Four hundred miles by bike from Entebbe to Kigali

We set off from the guest house in Entebbe, Uganda in the cool of the morning and dropped down to the shores of Lake Victoria. Our bikes were loaded into a small boat and we puttered across the bay. We reassembled the bikes and panniers and set off down the dirt road on our journey to Kigali.

There were three of us, me from UK and two Ugandan friends. Bosco, a driver and Isaac, a computer science student and Scuba instructor.

Avoiding the busiest, dangerous roads and using a mixture of dirt and tar roads we wove our way south west across Uganda. Some of the dirt roads were hard going, rough with loose grit on top and with the occasionally steep hill. But we saw so much of rural life, away from tourist routes. Countless children were excited to see a “mzungu”, a white person, cycle past. We could hear the birdsong and identify a number of the calls.

Cycling4Most of the tar roads were good, many with a meter wide shoulder for cyclists and pedestrians, making us feel safer from the occasional bus roaring past.

A rest day with some bike maintenance then we headed out on the last lap. First a gradual climb up a valley leading to a stiff climb at the head to get over the ridge. On to the Rwandan border and then a steady climb of three thousand feet to reach our resting place.

We relished a glorious twenty mile descent the next morning, with views over the valleys at first and then becoming more restricted as we got lower. There were a number of men on bikes with 40 litres of milk on the carrier heading to Kigali. We kept pace with some of them for a while, they were faster on the descents than we were, with their greater weight, and we would overtake on the more level bits, where our gearing made the difference.

Cycling2And then we turned a corner and there was a group of multi-storey buildings on a hill top in the distance. Kigali, our destination. Eight miles later we were there and we celebrated with a banana split, as nothing like that had been available en route.

403 miles, no punctures, no hassles or security problems and a chance to see rural Africa in a way that allows genuine contact.

Recent Newspaper Articles

jamie-devaneyJamie’s Fund has recently been mentioned in a number of newspaper articles.  Links to two of these are given below.  We’d be very interested to get any feedback you may have.
http://www.newsnorthwales.co.uk/news/143444/jamie-s-charity-aid-for-ugandan-hospital.aspx

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/jamies-fund-flintshire-family-plan-8516624

Mental Health for Sustainable Development

APPGFollowing the recent review on global mental health held at the UK Parliament by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Health and APPG on Mental Health, a new report was launched on 26th November 2014 titled ‘Mental Health for Sustainable Development’.

The review was Chaired by Lord Nigel Crisp and James Morris MP, with an aim to assess why and how the UK should act to help improve mental health in low and middle income countries. In addition to individual written reports and interviews, the review held two oral evidence sessions for parliamentarians to hear from and question leading experts in the field of international development and global mental health. Dr Maureen Wilkinson, who you will know as an Advisor to Jamie’s Fund, attended Parliament and was involved in the evidence sessions.

Three quarters of people with mental health problems live in low and middle income countries and receive little or no evidence-based treatment. This report sets out three important arguments why mental health matters globally and why development activity will not be truly successful without tackling mental health issues and sets out four clear recommendations for ‘doing more’ and ‘doing differently. To view the report please click here.

Chester University Chooses Jamie’s Fund

ChesterUni175Banner

Jamie’s Fund are delighted to have been chosen by Chester University as one of its key charities as the University celebrates its 175th Anniversary. We are very much looking forward to working with the University to raise funds and help them celebrate this historic year!

We would like to thank the University for their support and encouragement and extend a particular Thank You to Ann Bryan at the University for putting Jamie’s Fund forward and for her continued support – all at Jamie’s Fund really appreciate it.

Biking for better mental health

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 16.05.38Four local lads have celebrated the completion of an epic bike ride in support of Jamie’s Fund a locally registered charity. The boys cycled 986 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just 10 days. On Saturday 26th July supporters gathered to congratulate Jim Devaney, Brian Devaney, Mark Devaney and Dave Griffiths at the Lock Vaults, Hoole Lane in Chester. The fantastic four shared stories of the challenge; reliving not only the successes but also some of the bumps along the way. The event also included a disco, entertainment and a raffle.

