A Difficult Decision.

Since 2007 when Penny first got diagnosed with Scleroderma & Pulmonary Fibrosis we have all seen many changes. Not only in her health, her abilities, her strength and her attitude but also in ourselves .Things that once seemed important no longer seem to matter, whilst things we may have taken for granted are now cherished.

Just lately every single moment is cherished as change occurs almost daily. As many of you know since Spring last year Penny has been battling recurring chest infections. The drug she was using (Rituximab) acted as an immune system represent, leaving her susceptible to anything and everything. She was often run down and exhausted with little energy to do anything. Since the start of the year she has become more reliant on oxygen; going from using her concentrator only when speaking to needing it all the time. A bigger, more powerful concentrator was installed but the doctors soon insisted on liquid oxygen and doubling the strength of the concentrator by running two machines side by side. Stairs became impossible so a stairlift was installed at home. Despite all this extra help Penny was still finding it difficult to perform simple tasks like getting dressed.  Her blood oxygen levels would drop dangerously low whenever she moved or even coughed and it would take a worrying amount of time for them to recover. As a guide a normal blood oxygen reading is between 95-100% , anything below 90 is considered low. 80 and under is described medically as ‘very severe’. Penny’s readings were often in the low 70’s.

For a long time we have all been slightly guilty of burying our head in the sand; silently hoping that if we didn’t acknowledge these things and clung onto hope that they would all go away and Penny would get better.  As romantic a thought that is…the time has come to admit that Penny isn’t going to get better. We’ve now reached a stage where some unpleasant conversations are going to have to take place.

We have decided to donate the money raised for Penny’s treatment to the two charities that have been so supportive to us and so many others trying to cope with Scleroderma & Pulmonary Fibrosis. Today we have sent cheques - £8000 to The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust and £5000 to The Scleroderma Society. Both charities offer a lifeline for sufferers and families of sufferers, the former being able to provide grants for vital equipment to sufferers of Pulmonary Fibrosis. We have also packaged up and sent off Penny’s original Portable Oxygen Concentrator (the very item that started this whole venture in the first place!) to The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust who will ensure it will go to somebody who needs that lifeline.

Although in our last blog we talked about the possibility of Penny being reconsidered for a Rituximab infusion in January the likelihood in all reality is slim to non-existent. Even if she were approved she wouldn’t be able to make it to hospital for the treatment. Very recently Penny & Nick have made a joint decision that getting up everyday was causing too much distress and exhaustion, so for her own sake Penny now stays in her own bed where she is comfortable and stable. Nick stays by her side whilst she is awake; chatting with her, bringing her meals and begrudgingly sitting through Strictly Come Dancing!

The decision to donate the money wasn’t one we have taken lightly but we have to face up to reality. The money donated will undoubtedly change someone’s life, someone  who might find themselves in a similar situation to what we were five years ago. If we’ve achieved one thing throughout this whole adventure its a renewed faith in humanity, now its our turn to repay that.

We’ve thanked and thanked and thanked you all in the past and without meaning to sound like a broken record…thank you. Without your support we wouldn’t have achieved any of this. Life might have thrown a massive basket of lemons at us but with your help we made the best tasting lemonade in the world.

Penny’s Fund WILL continue. We would still like to do some fundraising for the two charities mentioned previously, they don’t get a lot of financial help due to the rare nature of the illnesses but a little makes a massive difference to them. We have things in the pipeline for 2013 which we have already started talking about but, obviously, a lot depends on Penny’s health. The family’s main concern is to keep her out of hospital. She has her wishes and to remain at home, surrounded by her loved ones is paramount.

We hope you can all understand the reasons behind the choices made; it was always important to us that we gave something back and now seems the right time to do that.

 Its thanks to you that we can give back more than we ever imagined possible.



The latest from Penny’s Fund

So, it’s been a while…

First of all; apologies for the Penny’s Fund silence in recent weeks. We are aware we’ve been rubbish and are currently hanging our collective heads in shame! The Belper Games back in July definitely caught us all of guard, we never expected the day to be the huge success it was and once the highs had worn off I think we all crashed and burned a little bit, some more than others. Penny’s accident on her way home from the Games was a bitter end to what was otherwise a fantastic day. It was the first time Penny had been out and amongst people for months and even longer since she had ventured out independently. We all agreed that although exhausted she looked better and happier than she had in quite some time and loved seeing everyone together and having a good time.

