While many people may be looking forward to a restful weekend, Lyndsay Simon is preparing for a six hour spinning session to raise money for Guernsey Mind in her latest charity endeavour.
It's the fifth year she's organised a spinathon for a local charity and this time she has chosen to raise awareness of mental well being as well as raising money for the charity.
Before she gets in the saddle for her six hour session, Lyndsay told Express why she's doing it, and why she's so proud of her island home.
This island is truly the jewel in Guernsey’s crown and I will be making more effort to get over there this year.
I had friends over for the weekend in the autumn from Jersey (a swear word to many I know!) and they were so pleased that the weather played ball, in order for us to take a trip over and spend time on the beach. They said we were so lucky to have this on our doorstep and I truly agreed how fortunate we in fact are.
In recent years there has been a lot of investment in getting people over to the island for organised events, so long may this continue to be the case. They seem to be showcasing the right mix of family friendly and adult party events, so well done to all concerned.
2. Coming Home
Whilst it is always great to get off the rock for a quick weekend away or a longer break to recharge your batteries, it is lovely to be back too. Most notably on some of those trips with when you might not have squeezed in the longed for rest and recuperation, in amongst all the nightlife that was calling your name! I’ve sure fallen victim to that in past years and whilst the holiday didn’t exactly match The Hangover film series, there were plenty of great memories made to make up for it. There is something about the view over the island whilst you are flying back over Guernsey that truly feels like I am coming home.
Whilst this will no doubt be a controversial subject for many reasons, I am of the view that in certain quarters especially, Guernsey can be far too soft on people that have never contributed into the system.
There appears to be a mass of young people claiming benefits as soon as they are of age, having never even had a job. Why should that be acceptable, with this money being paid through everyone else’s hard earned taxes! A lot of people really struggle to make ends meet on a regular basis, so this can be a real kick in the teeth to those who are trying to better themselves. Many years ago this help wasn’t available on such a scale, so why should it be the norm for the truly work shy amongst that generation. For those people that have had a break to raise a family and through genuine illness or unforeseen circumstances, this is not aimed in your direction.
I have however heard that the tide may be starting to turn in some quarters with the introduction of work schemes are cropping up in order for people to retain their benefits and if they don’t take part, benefits can be stopped for 13 weeks. If physically fit and able, these claimants should also be used to assist the States Works in clear up operations of events like Seafront Sunday, The North Show and other community based projects, along with clearing the cliff paths and hedges until they have employment and are contributing to the system that has favoured them for so long.
4. La Vallette Project
I was pleased to have the opportunity to be involved in a community scheme through many local employers that tackled the project to regenerate La Vallette a few years ago. There was a real solidarity in that project, as so many people took time out of their weekends to clean up and take part in garden maintenance and rubbish collection. There were also tree surgeons and stonemasons who were helping out on the Saturday and Sunday’s to tackle the bigger jobs, that we couldn’t take on ourselves. I personally know next to nothing about gardening or maintenance although my Dad is a gardener, so I’d just ask him if I needed to! That said, I felt useful and it was great to see the camaraderie amongst everyone that was giving up their time to get involved on a greater scale.
This nicely moves on to getting involved with local Charities and it is something I have taken part in on a larger scale over the years.
I was already on my employers Corporate Social Responsibility Committee when the cogs started turning in my head, as Autism Guernsey were promoting their 365 Minutes Campaign. I started initially with the Company backing as we were talking about events we could get employees involved in, as who would’ve thought I could actually make an event so successful on my own - I certainly didn’t. I got to know Jill Chadwick through that campaign as a result, as she was the driving force behind that scheme. This lady is truly infectious and has a real passion for getting you enthusiastic about fundraising. The aim of that was to take part in 365 minutes over the year, so I thought why not just do it in a day with a 365 minutes Charity Spinathon! This really was the brainchild for my subsequent Charity escapades over the following years, as many of my friends, fellow gym goers, spinning instructors and work colleagues would attest to. So much so, I’ve even convinced people to take part in each of the following years - even a certain friend who shall remain nameless that detests spinning, will still willingly sits on a bike each year, to raise lots of money and awareness. I am truly grateful as were it not for people like that, I wouldn’t have been as successful as I have been so far in raising so much money.
That is one thing I am adamant on, that the money is raised locally and stays on island, as I am convinced that is why people are so generous with their time and donations. Over the last four years I also have raised money for Jake's Heartfelt Funds, Motor Neurone Disease, Post Natal Depression and Bowel Cancer Guernsey. This is really where the island comes into it’s own, as people will always get involved by donating or giving up their own time to take part. This event is still so in demand I don’t think I’ll be allowed to stop organising it any time soon, which is just amazing in itself!
This year’s 6 Hour Charity Spinathon event is in aid of Guernsey Mind and takes place on Saturday 26 January, from 10:30 until 16:30 in the spinning studio at Beau Sejour.
Click here to donate - all money this year is going to Guernsey Mind.
Pictured top: Lyndsay Simon.
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