Di Flatt's Blog


Jay Khan (Hollyoaks’ Ash Roy) supports National Doodle Day…

 

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of  my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

Well it has arrived guys

 

Its National Doodle DayTM

Friday 27 February 2009

Celebrity auction now live online

 

For your chance to bid for one of this year‘s fantastic celebrity doodles check out our online auction now!  

Hundreds of celebrities are taking part in National Doodle DayTM, to raise money for Epilepsy Action and the Neurofibromatosis Association. Doodles by the likes of Sophie Dahl, Jonathan Ross and Heston Blumenthal are being auctioned on eBay in aid of National Doodle DayTM now!

A host of famous names from the worlds of fashion, entertainment, sport and literature have put pen to paper.

Bidders will be able to choose from countless celebrity doodles, including those from: Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden; BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Edith Bowman; Strictly stars Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny; actors Bob Hoskins and Diana Rigg; award-winning film director and creator of Wallace and Gromit Nick Park; survival expert Bear Grylls; and comedy actors Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg.

The eBay auction begins today and runs for 10 days. People can also vote for their favourite by text. Details of how to do this can be found on the National Doodle DayTMwebsite www.nationaldoodleday.org.uk

 

 

2009 will be the sixth year of National Doodle DayTM and we hope to build on the £160,000 raised so far.

 

For tomorrow I wish lots and lots of luck to the two big National Doodle DayTM events taking place, at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield and Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness.

 

We are very pleased that Jay Khan (Hollyoaks) is representing the celebrity doodlers and signing autographs at the Meadowhall event between 1pm and 2pm on Saturday 28 February 2009.  So a huge thank you to Jay.

 

Please forward this to as many people as you know and help make this year’s National Doodle DayTM the most successful yet!

           

All funds raised by National Doodle DayTM go towards the work of the two charities Epilepsy Action, registered charity in England (No. 234343) and The Neurofibromatosis Association, registered charity in England (No. 1078790).

 

Well I promised to tell you more about our trip yesterday and the shenanigans of the wayward satnav!

Well as I don’t have much time today (my team and are all running around dealing with lots of doodle doings) – so this will be a short story.

 

As I said yesterday, myself and two more of the Yorkhshire IoF Committee were trying out potential venues for the inaugural two day residential conference we are planning for Yorkshire and the North in February 2010.  We firstly went to Ilkley followed by Skipton, and then needed to get across to Ravenscarr nestled between Whitby and Scarborough (to see the hotel I discussed yesterday that rather stretched its own imagination when it came to advertising itself as a conference venue – you remember now, yes that’s the one !).

 

Well as you can imagine, as we were trying to fit this all into one day, we were rather tight on time.  So after we had spent the morning checking out the Ilkley and Skipton hotels, my trusted committee colleague doing the driving tapped the hotel address into the well used and trustee satnav and we set off from Skipton to head out towards the coast.

 

We were happily bimbling along enjoying the lovely rural views, and chattering away about the various venues we had seen and how we could (or not) work the conference around the spaces they had available.

 

After a while we began to realise the roads we were following were in fact becoming more and more rural as we drove along, not a motorway in sight!  Not even the A64.  We thought about turning around, but unsure of exactly where we were we figured it was best to keep on trusting the satnav and keep on going.

 

The road got narrower and narrower and the inclines and falls got steeper.  We passed fields of sheep, and chicken coops, and some beautiful tiny villages.  I was busily trying to check my emails using my phone but found we had no signal whatsoever!

 

We came upon a shooting party with around ten land rovers, lots of flat caps and guns slung over the shoulder filling up the road ahead of us.  Once we managed to pass them we continued up hills and down dales through the most beautiful scenery – it was certainly an enjoyable drive.

 

Well of course as fundraisers we are full of belief that we will always reach where we need to be so we held on to our trust of the satnav and kept on going.  Through village after village, following every tiny back road there must be across the North Yorkshire Moors.

 

It seems that we had chosen the shortest route on the satnav rather than the fastest route.  So perhaps a more direct, shorter route, it actually took us a lot longer to drive.  We did get to the hotel in the end as you know, but more of a late afternoon arrival than straight after lunch as we had planned.