Sadly it wasn’t to last and the broken arm Penny sustained on her way home was a devastating blow to her and the rest of us. The break in her arm was in such a spot that under normal circumstances the surgeons would have operated; using plates and screws to help the bone heal. Unfortunately Penny’s health simply isn’t stable enough to withstand the anaesthetic so the break has had to be left to heal on its own. She now has some movement back but it has been a long and frustrating few months for her; not only has she been almost completely immobile but she has also had to depend on others, which is something she has fiercely fought to avoid doing.

The lack of mobility hasn’t really helped her general well-being. The discomfort from her arm meant she wasn’t sleeping very well and was feeling exhausted most days. She was also restricted to sleeping on her back for a while which hasn’t helped her chest and lungs at all.

All of which leads us neatly to the point…

A few weeks ago Penny had an appointment with her consultant to assess her health and decide if a third infusion of Rituximab would be beneficial to her. The doctors took into consideration her recent medical history, lung function and general health. Since around June she has been constantly dogged with chest infections occurring literally one after the other. Because of this, and because she is so weak the consultant has unfortunately turned her down for a third treatment. It was hard to hear and normally we – the family – would contest this decision but we have to reluctantly admit that on this occasion they are probably right. Penny simply isn’t up to it and (for now at least) it is the most sensible decision. The consultant has agreed to see Penny again at the beginning of January to assess the situation again. If we can keep her infection free until then the doctors may consider another infusion.

In light of this we have had to decide what to about Penny’s Fund since our fundraising events were to help raise the £26,000 a year needed to pay for Rituximab. Thanks to the success of the Games we now have enough to pay for another treatment should the doctors agree to one, whether we will need it or not remains to be seen, but for now – sadly - we have decided to put the brakes on Penny’s Fund.

Before there is an uproar and mutiny in the ranks; we’re not done quite done just yet! Its not all doom and gloom…the Penny’s Fund committee members have all agreed that we don’t simply want to stop what we’re doing. The support we have received has been fantastic and if nothing else we are helping to raise awareness of these two rare conditions. Not to mention the events we have put on so far have been blimmin’ brilliant! We will still be organising a few events throughout the year; Sound-Hub Live 2013 is in initial planning, Hatch’d Magazine are cooking up a spring time surprise and Barb is going crazy with hampers for Christmas (more on THAT later!) but instead of going towards Penny’s treatment any money raised will now go to The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust; a trust fund set up by a fellow PF sufferer to help other families in the same situation as we were not long ago. The fund will enable Pulmonary Fibrosis suffers to apply for a grant for any equipment they might need to make their day to day life a little easier. Due to the rareness of the condition help isn’t always available from local authorities or the NHS but this fund will help provide financial help where it is needed the most.

We hope you all understand and support our decision, it is one we haven’t taken lightly and one that we think is the best to take. Likewise we realise this blog won’t be the most pleasant to read, believe me, it was certainly not the nicest to write.

I know Penny is so, so grateful for all the support you have given her and if she could thank you all individually I know she would. In the meantime we, the family would like to offer our genuine heartfelt thanks for everything you’ve all done for us and hope you will stick with us on our new venture in 2013.




Team meeting tension!

As some of you know, there was a meeting last night at Belper Rugby Club for all the teams taking part in the Belper Games. Nick has reported back to Penny’s Fund HQ, saying that the underlying tension between teams - and the sense that some teams are prepared to go to any lengths to win - were very evident.

It all started when Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service “Hose and Bro’s” apologised for not being able to attend due to work commitments. Tom from Sound Hub however, claimed that they were running scared and that his team had them beat before they even left the changing rooms. We think this warrants a response! Andy, please don’t hold back on your feelings ;-).

Labone Leopards’ team leader Chappers then raised the tension to another level when he told Nick what he wanted engraving on the winners’ trophy. This did not impress any of the other teams, especially Chris and Sue from the Malt Shovel, Wirksworth. Nick told us that - for the sake of our pure and innocent minds - he could not repeat exactly what was said, but he assures us that the gauntlet was thrown down with venom!

