Really enjoyed the Birmingham Skyride last week, we had a wonderful day for the event and over 15,500 people attended, a great atmosphere as people of all ages and abilities took to the streets of Birmingham.

Expecting trouble?

Waiting for the start of Birmingham Skyride 2011

More waiting for the start

With my friend Steph I managed a few laps of the circuit (with an ice cream break or two) A really enjoyable day!

Cannon Hill Park

Cannon Hill Park

Pershore Road No Cars!!! :)

Details of my total miles for the event for NRAS can be found on my JustGiving Page. A big thank you to everyone who supported me.



RA Get together

Sorry for not posting this sooner, been busy with various things!

Back in May members of the NRAS forum and Health Unlocked invited people with RA, their family and friends to the annual get together, which this year took place at the Hilton in Warwick.

RA Get Together 2011

RA Get Together 2011

RA Get Together 2011

RA Get Together 2011

It was great to catch up with long term friends and to make some new one’s too. A lovely lunch was laid on by the hotel and met up with people they might have only known via the net previously.

RA Get Together 2011

Everyone who attends seem to enjoy them, as it lets them know they’re not alone in dealing with the RA and that the families of those with RA make friends with people who care for their loved ones too.

At the same time as the lunch some brave souls were skydiving to raise money for NRAS’s 10th Birthday, we sent this little message to them but they didn’t get it in time :(

Good Luck Sky Divers

The plans are already in motion for next year’s get together, and everyone is welcome, come along, have a meal and be with a wonderful group of caring people.

Next NRAS Fundraising event – Birmingham Sky Ride

After completing my Rail Race and only now fully recovered from it, I’ll be taking part in the Birmingham Sky Ride, where some streets in Birmingham will car free for the day to allow cyclists freedom of the route.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of cycling lately as I often find it easier than walking (due to the problems with my feet due to the RA) and as it’s non impact also gives me some exercise. I’m hoping to do as many miles as possible on July 3rd, and would love to raise some more money for NRAS (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society) in the process.

Donations can be made via my JustGiving page, which I’ll be using for all of my 2011 NRAS fund raising activities.

A big thank you to everyone who supports me with my fund raising!

Another weekend of government lies

After the government and their media puppets latest salvo on the sick and disabled of this country at the weekend, could it have a negative impact on charity fund raising?

Saturday morning and they happily trot out distorted figures which the media seem more than happy to distribute, without checking them, and name people they claim are “scroungers” . Every year in the UK millions of long term sick and disabled people do all sorts of activities to raise money for charities that mean something to them. It might be to support a charity that offers them help and advice on dealing with their condition, or they might pull on a pair of trainers after the death of a family member from a whole host of conditions.

I heard the tale of a woman who did a skydive and attended the gym touted across the papers and the BBC, and it made me wonder what impact it could have. You only have to look on twitter at the thousands of people who raise money for charity, many of them with a disability or long term condition. There are also a huge number of people who are advised to go to a gym for some low impact exercise as it may help their condition. yet activities such as this were singled out as the activities of a fraudster.

Despite what the government and certain areas of the media want you to believe the majority of people aren’t scroungers, while I have no doubts that there are a few people fiddling the system, but tarring everyone with the same brush is nothing short of a hate crime.

It’s also interesting that often the media fail to report that Disability Living Allowance (DLA) isn’t an out of work benefit. So there are millions of people getting DLA to help them with their mobility or for the additional costs of care who are working, and also paying their taxes.

With the latest round of lies, could people who like to give something back to society despite their limitations stop for fear of being branded a “scrounger” and losing the financial support they need? I feel that not only will charities start to lose out, as fund-raisers reconsider that challenge they’ve set themselves, but people’s health and well being could also deteriorate as a result.

It all flies in the face of Dave’s Big Society scam, which he’s try to sell to us 4 times now and failed. Charities often provide the support the NHS would love to give patients, but with the limited time and resources they can’t always do so. Charities provide play groups and youth activities for their local communities, yet it’s all under threat from funding cuts, and by bullying people into being too scared to fundraise we’ll probably see these services get hit hard, or disappear altogether, something that will affect us all in some way.

It’s no secret that Dave and his millionaire minister buddies hold money as the priority over everything else. It’s about time he woke up to the fact that people should come before profit because without them, you’ll have nothing.

Rail Race 2 date set

I’ve finally set the date for my second Great NRAS Rail Race, it will start on Wednesday 8th June. For full details of the trip please head over to

I’m planning some other more strenuous activities too, I’ll post here what I’m up to it will also be on my 2011 JustGiving fundraising page

Good luck to the NRAS Skydivers!

Tomorrow a few brave souls will be doing a skydive to raise money for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) As well as some of the members of the NRAS staff, there are also a number of members taking part including my friend Helly.

NRAS is celebrating its 10th Birthday this year, and any donations can allow them to continue their wonderful work raising awareness of the condition and supporting people with RA, their families and carers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects people of any age, even children, please consider making a donation no matter how small it all helps.

You can make donations on the following pages

NRAS Team 10

Helly Copeland Just Giving Page

Good luck to everyone taking part, and a BIG thank you from me!

My 2011 fundraising for NRAS

As it’s the 10th Birthday of NRAS this year I’m hoping to do a number of fundraising events to raise some well deserved funds.

I’m hoping to do 10, though I’m still arranging some of them, but I’ve got the first two organised one of which I’ve been doing since January

So without further a do.. I bring you..

1) Jo’s Lose the Lard Challenge

As some of you will know I’ve been trying to shed the pounds since January, and I hope that in by me losing them, NRAS can gain a few!
Current loss so far

2) Great NRAS Rail Race 2

Some of you may remember my fund raiser from 2009 where I travelled around the UK in a 36 hour non stop train marathon. This year I’ve made it bigger and I’m hoping to visit the capital cities of Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. I’ve worked out my route, I’m just now trying to finalise a date for it. Full details can be found on

I’m also looking at an indoor skydiving session some more abseiling and a few other events which I’m still trying to organise.

I’ll add the other challenges here once they’ve been arranged!

My just giving page for this year can be found HERE

Thanks to everyone for all their support in the past events :)

Others fundraising for NRAS can be found HERE