Draycott Nursing & Care Annual Christmas Carol Service for Canine Partners

In December friends and colleagues attended the Annual Christmas Carol Service with a difference – watching 12 fully trained canine partners demonstrate their talents in helping disabled people lead full lives. The service was attended by some 450 guests, and readers included the singer Pati Boulay, David Robb (Downton Abbey), Michael Paluso, Rula Lenska and James Dreyfus. The event raised over £40,000 resulting in enough funding for the training of two dogs – an Amazing Result

‘One night at Kensington Palace’ with Joy Sigaud and the Philharmonia Orchestra

Kensington Palace and The Orangery provided a wonderful backdrop for an exclusive charity event to raise monies for the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and Alpha Boys School.  ’Inspirations’ founded by Joy Sigaud, is an organisation raising funds for various charities, through music events.


Guests were treated to champagne and canapes in the Stone Room in the Palace prior to moving on to The Orangery for the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by John Gibbons (Joy’s mentor) to perform a collection of Joy’s compositions selected for chamber orchestra.  ‘One Night at the Palace’ showcased Joy’s talent as a composer.


Born in England of Jamaican parents, Joy tells a story through her music of the movement of peoples in both an historical and contemporary context, bought to life by the passionate playing of the orchestra.  As a child she learnt to play the piano age 4 and has been composing since the age of 10.


The large audience comprised friends and family, together with dignitaries. Her Excellency Aloun Assamba High Commissioner of Jamaica gave an impassioned speech.  Supporters of the evening included The Jamaica High Commission, Tiffany & Co, Boodles, Donna Karan, Belgravia Gallery and many more.  A wonderful and very memorable treat for all who were lucky enough to be present.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott / www.lucyelliottphotography.com






British Soldier takes on gruelling 20 days of fitness exercise to raise money for Royal Hospital Chelsea


Staff Sergeant Stephen Hughes (27) who is currently serving in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps in Kabul undertook a gruelling 20 days of 20 different physical challenges to raise money for Royal Hospital Chelsea.  The ‘Reps to Remember’ 20 tough physical exercises were chosen to mark the number of British Forces operational tours of Afghanistan, and to repeat them 453 times, equating to the number of British Soldiers who lost their lives in the region.

Stephen said of his fundraising challenge in Kabul, “The ‘Reps to Remember’ challenges were extremely tough; far harder than I had anticipated. Thinking about the Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, where my comrades and I may live in our retirement and the 453 service personnel who sadly lost their lives in Afghanistan definitely got me through it. I’m really pleased that 240 people were moved to donate to this great cause.”

Kate Marsh, Fundraising Manager at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, said, “Now that Stephen has completed these challenges we are even more in awe of his efforts than we were before. He is a true inspiration and we are delighted that the public got behind him to very nearly reach his target of £5,000 for the Royal Hospital Chelsea.” (To date Stephen has raised £4,734. Donations are still being accepted at http://bit.ly/reps2remember).


Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com




Marie Curie Swimathon Completed!

Amazing! I can’t believe it, but we (my sister Alice and nephew, Oliver) managed to do the 2.5km swim on Saturday evening. Competing against trained corporate swimmers I nervously dipped my toe into ‘my lane’.  I shared it with an enthusiastic ‘proper looking swimmer’ who declared he hadn’t been able to train for two weeks, and the last timing he’d had was 1 hour 13 minutes.  I blanched.  This could be interesting since I’d guestimated my time of completion as about 3 hours on the entry form.  And that was assuming I did actually complete it.

However, having got into the ‘zone’ (one learns jargon very quickly), my heart stopped racing and I managed all 100 lengths. My goggles filled with water so I couldn’t see a thing, relying on the hope I was swimming in a straight line, and that everyone else in the pool didn’t have the same goggle affliction.

After 1 hour and 14 minutes I finished.

Legs shaking.

So the total raised so far for Marie Curie is £720 – way more than I’d ever imagined I’d get, so THANK YOU SO EVERYONE who gave so generously for this cause.

And no I won’t be doing it again.  (For the record I was thoroughly beaten: Oliver managed it in 1 hour 6 minutes and Alice in 1 hour 9 minutes). To find out more about the Swimathon click here


Swimming 2.5 km for Marie Curie April 17

A little bit nervous today.  What started off somewhat blithely on a dark Sunday evening in January, talking to my sister, has now turned into reality.  Swimming 2.5 km really does seem rather a long way now.  However as I trawl or crawl my way, up and down the length of the pool, I will have plenty of time to think about life.  I’m afraid there’s no image to accompany this posting, although one local photographer, Mark Brummell was quite insistent I would get more sponsorship with an accompanying shot of me in a costume.  I disagree strongly.  I think it would have quite the opposite effect.