The younger teams who let’s say, in comparison to the other teams have youth very firmly on their side; comprising of Lil’s team - The Avengers, Chloe Tween’s team, and Bryony’s team - The Heroes of Burgertown, looked very much self assured. Even when comments started flying about the youth of today not respecting their elders, some teams even suggesting that the younger teams should have some kind of handicap imposed on the day; the young ones handled the situation with great maturity…which is more than can be said about some of the older teams! Let’s just say we have a feeling that no quarter will be given, and the younger teams seem to feel it is a competition between themselves for the top three positions.

Jem from the Grapes and Pop from the Welcome Tavern seemed to be talking about bricks and building, but the general feeling was that in fact this was just a clever code, and that they were joining forces and plotting to sabotage other teams. Can we just point out, this behaviour will not be tolerated…unless it is done in a very funny way, in which case it is very much encouraged!

Craig Weston’s team are very much the dark horses of the competition and were considered to be a force to be reckoned with. Uncle Harold’s request for inside information was treated with short shrift, but with the family connections to Barb (Penny’s mum) being so strong, I cannot promise that this won’t happen. This family HAS been known in the past to enter ‘ringers’ into sporting events, so the other teams should be wary!

The Rugby Club, having home ground advantage along with a good selection of fine and fit young men who train regularly on Tuesdays from 6:30 (That was my recruitment drive!), are very much one of the favourites. However, Craig Tennick from the George and Dragon has a tough decision to make: with his club ties, does he poach team members from the Rugby Club? Or does he select his team from the fine clientele he attracts to his splendid hostelry? (live bands at the weekend, so please visit). This all has the makings of a suspense scene from a soap opera, and we can only speculate as to what the outcome may be!

Nick was contacted later by Alex from the Young Farmers, who have a team entered but remain very secretive regarding the make up of said team. He told Nick that they were unable to attend the meeting as they were at a secret training camp somewhere in the North of Derbyshire, and that the Young Farmers thought that the other teams were taking preparations for The Games very lightly. To be quite frank, he was very dismissive of the other teams’ chances! Only time will tell we suppose ;-)

Hatch’d magazine’s team were unable to attend but have informed me that the other teams should be wary. Again, little is known about this team, but it is lead by Dan with Pete, Holly and Lara, and I am sure with the collective enthusiasm of the group, this will surely be a team to be reckoned with! I have no doubt they will be posting something themselves very shortly, expressing their intentions and their views on the other teams!

In conclusion, regarding questions from one team in particular: I can confirm that there will be no dope testing at this event; but as far as we are aware Jem, Sanatogen, Anusol and E-lax have never been on the banned list anyway!

Recent events…

Hello lovely followers! Just a little update on whats being going off in the world of Penny’s Fund :)

Whilst we’ve all been rushing round like blue bummed headless chickens organising The Belper Games you lovely people have been doing some wonderful things all by yourselves! Firstly, the gorgeous ladies and gents at Harpers Hair Studio in Belper have been running an offer of £5 haircuts with selected stylists with all the proceeds going straight to Penny’s Fund. Owner Emma is delighted with the response and says it has given her junior stylists the chance to gain valuable experience whilst raising money for a great cause. We’;re very grateful for all the support from Harpers, they regularly go out of their way to help Penny’s Fund and we think they’re all rather fab :) The total raised by Harpers for Penny’s Fund so far stands at a whopping £310! Thats a lot of hair!

Also, the delighful folk at Social Myna have offered to donate all monies received from their successful social media clinic’s to Penny’s Fund until further notice! Kaye Booth at Social Myna is a big supporter of ours; she regularly attends our events and gives us a lot of help with our social media and promotion. In fact…we’ll be willing to bet she retweets this! Thanks for all your help Kaye :)

Belper School have been continuing their fundraising ventures for Penny’s Fund with a Tutors v Students University Challenge, a Guess The Baby competition and most recently a Variety Show organised by Kelda Butler with help from our most youthful helper Eliza Henesy. We popped along to the Variety Performance and were staggered not only by the amount of people there but also the impressive level of talent on show. Belper is literally crammed full of talent. Simon Cowell, are you listening?! A big thankyou to Candy Preston and Rachel Ormsby-Ashworth for heping the students and a special thankyou to the Henesy family; Susan, Lil, Daisy, Rosie and Declan who have been absolute stars recently and did a darn good job on the refreshment stand at the Variety Show.

