Tuesday, 15 September 2015

It's 'Cheers For Charity' On A Big Beery Night

Forget Coffee ...
It's 'Cheers For Charity' On A #BigBeeryNight

Cancer. It affects us all. Whether directly or indirectly we have all experienced the effects of the loss of a loved one ourselves or seen those close to us lose someone dear to them.

It claimed my Mother-in-law five years ago.

To see such a strong woman with so much life in her and so much love to give laid low in the space of a week after a protracted two year battle was devastating, not only to our family, but to the great many friends she had made and those whose lives she had touched.

In her final week, as she gradually wasted away seemingly before our eyes we, and particularly my wife and sister-in-law, were comforted, supported and advised by Macmillan Nurses. They weren't requested, we didn't need to apply for them, but they simply introduced themselves and provided their help and knowledge when and where it was needed. They even organised, in the space of two days, a place in a hospice for my Mother-in-law, as she was determined not to die in hospital, although in the end she passed to quickly for this to happen. The help didn't stop there either, and they made sure that we knew that they were there for us whenever we needed them.

Gwen, my Mother-in-law, loved life and was one of those people who saw the good in all things. She also liked a beer or two. She was never a big drinker, she always drank halves, but she loved good tasty beer, 'a proper 'bitter' bitter', as she would say. She always made sure that there was good beer in the house for whenever I would visit, and would take great delight in finding a bottle of something that I hadn't had before.

These are the things I remember, along with the good times and the laughter, so when my good friend Steve from the Beer O'Clock Show, who himself had lost his Mother, Father, and Mother-in-law to the disease, was wanting to do something for Macmillan, and that it involved beer, I immediately said I would help.

What started as a conversation he had with beer blogger Phil Hardy on Twitter has grown, in the space of just a few days, into a Big Beery Night that will take place on Friday 25th September.

Many of you will of course be aware that Friday 25th is the day that Macmillan coffee mornings will be taking place all over the country, and while coffee is a great drink, I'm sure you would agree that it's not quite as good as beer.

Here's how you can take part:

Instead of abstinence however, on the Big Beery Night you are positively encouraged to drink and donate as you do you so. The idea behind it is simple, on the evening of the 25th September buy yourself a pint, grab a bottle of something amazing, or get your growler filled and drink it. Take a picture of what you're drinking and post it to Twitter using the hashtag #BigBeeryNight. All that then remains for you to do is to pay for your beer a second time in a manner of speaking, by donating the same amount to this Just Giving page that has been set up especially to receive your donation.

You can do this as many times as you like; beer, photo, post, donate,  over and over again if you wish. The target has been set at a modest £1000, but seeing as there's a little while to go and considering the amount has already been raised it looks as though that will be smashed.

Just how much is raised is really up to all of us. You can drink as little or as much as you like, and at if at least the cost of one of those beers is donated you will have been part of the #BigBeeryNight

If that wasn't enough, there will also be a Twitter auction on the night, with more and more beery prizes, experiences and even artwork being donated every day, you'd be wise to keep an eye on the Beer O'Clock Show Twitter feed for all the details.

It promises to be a fantastic evening, one that everyone who likes beer and wants to do something to help support a wonderful course can get behind and be proud to do so. Gwen would most definitely have approved. In fact she would probably have set up a Twitter account just so she could join in.

So get your beers ready, and start making plans for the #BigBeeryNight on Friday 25th September.

I'll see you there.

If you would like to read what others have written about this event you can do so here:
From the Beer O'Clock Show website
From Phil Hardy's site - Beersay
From the BeerViking
From Rach Smith's - Look At Brew

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