled to believe I would be able to withstand such a challenge. To be given the trust to steer and sail a 72ft yacht, wow. This made me realise the sky is the limit! I am strong, I am capable, and I am worth it!”


Programmes During the Covid-19 crisis, our programmes are suspended in their normal form. Please refer to page 3 for details.

Loving every minute of it young people to the vast number and ages of “I am very proud to have got to know you all, it’s been a pleasure to work with people it now supports. For me, personally, it is you and we will always be there for you.” about knowing that we are helping people at a time when they most need it,” said Graham.

THE words of CatZero’s progressions manager Gail Howson as she praised our most recent programme participants, who have successfully completed their Lone Parents course in Grimsby. The CatZero Lone Parent Programme is funded through the ESF Community Grants 5, co-financed by the ESFA (Education Skills Funding Agency) which is managed by Humber Learning Consortium to support learning and training opportunities to enable disadvantaged people move closer to the labour market. The group, which enjoyed a celebration event at Grimsby’s Business and Digital Hub behind Freeman Street market, were also joined by CatZero’s Director of Operations Dave Bertholini, programme manager Pete Tighe and business partner Graham Birkenhead. Graham’s firm Profect Training provides the charity’s official training. On this programme the participants successfully completed 38 accredited qualifications with one mum already embarking on an Open University degree and others now taking up adult learning. Graham has been working with CatZero for more than four years now and is happy to be involved. “I have seen the charity evolve from working with

Addressing the successful participants, he added: “There is a variety of ages here, but you all have one thing in common and that is you are all parents. When you leave here, you go back to that world and being a parent is as hard a job as it gets, so I applaud you all.” Dad of two John Bennett was the sole male on the course: “They have all been brilliant,” he said of his fellow participants. The former HGV driver gave up work to look after his sons, who are now well into their teenage years: “This is my time now they are getting older. I am now able to have my own life again and all the team here at CatZero really care about supporting me,” said John. His younger son, Johnny, took part in the Grimsby summer programme and its sail from Brixham back up to the Humber. The whole family is now engaged with Full Families also. Since his individual course, Johnny has his life back on track, is in his GCSE year and has been accepted for a place on the Grimsby Institute’s Uniformed Services course to start in September. Other team members reflected on the course saying they had “loved every minute of it” ... and that it had made them feel themselves again.

Meet the team Inspirational leaders Over the next few newsletters, we will be introducing you to our team, who they are, their backgrounds and why they are ideally placed to help our clients take their first steps onto what we hope will be transformational life journeys ... Steve Quinn, Delivery Officer The latest member of our team, Steve worked for 25 years in the public sector for the Department of the Environment, English Partnerships and the North West Development Agency in various administrative and programme management roles. More recently, he worked as a Care Assistant in a nursing home and in the community helping the elderly to continue to live in their own homes. Just prior to coming to work for us, Steve was a member of the Humber Learning Consortium where he worked as an administrator on both of their YEI and CLLD Programmes.

Gail Howson, Progressions Manager Gail began her career working with young people when she joined the Humberside Careers Service in 1983. She remained with the organisation, more latterly known as the Connexions Service, until taking redundancy in April 2011. After a ‘career break’ helping her brother with his window cleaning business, she got back on the ladder and joined our team here in 2012.

Suzanne Dalee, Business Administrator Suzanne has worked for the City Health Care Partnership (NHS) for six years, prior to that 10 years in local government and has held various secretarial positions in local law firms, advertising and manufacturing companies. A person who loves working with people and interacting with clients, she has combined her career with us with furthering

her education and has recently completed a BA Hons Open Degree with the Open University (Society & Social Science, Law, Business, Adult Health, Social Care and Wellbeing, Leadership & Management, Adulthood, Ageing and the Life course, Dementia Care).