Pennyfest 4 was held at Vines Bar on Sunday 17th of June and raised an amazing £685.00!! Bands such as Haiku Salut, Younogodie, Mallard The Wonderdog & Shapes teamed up for this one day mini festival that also saw stalls from local artists and foodies sell out of their products! The event is organised bi-annually by Hatch’d Magazine and Apples For Discos and has become a firm fixture in the Penny’s Fund calendar, again we’re hugely grateful for everything these wonderful people do for us - especially Holly Booth and Pete Salter who have recently joined the PF commitee on a more permanant basis. Already looking forward to the next one! :)

Speaking of Holly Booth; she’s only gone done us a bloomin’ website!! Thats right, we’re now in the 21st Century!! Find us at www.pennysfund.co.uk, thanks Holly - it looks great!

Finally, The Nursing Cup presentation took place last month and we were presented with a cheque for £500! The organisers of this annual competion selected Penny’s Fund and two other charitable organisations to donate money raised at the games to, so a huge thankyou to those involved!

Next up of course is The Belper Games 2012 on July 21st at Belper Rugby Club. There really isnt enough room here to describe in words how huge this event is going to be so in a nutshell; Twenty teams, Its a Knockout, Bouncy Castle, Market Stalls, Home Cooked Hot Food, Licensed Bar, Fairground Attractions, and maybe a World Record Attempt! You’ll just have to visit the whole shebang yourself to see what we mean!

There will be more info about the Games flitting around all over the place in the coming month so keep an eye out and we’ll see you all there!

As always, thank you all for reading our blogs, retweeting, supporting and donating. You’re all part of something incredible :)


The latest from Penny’s Fund HQ

Its been a busy few weeks here at PFHQ but we thought it was about time to make contact with the outside world and fill you all in with what been happening.

First of all Danielle at The Spanker in Heage organised a sponsored 10k run involving staff, customers and a running club in aid of Penny’s Fund on April 21st. Everyone completed the run and they raised an amazing amount of money for Penny’s Fund. We’ll have photos from the cheque presentation very soon.

On the subject of cheque presentations…the lovely Mick Duffy put our name forward as one of the benefactors for The Nursing Cup. We have no idea how much was raised (they are keeping it as a surprise!)  but we have been invited along the The Welcome Tavern (this years winners of the cup) to receive an official presentation from the organisers, so we’ll have more details on that very soon but in the meantime we would like to thank Mick and the organisers for choosing Penny’s Fund :)

Harpers in Belper are continuing their offer of a cut and blow-dry for £5 with all the proceeds going straight to Penny’s Fund. The vouchers must be presented at the appointment and are available from Harpers Hair Salon or Ginger Jewellery, both on King Street, Belper.

May 8th saw the dazzling lights of Las Vegas brought to little old Belper! Hacketts Bar hosted a glamorous fundraising evening in aid of Penny’s Fund where revellers played Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Wheel of Fortune and Poker into the night. The Vanessa Millar Showgirls got the party started with an excellent Can Can routine and Hacketts kept the mood aflowing with Vegas themed cocktails. It was good to see so many people joining in and dressing up, a night out in Belper has never seen so many sharply dressed men! We raised just over £1200 in three hours of gambling which is a staggering amount so a huge thank you to everyone who came and played. We keep getting asked when the next one is!! It seems the gambling bug has well and truly bitten the good folk of Belper!! We were also very touched that the second and third place winners on the night handed their winnings straight back to Penny’s Fund :)

Next up is the Belper Games on July 21st…we are currently working on this massive event which will see up to 20 teams of 10 competing on a professionally ran Its A Knockout course. Alongside this we are holding a huge craft & food fair with stalls selling local produce, accessories, gifts and plenty of other goodies and children’s fairground rides. More details on this to come very, very soon but in the meantime feel free to spread the word about this massive event…21st July Belper Rugby Club, open to spectators from 11am. Entry will be charged at £2.50 or adults and £1 for under 14’s :)

We are currently in the process of recruiting teams to take part so if you have ten friends or work colleagues that you think you can persuade to raise sponsorship of about £50 each and make a fool of themselves for a good cause then get in touch we’d love to hear from you! Likewise stallholders…we’d love to hear from foodies, crafters, beauticians, retailers…we’re not fussy!!!

