“Giving is like a shoe. If it doesn’t fit properly it will be painful to walk in.”

Julie Kent MBE

We hear an awful lot about Giving at the moment. How giving is good for us. Its good for the person or group that we are giving to. But it won’t feel good for you, the giver, if your heart is not in it.

I have a friend that has and is undergoing a series of therapy sessions at the moment. She became a shadow of the friend I first knew. Both her parents were alcoholics and died when she was quite young. She then lost a very close friend from cancer after battling it for many years. That was the final straw.

It took a while to get her to book the therapy. She was always the strong one that everyone went to. She sorted everyone’s problems. As she had coped with losing parents that did not always care for her properly, she felt she could handle anything. However it became her time to let someone else help her. She saw this as a weakness to start with, but as the sessions progressed she has become stronger. She no longer dives in to sort things out for anyone, including her own family. She understands that they need to sort themselves out and learn along the way. It is hard because her default has always been to get in there, talk about it, come up with the solution, help them put it into action.

When she first began to turn a corner she talked about doing something to help others when she had finished therapy. She wants to get involved with some sort of charity where she could help in some way. Possibly counselling, possibly with young people who have had alcoholic parents but she is not rushing into it. She is taking her time. People who get involved in volunteering or acts of kindness where they end up feeling resentful because the people they are helping do not seem to be reacting in a grateful manner are volunteering from the wrong place and for the wrong reason!

You need to be aligned.

Most people focus on the WHY?

I focus on the WHAT! What is it that you are offering? (the service you are providing, the gift you are giving?)

You are of no use to anyone if you volunteer to be thanked or you are doing something that doesn’t feel comfortable for you. You need to not only find a cause you care about, but also find an area that is delivering or giving a skill or something you love. Is it cooking or something with crafts? Is it teaching someone to do something you love? If you hate cleaning yourself, don’t offer to do someone’s cleaning! What do you love doing? If you share those things you will enjoy every minute of sharing it with others. If you offer to do something that you are not very good at or you are not interested in, it will be a chore for you and not a pleasure to help someone else with.

My friend is waiting until she finds an opening of something that she enjoys and will be able to share. She enjoyed horse riding and it could end up being helping the disabled at a riding school. 

Giving is great and needs to be a win, win for everyone. For the giver and the receiver but it must be selfless and enjoyable for both.

“We will either find a way or make one.”

Anyone for a cuppa? – Julie Kent MBE

In 2020 Julie joined Cheltenham Open Door as Chair and is spearheading the charity through one of its most challenging years to date with her trademark energy and good cheer.

Cheltenham Open Door supports vulnerable, disadvantaged and lonely people. Julie works to relieve poverty, hardship and social or emotional distress.

Chelt Open Door in 2020 received 336 donations from individuals or organisations. They got through 5,512 pints of milk. Served 8,217 hot lunches and 2,891 fry up breakfasts. Toasted 21,528 slices of bread and in the first two months of lockdown drove over 607 miles delivering 540 food parcels.

Here’s some other stats which show you about Julie’s unstoppable energy and drive to be a go giver and to inspire younger generations to follow in her shoes.

  • Emily Kent Charitable Trust raised £400k in 6 years
  • Pink Dinners in aid of Breast Cancer £12k raised in 4 events
  • Clic Sargent London Marathon raising £12.5 k
  • Pied Piper Charity fundraising in the last 6 years £1.5million
  • 2 wards named after Emily Kent (Julie’s daughter who died at age 3)
  • Two half marathons and one London Marathon
  • Pied Piper Charity Shop taken £130k in 2020
  • Helped to organise 6 balls, 8 golf tournaments, I race night, performed 10 saxy pop quizzes, as well as write 150 weekly newsletters
  • Whilst at Dean Close School as housemistress (For 3 decades of service) Julie did over 22,000 roll calls
  • 20 years in the boarding school Dean Close is 600 weekends of fun she organised!
  • Julie taught 30,000 sax lessons
  • Watched 2700 matches of netball, hockey, tennis
  • Looked after 600 different girls and helped to inspire them to Give, (Give their time, give their energy, give their kindness to help those in need – always.

Here’s some info on Julie’s mission to keep sharing her message about The Power Of Giving  : https://ritzherald.com/julie-kent-mbe-world-tour/

The Power of Giving Virtual World Tour
Introducing Julie Kent MBE