Together the bike ride and celebration raised over £1,700. All proceeds from the bike ride and celebration will support the work of Jamie’s Fund which works to relieve the suffering of mental health in Uganda. Established in 2013 in memory of Jamie Devaney who sadly died at the age of 4, Jamie’s Fund works with mental health practitioners in Uganda to improve facilities available to patients. Jamie’s mother, Avril who works for the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust as the Director of Nursing was asked in 2010 to build a link with Kisiizi Hospital in the south-west of Uganda with a view to support their mental health services.

Throughout the world mental health services are given very low priority, yet the demand remains high, and Uganda is no different. Jamie and Avril’s husband, Jim, accompanied Avril on her second visit to Kisiizi in 2011, and it was during this trip that Jamie became unwell and sadly did not recover. Jamie’s Fund continues to work closely with Kisiizi Hospital and is currently raising funds to build a new mental health ward. More about Jamie’s Fund can be found at www.jamiesfund.org.uk

The success of the bike ride and celebratory evening have brought Jamie’s Fund a step closer to building the well needed new mental health ward at Kisiizi Hospital. Jamie’s Fund would like to say a big thank you to all the supporters; whether they came along to the Lock Vaults on Saturday 26th July, sponsored the four boys, or gave them a wave as they cycled by, and of course to Jim, Brian, Mark and Dave for undertaking such an amazing challenge.

Contact: Kirsten Owen Community and Events Fundraiser Jamie’s Fund
Email: Kirsten.owen@jamiesfund.org.uk Tel: 07884 406440

Cooking With Panache

A new cookery book has been published to raise money for Jamie’s Fund and Challenging Stigma (Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust Charity).

Cooking With PanacheIt has a fun assortment of recipes from different parts of the world. They range from starters to desserts and cakes, including a selection of vegetarian options. Many of the recipes are accompanied by stories from those who contributed them.  Most of the 100+ recipes are straightforward and easy; some are more complex for those who like spending a bit more time in the kitchen.

If you would like a copy please go to Jamie’s Shop to order!

 

 

Photos from our launch event

We have over 1000 photos of the launch event on our Flickr account.

There may well be good photos of you, particularly if you did the abseil.

They are in two sets “The Launch of Jamie’s fund” are the photos taken from the top of the tower, mainly but not exclusively of the abseilers. “The launch at ground level” are photos taken around the stalls and of people abseiling down.

Read more

The Launch of Jamie’s Fund

28th Sept. 2013
Halkyn, Flintshire

It was a lovely sunny autumn day and over 60 people abseiled down St. Mary’s church steeple.

The team from Rock & Ice who organised the abseil, were reassuring and encouraging, helping everyone find the courage to step over the parapet and slide down the rope. Hugh, the vicar, was first down, and made it look easy. Some did it with panache, bounding down rapidly, others more slowly and cautiously.

Most people came away with a broad grin and saying “it was fantastic, awesome, brilliant.” A few people found it harder and more anxiety provoking, so were quieter, and yet they had faced their fears and succeeded. Several saying how they never would have done so if they hadn’t been inspired by Jamie’s story and the work in Kisiizi.

Read more

Letter of encouragement from the Management Team at Kisiizi hospital

The trustees were greatly encouraged to receive this letter from the management team at Kisiizi valuing our support and partnership.  They appreciate the prospect of the new developments our support will make possible.

Read more

Jamie’s Fund is to be launched on 28 September 2013

Jamie’s fund is now an independent charity (Registered number 1151236).

We are launching Jamie’s Fund in Halkyn, where Jamie lived, and activities will be centred around the church between 11 am and 4 pm on the 28th of September.

We’re having a sponsored abseil going 60 feet down from the church tower and there will be various stalls and refreshments and a bouncy castle. In the evening there will be a pub quiz and meal in the Bluebell Inn in Halkyn. Read more