On a more personal note, Penny has been too unwell to attend any of the recent events. Her second infusion of Rituximab left her physically and emotionally exhausted and despite the best efforts of everyone around her she managed to pick up a coldy, chesty type bug. The bug that is currently doing the rounds seems to be affecting peoples chests and lasting up to three weeks, due to Penny’s existing illnesses and the fact that normal breathing is already a challenge she has unfortunately been quite unwell for some time. She and Nick are taking it one day at a time and we are all seeing small improvements every day but her recovery has and will be long and frustrating for her. She appreciates every single person that contributes to the Fund and is so thankful that people care enough to turn up and participate in all the fundraising we do and is sorry to have missed all the recent events. We are starting to look at the possibility of equipment to help her day to day life a little easier and hopefully improve her quality of life and independence significantly. Her regular Health Visitor has so far been instrumental in ensuring that she receives the right care and support and we hope to discuss her options in more depth during the next visit.

To each and every person that attends, donates, shares links, retweets or simply takes the time of day to read our blogs - Thank You. We couldn’t do it without you.


Soundhub Live 2012…what a day!

Ok, I’ve got a confession to make. Before yesterday I was totally ignorant about the local music scene. Firmly stuck in the seventies with only a brief flirtation with 90’s Britpop I was ttotally ignorant to the hotbed of musical talent that was bubbling away quite merrily right under my nose!

I’ve tried to blame my newly aquired man voice on the sheer amount of testosterone present on the day, more likely it’s my own fault for having too many shouty conversations with people that would have much preferred me to shut up and let them enjoy the music!

Highlights of the day for me personally were Jasper, James Warner Prophecies & Cheap Jazz. The latter were a worry for me, not because of their ability as a band (which is immeasurable by the way) but simply because I wasn’t sure if a Belper crowd would ‘get’ them. Cheap Jazz are an eclectic listen and are very big on the Derby music scene, here in little ol’ Belper though they don’t really have a following and have never played here.I needn’t have worried.

They nailed it. Of course they did. The crowd loved them and several people commented to me afterwards on their professionalism,stage presence and all round awesomeness. I actually couldn’t get The Trouble With Harry out of my head all weekend.

I was (i’m sorry to say) a James Warner Prophecies virgin before this weekend. After being blown away by them I shall 100% be investing in their album ‘Things Change’ and will endeavour to hunt them down and catch them live again. Apart from their brilliant, brilliant performance I was lucky enough to discover that they are also a blimmin’ lovely bunch to boot :)

And then Jasper, ah Jasper…

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I got slightly emotional during Jasper’s acoustic set. Whadda Guy. First there. Last to leave. Donating album proceeds to Penny’s Fund. Tearing up the dance floor. I think I’m actually a little bit in love with him. Again, I’ll be investing and I urge everybody reading this to do the same.

What. A. Talent.

All the artists deserve recognition; Satnams Tash for their quirky acoustic set and banter, Rosie, Jack & Laurie for showing promise and talent way beyond their young years, Fires & Fireplaces for their acoustic set and for going the extra mile by researching and promoting Penny’s Fund via their social media, Lucy Milford & Amy Key for their delicate, soulful acoustic sets…a gentle oasis of serenity in a very testosterone heavy day! Local band Waking Vegas for their dirty, sexy riffs and gravelly vocals, well worth going to see these guys when you can! Ben McGonigal for bringing a rowdy, supportive crowd and his brilliant set of covers and original material. Good luck in the competition Ben :) Derby boys Papayer and Belper band Dippin’ Da Bristle for their input and getting everybody singing along. James Pecz for his amazing Acoustic stage finale including a brilliant version of Wonderful World (which, I’m not embarrassed to admit, got me a wee bit teary!) and a singalong All Together Now. James pledged to donate £20 to Penny’s Fund if everyone sang along,which judging by the noise, they did! So, thankyou James and thank you if you sang along (jolly nice chap that James, too!). Just James for completely blowing my mind (and a few others I expect) with possibly the most energetic set EVER! This Nottingham band are going to go places and I’m glad I got chance to see them before they get too big for little old Belper!