 

So is there a moral to this story?  Hmmnn well you can plan ahead but sometimes however careful you have been things will work against you anyway, the best advice I can give is don’t panic.  Stay calm, make adjustments if you can, but make sure that you enjoy the ride anyway and hang on to your self belief that you will get there in the end…

 

This is me signing off for the working week and looking forward to the shopping trip with my sister tomorrow, so have a great weekend and we can catch up again soon.

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x

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If you’re going to advertise then tell it like it is, otherwise you will just lose out in the end…
Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

Well good evening, I just got home after a long day on the road.  Self and two other members of the Yorkshire IoF Committee have been busy trying out venues for the inaugural two day residential conference we are planning for Yorkshire and the North in February 2010.

 

Currently feel exhausted and also rather irritated.  One of the hotels, in fact the one we travelled furthest to check out was listed as having many more rooms than it in fact had.  So although it was indeed a very nice hotel, with the most fabulous views out over the sea and Robin Hood’s Bay, had great rooms and facilities – IT JUST WAS NOT SUITABLE – because it does not in fact have enough bedrooms for the number of delegates!

 

So now I feel irritated with this hotel, I feel cheated and like they wasted my time.  The second strange thing was they also told us they have a policy whereby they do not like the double and twin rooms to be taken for single use (and they only have three actually single rooms). 

 

Now how many conferences do you attend where the delegates all arrive in couples?  So my questions are this – why say you are a conference hotel and then make it nigh on impossible for your conference audience to hold a conference?  Why say you have over a hundred rooms and in fact have only 52?  Hmmnnn.  I really do not think this would have reached the standards of the FRSB – so it is lucky they are in fact a hotel and not a charity!!

 

So am now home, hungry and tired but happy that I am now watching Sleepless in Seattle on tv, a favourite of mine.  Hmmmnnn just imagine if the two main characters when writing to each other had portrayed themselves as someone else, something different to who they really are (like the hotel did) – well I guess this love story would have had a very different ending.  An ending comprising of two very disappointed people – rather than a coming together of two happy and contented souls ready to begin a lifelong journey together.

 

This just makes me contemplate how we work with our members and supporters – are we really as open, honest and transparent as we could be?  I think we are, but considering how irritated I felt at the hotel today I am going to think again, and discuss with my team, and indeed with some of our members and supporters themselves.  If we end up irritating or annoying our supporters then they could end up feeling like I do right now – let down, cheated and thinking I certainly won’t be booking to stay at that hotel any time soon.

 

We really must keep it honest, keep it open, and keep it transparent – charity fundraising really does need to be ‘what you see is what you get’ in every fashion.

 

Now I am going to watch the end of this lovely film, probably shed a tear or two at the end then slip off to bed for an early’ish night.

 

Tomorrow I might tell you a little bit more about our trip today and the shenanigans of the wayward satnav.  We certainly did take the scenic route !

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



It’s your neck on the line…..

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

   

 

 

My horoscope today in Metro reads:  ‘Details matter today, especially if you’re in charge of planning a big event.  Don’t assume that someone else has taken care of things.  Even if you delegated these tasks, double check them.  It’s your neck on the line.’

 

This made me smile, as it fits so well with what I promised yesterday that I would tell you about today! The major faux pas made at one of my previous charities.  Oh my goodness what an unfortunate happening it was too.

 

I had just written our latest appeal and supporter newsletter.  Included within the newsletter was a piece about our previous president, a well known Bishop, who had just died.  The piece paid tribute to his work, his previous work with and support of the charity, and details of his love of sport and so on.

 

As always there was the letter, the newsletter and a BRE to go into the outer envelope.  Everything was carefully proofed and went through our quality assurance system before going to the mailing house – which shall remain nameless!

 

It was in fact about six years previous that this Bishop had stepped down from being our president.  And two years previous I had taken the charity through a full rebrand, including our name.  There is a reason for me telling you these two things….

 

When we went through the rebrand we gave instructions to all our offices, mailing houses, storage places and so on – directing them to destroy all print materials with the old details on them, and we supplied everyone with all the nice new rebranded print.