Pete Tighe, Programme Manager Pete has always been an outdoor enthusiast and an instructor in numerous outdoor activities. Having managed a local outdoor equipment retailer and worked in outdoor pursuits centres for a number of years he went on to join Hull City Council’s Sports Development Department where he worked on ground-breaking programmes such as Active8 and No Limits, both of which were youth engagement provisions. As a Duke of Edinburgh award leader, he had the opportunity to lead two young people’s expeditions, one to the Everest region of Nepal and the other open canoeing in the national parks of Canada. Between 2006 and 2007 Pete took a career break for 18 months and travelled around the world, with some of his adventures including volunteering in Bolivian animal sanctuaries with jaguars and driving ambulances for the Indonesian maternity clinic NGO. Upon his return Pete took up a role with the Special Sporting Needs department of Hull City Council, delivering activities and setting up sustainable sports clubs for young people with additional needs. He was seconded to CatZero in November 2008 – and the rest is history!


Fundraising Chicks raise £16,000

THE Chicks are a unit of five – a normal family who together have shared an extraordinary journey, during which they have seen the UK as a country where social division is rife, but our strong community bonds provide hope ... More than nine months ago, the Chick family, comprising of Mum Jem, Dad Dave and children Gracie, 16, Evan, 13, and Irys, 12, embarked upon a mission, which would change their perceptions of the country we live in forever. It is now their hope that the lessons they have learnt can be used, by them, to spread a message of community, bridging social divides and promoting togetherness for all. After hearing about other work of our charity, which uses sailing as an integral part of its transformational change programmes, the Chicks became avid supporters of our organisation and what we stand for, particularly our work with young people and full families. They planned a mission to raise money for us by travelling around the coast of the UK, living on a 'Tenner a Day', and in May 2019 the journey began in their tiny Morris Minor, setting off from Hull and returning to the city in January. Their current total stands at more than £16,500. Home schooling gave Jem and Dave the freedom to decide that such an adventure would provide their children with a unique experience, an unrivalled life lesson, and it most certainly has. With an

From left, Evan, Gracie, Jem, Irys and Dave Chick.

unassuming confidence rarely displayed at their age Gracie, Evan and Irys are truly likeable, with an ability to mix socially at all levels in a warm, almost gentle way. Clearly comfortable in their own skins, the children are now equipped with the determination and vision to achieve while helping others. The family’s transport and home for the nine months was Mo, their 1960s Morris Minor converted camper

van, a vehicle that played a vital role as the Chicks travelled the 7,430 miles. “It was fascinating to see how Mo and her uniqueness gave people permission to talk to us, providing a reason to strike up a conversation. It was then that barriers were broken down and we could all see that we’re not that different after all,” observed Dave. The large social divides within individual communities struck the whole family as they travelled from town to town – around the Scottish coast down into Liverpool, through Wales, across the south coast and back up through Lincolnshire. But those divides were matched in equal measure by individual efforts to bridge the gaps, to re-cement communities and to bring people together. Playing their part in such work, the Chicks launched a series of 'CommuniTeas', inviting people to social events with a cuppa while on their travels. “Everywhere, we saw the importance of communities coming together, bridging social divides. It makes a difference to people, reduces social isolation, builds friendships, gives people purpose, supports people struggling with their mental health and saves lives. What we experienced was a massive social divide, but we also saw so much hope,” the whole family agreed. Jem added: “You often don’t see all the good that is going on that makes a difference. When you go looking for it, there is so much positivity and that provided inspiration, it makes you realise it’s not that bad.” Dave agreed: “It’s easy for people to become cynical in today’s society, when they do not see the good out there. But if you look you see so many people supporting each other, and the power of community projects.” The family’s children are the future and it is their journey that will perhaps, effect the most social change. Gracie is adamant that their mission will do just that. “I took on this challenge as a young person, on behalf of my generation. To let them know that I care, my family cares and to encourage others to look around them and see where they too can make a difference in their own communities,” she said.

The fabulous Chick family undertook an epic journey around the coast of Britain to raise funds for CatZero and those who use its services.