Finally, Ejectorseat. I cant say how honoured we all are that after six years aprt as the original line-up this lovely bunch agreed to reform and play this one off gig. It really was awesome to see Attack! Attack! Attack! hasnt lost any of its appeal and the comment I got afterwards were astounding. So many people turned up to see the return and wanted know if this meant the band would be recording and touring again…I cant comment on that, you’ll have to ask them but I for one would be thrilled about an Ejectorseat reunion!

Hacketts Bar might not be the obvious choice for a live music event when there are so many other places locally that host gigs twice and three times a week but it was the perfect venue for Soundhub Live. The bar staff, door staff and management were all amazing on the day so a big thankyou to Ray, Pat, Sam, Yas & everyone at Hacketts.

Finally, this whole thing wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Soundhub. From lending us their kit, providing bands, advice and (at times) emotional support to making sure it all sounded right on the day they were all stars. Rob & Jordy did an excellent job running around, looking after the acoustic stage, helping bands set up, shifting gear, etc. Barrington kept things moving with some expert knob twiddling and last but not least TC himself for helping to put the whole shebang together and for being patient with my constant flapping and nagging. I solemnly promise to leave you alone now. Well, until the next one!

And most of all thank you to everyone that came and supported us on the day.Penny’s lifesaving treatment is available to her because of you. We are all eternally grateful for the support and hope that above all else we have shown our gratitude by giving you a weekend to remember! Hope to see you all at our other events!

Thank you once again to one and all.

Much lovage

Kate x

PS. Anyone interested in playing Soundhub Live 2013 please give us a shout, its never too early to start planning!

A personal blog from Penny’s husband Nick

This blog is not meant to be morbid so please don’t read it as such.

I have learned a lot in the past few years since Penny’s been ill and would like to share some of it as I believe it’s important.

You can’t alter the past unless you’re Doctor Who or Jean-Luc Pickard, and even they would consider the Prime directive and the Butterfly Effect. So all you can do is learn from the good and the bad and use that today. You can plan for the future, and it’s wise to do so, but there are no guarantees that the future is what you’d hoped it would be. Today, this hour, this minute, you can tell someone you love that you love them, you can give them a big hug just because. You don’t need a reason. You can call or text someone you have not seen for a while even though you think of them often, just to make them and you feel better. Live the moment! Don’t dwell on the past or lose yourself in dreams of the future. Be happy today. Time is precious.

Its all kicking off!

Crikey me its getting busy at Penny’s Fund HQ! We now have even more stuff thats happening soon to share with you :)

First of all, our little genius Eliza Henesy has organised a University Challenge style quiz at Belper School featuring Tutors vs Students. It will be held at Beper School on Tuesday March 20th. Tickets are available for anyone wishing to watch the Tutors get soundly beat by the Students from Belper School (Tel: 01773 825281) at a mere £1 per ticket.

They are also in the process of planning a Belper’s Got Talent contest which is going to be very entertaining! More details to follow on this event as soon as we get them.

Danielle at The Spanker Inn, Nether Heage is organising (and taking part in) a second 10k run in aid of Penny’s Fund. It will take place on Saturday 21st April, setting off from The Spanker at around 11am. For more information or to take part please contact Danielle on 01773 853222.

Next up is somethng thats been in the making for a while and we can now reveal our first live music event in good old Belper :)

The very nice folks at SoundHub and Deafbox Promotions have been beavering away quietly securing some of the finest musicians our local area has to offer and on Easter Sunday (April 8th) they will all come together at Hacketts Bar in Belper to put on the first SoundHub Live in aid of Penny’s Fund!

Confirmed acts so far;

Lucy Alexandra; Belper based singer/songwriter Lucy will be bringing her unique and melodic style to the event with an exclusive acoustic set

Fires & Fireplaces; The Derby University Quintet have only been formed for two years but in that time have achieved substansial radio airplay, reaching the finals of a national music competion, won this years SoundHub Battle Of The Bands AND supported Duran Duran at the O2 arena. Their upbeat sound is influenced by acts such as The Streets, The Beach Boys and System Of A Down.

Just James; Nottinghamshire based Just James are another recent winner of the SoundHub Battle Of The Bands contest. They are an eclectic mix of electronica, rock, dubstep and jazz. It’s an ambitious fusion of styles but one that works!