 

So – and this is why it made me smile reading the horoscope this morning – one went ahead assuming that all of these people and organisations had followed my direction and destroyed everything.   And yes people you no doubt have done this too.

 

So what happened I hear you ask?

 

Well in a nutshell – the letters were printed perfectly, the newsletter was printed perfectly and (in my opinion, but then I am biased) was a really good issue, the giving mechanism was all nicely coded and pretty.

 

BUT, oh I blushing at the memory of it, the business reply envelopes were just held at the mailing house.  They didn’t need proofing as they were the same ones that were sent every time…

 

OR WERE THEY

 

Well as I said above, we had requested that all previous print was destroyed – BUT we then assumed they had done this.  WE HAD NOT GONE TO THE MAILING HOUSE AND MADE SURE THERE WAS NO OLD PRINT KEPT, EVEN BY MISTAKE.

 

The mailing house – just prior to my mailing – had decided to have a big tidy up and had moved things around the warehouse.

 

Somehow – oh dear – they had managed to find old boxes of BREs used in an appeal seven years previous that were actually addressed to our president the aforementioned Bishop.

 

Oh my goodness, when my copies arrived in the post – to show the appeal had landed – I just sat there looking at them in silence for what must have been minutes.  Then after a huge sigh and a series of rapid and ranting phone calls to the mailing house I rallied my poor team, who were equally mortified and upset.

 

We spent the entire day and evening printing apology letters and getting them straight out in first class post.  I signed over two thousand letters that day by hand – it was important to me to sign every one.

 

We had some complaints but the prompt apology was accepted graciously by everyone.

 

So my fellow fundraisers – and yes a couple of you reading this will recall the day and stuffed those envelopes alongside me – as my horoscope this morning stated:

 

Don’t assume that someone else has taken care of things.

Even if you delegated these tasks, double check them.

It’s your neck on the line!

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x

 



One Wedding, four conversations, and tomorrow a funeral….
Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

Good afternoon everyone. Well hurrah the trustee report is done and printed, and I only have one or two grey hairs from it. Unfortunately it will come around again all too soon in a couple of months – why oh why is it that it always takes me by surprise !!

Well I had a good evening last night, bronchitis starting to clear up, cooked a nice filet steak and then got busy networking and chatting with friends on line. At one point during the evening I had four conversations taking place at the same time – and let me tell you that it got a little hairy trying to keep up with each one and not get confused.

I was talking to my niece about her becoming a police woman and her forthcoming college course, whilst at the same time talking to my sister about weddings and wedding dresses (for her not me!).

I was also giving big sister (or agony aunt!) advice to one of the boys from my local rugby club about a young lady he is thinking about asking out, and was also talking to a man in my own life just catching up on my day and his.

At one point I was busily typing away that ‘we need to speak to the vicar and get the prices for the church ceremony and the additional costs for bells and choir etc’ and just as was about to send realised I was in the wrong conversation box !!!!

Oh my dear man friend you are so lucky you didn’t get a big shock there. Hence there was a rapid deletion from that box and a big sigh of relief from me. So note to self for today is to only hold one conversation at a time in future so that I don’t give anyone a big surprise, or even worse really upset them!

I guess it’s a little like getting it right with your donor and supporter correspondence. Just one error like getting someone’s name wrong can spoil the relationship for ever and as I said the other day with the credit crunch constantly looming over us fundraisers, relationship fundraising is absolutely key. So getting the right data to the right person at the right time is absolutely imperative to keep our donors and supporters happy!

So if I do go online tonight I shall be holding one conversation at a time, so that I am absolutely clear who I am talking to, about what, and why. Or perhaps I shall just be old fashioned and use the telephone !

One quick reminder – National Doodle Day ™ is now only 3 days away !!

Remember to vote for your favourite celebrity doodle!

As of right now Doug Rao, who plays the role of DS Stuart Turner in The Bill is in the lead.

You can easily choose your favourite doodle from the 2009 celebrity doodle thumbnail gallery, by just clicking through to the large version, finding its ID number (shown below each doodle) and then texting the word DOODLE followed by a space then the ID number to 80039.