Ironically it was social media and Facebook, so often criticised for its negative impact upon our young society, that has been used extensively by Gracie in spreading her family’s positive message. And it also proved vital in the Chicks’ journey. When Mo had a moment, with frequent breakdowns, it was ‘shout-outs’ on Facebook that saw the family rescued, and their CommuniTeas were well attended when the social media message was spread. The family also learnt of so many of the community projects via social media, from ‘FitClub’ - a group of all generations exercising together, forging relationships and supporting one another - to Refuweegee, a charity in Glasgow bringing the local and refugee communities together to show that we're not all as different as we think. The family also highlights the work of Rusty Road 2 Recovery, a garage that uses the restoration of classic cars to restore the lives of people struggling with mental health and social isolation. As the Chicks’ journey continued, so did the opportunities. A chance meeting with the president of the UK NATO Parliamentary Assembly in her hometown of Wales led to an invite for Gracie to attend the NATO Engages conference, and there have been opportunities for Evan to meet Scottish Explorer In Residence, Craig Mathieson, and follow his ‘explorer’ dream. Irys has a keen interest in marine wildlife and has had numerous opportunities to learn from experts and enthusiasts all around the coast. Gracie has also started an online book on Spotify, charting the adventure, the family has a new ‘One Life, Share It’ website and, after a brief visit back to their Sussex home, they are back on the road, spreading their 'CommuniTea' message.


Fundraising Team 'spokesman' is ride on! We encourage CatZero participants to try new things for their personal development – and it’s the same for us staff. This is my new thing and my personal development.”

David during his earlier training.

THAT’S one of the reasons why David Andrews, one of our delivery officers, is planning to cycle 215 miles from the west coast of Britain to the east coast, having not ridden a bicycle since he was a kid. Due to the current restrictions and on-going coronavirus situation, David has had to change his plans – he climbed on a cycle for the first time in years about two months ago with the intention of completing his challenge in June. This is now postponed to a date to be fixed, but David remains determined. David, who is one of our team delivering the Hull Full Families programme, drew his inspiration for his Trans Pennine Trail coast-to-coast ride from a number of sources, not least our Director of Sailing Danny Watson. Danny has led our annual coast-tocoast cycle ride to raise funds. David’s planned route is to go from Southport in Merseyside to his finish line in Hornsea in three days and the 48-year-old hopes this challenge will help with another of his ‘new resolutions’, which is to calm down just a little! “I’m one of those people who can’t sit still, I am a coiled spring half the time, so I’ve taken up aerial yoga, which is like yoga in a hammock, a bit Cirque du Soleil, and the cycle challenge is another outlet,” David continued. “If someone had suggested I try yoga three years ago, I would have laughed.” So is he enjoying being a new cyclist? “Yes and no,” said David. “I’m finding it really hard and because I’m concentrating so much, I’m not enjoying it yet. And I ache so much. But I’m pushing through it.” But the training, prior to the postponement, had

been going well – a month in, and he had achieved a target of cycling 50km in one evening. David, who has been a part of the CatZero team for 18 months, is keen to lead by example, not least because that for every pound CatZero receives in funding to run programmes, it must be matchfunded. So CatZero must find that additional funding. One hundred per cent of the funds David raises will go to supporting some of the Humberside area's most disadvantaged families. “We work with families and individuals to help them identify the barriers that are holding them back. It might be debt, school attendance, housing, any number of things. We work with them to help them identify what’s going well, what’s not going well and what needs to change, and support them as they work through their action plan. We don’t do it for them, it’s about empowering them to make change.” Which is exactly what David is doing. So will he continue cycling after the challenge? “I’m looking to join a cycling club to get some enjoyment out of it to make it more fun. But then I plan to do a Tough Mudder challenge sometime in the future.” Any money donated so far to David’s challenge will be held until he has completed his coastto-coast. He has a fundraising page at: https://

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CatZero Spring 2020 news magazine  

The latest news from CatZero, Hull's highly respected sailing charity, including Full Families projects in Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Hull.

CatZero Spring 2020 news magazine  

The latest news from CatZero, Hull's highly respected sailing charity, including Full Families projects in Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Hull.

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