Oakley Orange Appeal

Guest blog by Stephen Jenner

A huge fund raising event for 7 year old Oakley Orange has been announced at Headcorn Airport on the 10th April.

Oakley is the little boy fighting for his life after an allergic reaction to medication. Rushed to hospital after a rash appeared on his chest, his parents Steven and Lorraine watched in horror as their son became unrecognisable over the next 24 hours.

He was diagnosed with the rare life-threatening skin condition called Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), where the top layer of skin becomes detached from the lower layers.

Oakley’s condition rapidly deteriorated to the worst form of the condition, known as Tens, and he had to be transferred to a specialist burns hospital. SJS develops into Tens when more than 30% of skin is lost; Oakley has lost 100% of his skin, as well as his fingernails, toenails and hair.

Funds are being raised to send Oakley Orange and his family to Florida, with SkyHigh Radio taking up the lead in helping raise this money. The event at Headcorn is a tandem parachute jump and if you’d like to be involved, or just lend your moral and financial support, please get in touch via the Facebook page or donate here.

For S.O.P.H.I.E – the GOMK charity book

A wonderful side effect from my involvement in the Rochester Literature Festival was being asked by one of our exhibiting artists, Richard Jeferies, to write for his charity book, Goth on my Keyboard.

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The Goth character has an adoring public on Facebook and beyond, and is now using her celebrity to publicise a good cause close to home. Myself and fellow writer, Alison Eley, have responded to Richard’s brilliant drawings and character in this book, and Richard himself also adds emotive words to his images, as well as deliver the short and sweet cartoons that are GOMK’s usual platform. It’s a true life mix of humour and poignancy and frankly, well worth your time to read it. I’m thrilled and honoured to be a part of it.

Most of us are free to express ourselves in any way we see fit, whether through our choice of music, art, or the way we dress. Sadly, even these days, there are those who seek to destroy anything they don’t understand, or like, or is different, and Sophie Lancaster paid the worst possible price for this.

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The book is  now published and all the proceeds go to the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation, a charity set up to help fight hate crimes, following the horrifying attack that led to her death. Kicked to death for looking different. In the 21st century, in a civilised, mainly tolerant society, how can this happen? The book, including VAT, costs just £2.39. Please buy it by downloading from the link, and aid this cause in the following aims:

  • To create a lasting legacy to Sophie.
  • To provide educational group-works that will challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.
  • To campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from alternative subcultures or Lifestyle and Dress.

To find out more about the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation, visit the website here.

Stamp Out Prejudice, Intolerance and Hatred Everywhere. Thank you.

Day of Dance

Whitstable based fundraising organisation, Trust Sulha, are holding a Day of Dance on Sunday, November 24th at the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre.

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For the paltry amount of just £10, you’ll be able to spend the whole day learning four different dance styles: Ballet, contemporary, street and Spanish, under the expert tutelage of Hasland Dance Studios, the Page Mason School of Dance and Drama and Phoenix Performing Arts.

You must be at least 16 years old and no dance experience is necessary although comfortable shoes and clothes are a must. Bring along a plate of vegetarian food too, for a shared lunch. The day will run form 10am – 5pm.

Trust Sulha helps to educate young Afghan refugees and aims to bring peace through education. To book your ticket, visit the We Got Tickets page here.