Please text carefully: if the ID number includes 0, that’s the number zero, not the letter O.

By the way there was a good piece in The Sun today about our doodlers !

Tomorrow I am going to tell you about the big faux pas that happened at one of my previous charities when my appeal correspondence to supporters did go wrong! I have never had to sign so many apologies ever – including getting the two thousand letters out overnight – and I hope to goodness that I never have to do that again – and this faux pas was NOT about wedding dresses and choirs, it was unfortunately about a funeral!

So have a good day and I’ll speak to you again soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



Yes, we’ve had the Oscars and the Brits, but here’s the next award to draw a crowd: the annual National Doodle Day ™.

the-dood-2009This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

HELLO ! Well I am finally back in the office, hurrah! Although have been told several times that I should go straight back home. However I have persevered and am still here, tied to the desk, desperately trying to catch up on work that I couldn’t do from home – mainly the trustee report!! Have been given a reprieve to mid day tomorrow to have it finished, so here I am type type type, figures figures, figures.

I did notice earlier the three desks nearest to my little corner no longer have anyone sat at them. My events manager has moved to another desk for the day and two people have even taken flex time ! Currently feel as if am in quarantine!

However, now on my lunch break and just enjoyed coronation chicken but hmmnn I followed this with the most yeeuurchh ( Paul how should I have spelt that one? ) low fat yoghurt – so yeeuurch followed this with chocolate from the staff tuck shop! So much for my diet. Although I did lose 3 pounds last week with being ill – and hey as still not feeling great maybe the chocolate on the lips will slide straight off the hips and miss them completely. Here’s hoping…

Although not sure that will work for the lovely caramel fudge consumed yesterday, of which there remains a rather large bag thereof still sitting on my dining table requesting that I fulfil its destiny and eat it….. anyone fancy some?

Well here in the office my team are rushing about finalising everything as National Doodle Day ™ rapidly approaches – only 4 days to go ! So yes today I am definitely plugging my own charity Epilepsy Action.

If you haven’t yet heard about this (in my opinion BRILLIANT) national event, National Doodle Day ™ is an annual fundraising event that we, Epilepsy Action, run in partnership with The Neurofibromatosis Association. I actually think that as we continue through the credit crunch fundraising in partnership should become more widespread. The link we have is that both conditions can cause seizures, ensuring synergy between the two charities. I am certainly always on the lookout for new and innovative partnerships to generate income!

We have some brilliant celebrities taking part this year and I have to say a HUGE thank you to every one of them for taking the time to doodle, sign and send in to us. Take a look at the website www.nationaldoodleday.org.uk.

A host of famous names from the worlds of fashion, entertainment, sport and literature have put pen to paper for this popular event. Doodles by the likes of Sophie Dahl, Jonathan Ross, Daniel Radcliffe and Heston Blumenthal will be auctioned, and lucky bidders will also be able to choose from countless other celebrity doodles, including: Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden; BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter, Edith Bowman; Strictly stars, Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny; actors, Bob Hoskins; Diana Rigg and Jason Flemyng; award-winning film director and creator of Wallace and Gromit, Nick Park; survival expert, Bear Grylls; and comedy actors, Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg – amongst many others.

This year’s theme is ‘All About You’, so all our doodlers were asked to doodle on what they know best – whether in the form of a self-portrait or a doodle that otherwise represents them.

In fact 350 celebrity doodles will be auctioned this year, and around 750 celebrities have taken part in the annual competition over the years.

The celebrity e-bay auction opens on Friday 27 February 2009 and lasts for ten days.

Schools, Colleges, and individuals can also take part in our separate National Doodle Day ™ competitions, fully detailed on the website; and businesses, clubs and societies are also being encouraged to hold their own National Doodle Day ™ competitions.

We even have two large shopping centres running National Doodle Day ™ events on our behalf on the day, Meadowhall Centre in Sheffield and the Eastgate Centre in Inverness. Across the UK people are scribbling and doodling away all having fun whilst raising much needed income for the two charities.

All our winners will have their work displayed in the doodle Hall of Fame on the National Doodle Day ™ website, and will also be able to see what their doodles reveal about their personality in the ‘meanings’ section of the site.