Cheap Jazz; Derby based Cheap Jazz are a band that can never be described as unoriginal or boring. Their unique brand of rock fuses garage rock, math rock, pinches of jazz and smatterings of melodic acoustic riffs. The brave intertwining styles of this exciting band (featuring Penny’s eldest son Dan!) is garunteed to unpredictable, ambitious, genius and exhilirating.

Ejectorseat; We’re VERY excited and very honoured that following a four year hiatus Belper supremo’s Ejectorseat are back! For the first time in yonks the original line up will take to the stage again :) Their Pop/Indie/Electro sound has been a notable absence of late, since work committments forced the band to take some time out from music. In the past they have supported Elbow, Graham Coxon, Badly Drawn Boy and The Guillemots and have been championed by DJ’s such as Jonathan Ross, Zane Lowe and Steve Lamacq. However, April 8th 2012 will see the return of the mighty Ejectorseat, and. we. cannot. wait!

There will be more acts to follow so keep your eyes peeled! Starts at 1pm and under 18’s are permitted until 7pm, ID may required so bring an acceptable form of idenfication to avoid disappointment. Entry is charged at £3 and £1.50 for Under 18’s.

Dont forget, also coming up is the Vegas Night at Hacketts Bar, Belper featuring The Vanessa Millar School of Dance showgirls and five (Five!) gambling tables, Bond/Vegas fancy dress AND cash prizes for high rollers!

Finally…the Belper Games 2012 :) Sorry to be a tease but we want to keep you hanging for that one… :)


As its now February and most people are firmly settled into 2012 we thought it about time we joined in with our first blog of the year!

Its been pretty quiet on the Penny’s Fund radar throughout January. After the madness of 2011 (especially the last half) we all took some time out to recouparate and recharge the old batteries.

2011 saw plenty of action on the fundraising front which we wont go on about again as we’ve banged on about them all enough previously BUT having said that we want to say a massive thank you to each and every person that has been involved and helped out at any stage :)

Penny recieved her first infusion of Rituximab in 2011 which went smoothly, its still too early to tell if it is having the dsired effect, she is due for her second infusion very soon and that should hopefully then reveal whether the drug is doing its stuff properly. Penny has also attended further Pulmonary Rehabilitation sessions and has found them extremely helpful if not completely exhausting. Its a fine balance between doing things that may benefit in the long run without causing harm in the short time!

And so, onto 2012! Theres happenings aplenty in the brewing pot as we speak.Out first confirmed event of this year is on Saturday May 5th at Hacketts Bar in Belper where we shall be holding a Vegas Night with Casino games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Craps & Poker. The Vanessa Millar School of Dance have kindly loaned us their Can Can/Showgirls or the evening and are sporing one of the casino tables so a big thankyou to them! There will be a James Bond/Vegas Fancy Dress competition so dust off that tux, and we shall be giving away cash prizes for high rollers at the tables on the night.

Also in the pipeline is a one day mini festival and some fundraisiers that are being organised by students in tutor group 12CFP at Belper School. So far there has been talk of sponsored walks in the Peaks, Teachers vs Students University Challenge and a Guess The Baby Competition. The tutor group were talked into becoming Penny’s Fund Assosciates by the lovely Miss Eliza Henesy and we are very grateful for her perseverance and hard work!

Finally, the Olympics might be coming to London in August but they are making a whistlestop visit to Belper first! The Belper Olympics is set to be a huge event in Belper including local artisans and crafty types, local food and drink, events for children and adults and best of all…the games themselves!!! We are looking for teams to take part in the Olympics, of course you should all have a certain degree of mobility and fitness but being an Olympic standard athlete is not a prerequisite! Anything goes…the more varied the team the better, there should be at least ten of you and most importantly of all you should be up for a laugh!

If you think you can get a team of 10-12 people together and are interested in joining in please contact via our Twitter or Facebook pages or at any of the following;




Thanks for reading and supporting Penny’s Fund! We look forward to seeing you in 2012!

Photos of the Summer event Pennyfest 3, with special thanks to Padraig Crowley Photography, Derby Silk Mills, Apples for Discos and Hatch’d Magazine.