Monday, 29 July 2013

The 99th Garrison supports the Dravet Syndrome, at Sainsbury's in Ripley Derbyshire - Sunday, 28th July, 2013.
Dravet Syndrome is a little known syndrome which is a catastrophic neurological condition causing severe seizures alongside other conditions such as learning disability, ataxia and autism.  See  I first heard of it when the branch of Sainsbury's that I shop at on a regular basis in Ripley, had posters up about the charity as it was supporting it as its charity of the year.  I was curious at to what the syndrome was so checked out the website and then contacted them to see if the 99th could help with their fundraising efforts.  Apparently the email that I sent ended up in their office in the USA and was then forwarded to Rachel, who works at the branch of Sainsbury's and has a daughter who has the syndrome.  
The rest, as they say is history and after a few messages on FB and meeting up at Sainsbury's for a coffee and a chat it was agreed that the 99th would help the charity at its bag packing day on the 28th July.
This was a local troop for me [which I could get use to!] it took all of ten minutes to get there - instead of the usual average journey for a troop of an hour and a half.  We were at the venue for 9:00am to be ready in armour when the store opened at 10:00am.
My co-troopers and crew on this event were Andy, Jim, Mark, Will, Darran, G and Simon ... it was a pleasure to meet Simon on his first troop with the 99th!
We were ready early and left our base for the day [the store's training room] before 10 and were fairly busy all day.  We spent some time outside the store and also had permission to troop around the store as well, which was nice to do given that it has very efficient air conditioning and most of the troops that we have done recently have been very, very hot!  There were also a lot of photo opportunities in the store with all the different products for sale and getting around the isles took a very long time!
Rachel's daughter Jesse,joined us for part of the day too and it was nice to see her so at ease with us and relaxed.. just taking it all in her stride!  We were also joined by Rachel's son Tom who is in a band called the Parasights... they are only young [Tom is only twelve] and play rock and are very good! 
We had a very nice lunch provided by Rachel of sandwiches  chicken, crisps  and cake.  Tea and coffee was also provided by Sainsbury's. We then went back out trooping until a break for tea and biscuits at about 2:30pm and then it was back out trooping until 4:00pm.  We then de-kitted and had our usual post troop photo but not before the manager of the store came to see us and personally thanked us for the day saying what a vibe and difference to the store our presence had made.
I then made the very long [not!] journey home in ten minutes!!!  
The bag packers raised £493.83  on the day and the 99th rasied £352.13  A grand total of £845.96!!!!!!  THANK YOU EVERY ONE!! 
A huge thanks to Simon, Andy, Jim, Darran, Mark, William and G.