You can also vote for your favourite celebrity doodle!

Yes, we’ve had the Oscars and the Brits, but here’s the next award to draw a crowd: the annual National Doodle Day ™.

Dood Award

You can easily choose your favourite doodle from the 2009 celebrity doodle thumbnail gallery, by just clicking through to the large version, finding its ID number (shown below each doodle) and then texting the word DOODLE followed by a space then the ID number to 80039.

Please text carefully: if the ID number includes 0, that’s the number zero, not the letter O.

As of right now Daniel (Harry Potter) Radcliffe is in the lead.

The winning celebrity doodler will receive the fabulous cast iron ‘Dood Award’ (pictured above) designed and kindly donated by Heather Cumming, Keltneyburn Smithy Gallery & Workshop (www.ironfairy.co.uk).

National Doodle Day is one of our most fun events in our annual calendar, and I am excited to see how much we raise in this its sixth year. The last five years of doodling have raised more than £160,000 towards providing vital support to people with epilepsy and neurofibromatosis.

All money raised by National Doodle Day will support the work of the two charities.
All text and images © National Doodle Day ™ all rights reserved.

Well I just wanted to let you all know about this event with it coming up so soon – hope you have time to vote for your favourite celebrity! 4 days and counting……….

I would like to have time to tell you about my lovely weekend, okay lots of intermittent coughing prevailed, but I still managed to have some fun time including a trip out to the coast for some medicinal sea air (and the lovely caramel fudge) – which definitely seemed to help (the sea air not the fudge silly)! But will have to fill you in later as I really must get back to the trustee report…

So take some time out for blue sky thinking and look for some innovative ways to partner with other organisations (including mine) to make the most of your income generation potential this year. Best of luck with that, and we can catch up again soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.
KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Good Sunday Morning…..

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

Good morning.
What a beautiful day it looks to be so far.
Well I am just saying hi and then leaving you, as not having a computer day today – need to give self the day off I think in prep for returning to the office tomorrow.

Bronchitis not really quite gone but feeling heaps better. Used the bathmat 🙂 and she is really happy, a little damp and squidgy around the edges but clearly more fulfilled and thus serving her rightful purpose as Sue said she should.

Well I am going to have coffee and toast and then watch Andrew Marr on Sunday morning, catch up on any current affairs I have missed through the week.

So have a good sunday, and lets catch up soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity http://www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Thought for the day – never deny yourself your need for inner fulfilment….

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

Good morning, hmmnnn well yes it is still morning just about. Have had a very lazy start to the day. Bronchitis still visiting, but definitely feeling a little better. However now have the most beautiful blood shot left eye !! Now this is either due to all the coughing or due to my leaving my contact lens in too long……

Well have just been picking up emails and have been told off by one of my friends re my lovely new bathmat. Apparently bath mats are not supposed to be receiving ‘royal treatment’ in fact her words were ‘for heaven’s sake, use the bath mat! That’s its destiny and you’re denying it a chance of inner fulfilment!’

So now I feel quite guilty, poor thing has been living here over a week and has just been moved from bath to sink, to floor (on thursday) back to the bath and sink manouevres (have I spelt that right ? My friend Paul will let me know, he is an excellent proof reader and a self proclaimed ‘I cannot help myself but point it out to you’ man. In fact he just sent me an email saying ‘sorry for pointing out mistakes’! But hey sometimes I type so fast I shall miss my own mistakes so Paul – keep on proofing, you can be my editor).

So I am about to go take quick shower before going shopping to buy new woolly hat to keep warm against this windy weather so am going to take a running jump (metaphorically speaking) and use the bathmat for its actual purpose – because how could I deny the poor (beautiful) thing it’s ‘chance of inner fulfilment’.

I guess that would be like denying me from being a fundraiser and blue sky thinker – I would be miserable. I can’t be having a miserable bath mat – she would soon stop being beautiful.

So thank you Sue for pointing that out. It is a lesson for us all – to not deny ourselves our inner fulfilment – we would only become less beautiful!

So bath mat get ready to be fulfilled. Bye for now, enjoy your saturday, be back soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x