|8th October 2015
Blue Latitude Health is a healthcare creative marketing consultancy, and part of our day-to-day work involves working closely with oncology healthcare professionals and patients to understand their experiences. And we care deeply about the work of charities that support cancer research, patients and families. Sometimes unfortunately, life also collides with work. I have cancer, and my colleague Kavita lost her mother to cancer. Together, as the self-appointed ‘Maggie’s Blues’, we took part in the Culture Crawl London event organised by Maggie’s Centres, a UK-based cancer support charity organisation that does make an incredible difference to patients and their families.
Blue Latitude Health helped with fund-raising activities. Our theme was the UK government’s message that we all need to eat ‘5 A Day’ portions of fresh vegetables and fruit if we are to help ourselves to be and stay healthy. ‘5 A Day’ struck a chord as a message fit for both our personal and work lives, and also for our fund-raising, since nutrition has a crucial role to play in preventing recurrence.
At Blue Latitude Health, and within our office building, the Social Event Committee (led by our colleague Mette Kudahl) master-minded those activities and a one-question competition: ‘what percent of the UK population don’t get their 5-a-day on a daily basis?’ Colleague Jenna Earl, who recently lost her mother to cancer, was spot on in her answer: a staggering 70% of the UK population fail to achieve the low target of 5-a-day!
On Friday 18th September, in the early evening, Kavita and I, along with 898 other walkers, set off from St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of London for a 15 mile night-walk and cultural adventure across London.
From St Paul’s, we walked along the Thames towards Chelsea, past historical sites and up to the West End, where we said hello to the very last revellers of England’s victory in the first match of the World Rugby Cup. We then finally reached the finishing line at Covent Garden, where Maggie’s Centres volunteers were waiting for us in the wee hours of Saturday morning with cheering, medals, and a hearty British breakfast of bacon sarnies and muffins!
Over the course of seven hours, we enjoyed discovering London by night. Following a well sign-posted route of historical interest, we stopped several times along the way to sample the cultural delights and inspiring architectural sites that Maggie’s organised for us to enjoy and visit in partnership with Open House London. Thoughtful stops and helpful Maggie’s marshals were there to support and guide us all the way.
Amongst other memorable moments, we reflected in front of a memorial tree with some of the thousand origami wish cranes that Hiroshima victim Sadako Sasaki created, on display at Chelsea Physic Garden:
We admired the monumental sculpture Tree by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the courtyard at the Royal Academy of Arts. We were also treated to a performance by the Royal Ballet in the magnificent grounds of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the wonders of the world of architecture at world-renowned architects Foster + Partners Studio off Chelsea bridge, where we could experience the virtual reality of a concert hall with Oculus Rift.
Beyond our own pleasure and pride in helping Maggie’s Centres to continue their incredible support work with cancer patients, we fully immersed ourselves in a fascinating night that will stay with us for a very long time, in one of the most vibrant and diverse cultural capitals in the world.
Thank you, and cheers to your ongoing health, Maggie’s!
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