Yesterday, Keith went to Westminster for a meeting with Ed Balls ( Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families ), representatives of the Anthony Nolan Trust and Kali Mountford MP who tirelessly supported Adrian in his campaigning efforts.
He wanted to thank Ed Balls and Alan Johnson ( Secretary of State for Health ) for writing to schools on a joint basis and for updating the Live and Let Live campaign to include materials suitable for the 17 and 18 age groups.
This is an excellent start. But it is just the start and there is more yet to do.
Let's face it. Some heads may ignore the letter completely. Others will have welcomed the material and have in place the mechanism to deliver Adrian's very important message. There will be others who want to run the Sudders Seminar but may not have the resources to do so. It is the latter group where we intend to focus initially and that is where you, the amazing Adrian's Army volunteers will be able to help.
The government have been asked to provide initial funding so that volunteers can be properly trained to go into schools and colleges to give the all important 40 minute talk. This is so that crucial funds do not have to be diverted away from the vital work carried out by the Anthony Nolan Trust. The aim is to provide a punchy, emotive and informative video including footage of Adie, sufficient training to allow volunteers to speak with accuracy and in depth about the procedures and to answer follow up questions and a simple explanatory leaflet about " What to do next ". We should have their response in 3 weeks or so.
The project will be piloted in 4 different parts of the country to begin with so that the materials and their impact can be evaluated properly and then the aim is to roll out the volunteer programme across the country as soon as possible.
Keith left London in optimistic mood. We will let you know as soon as we have the answer. Meanwhile, remember that there is a link on the Anthony Nolan Trust website where people can sign up as volunteers and there is also a questionnaire to complete that will help to determine the wheres and whens of the training programme.
It is a pity that there is no element of compulsion attached to that part of the National Curriculum that can force headteachers to carry out Adrian's dying wish. We could spend years lobbying to change the statutory basis of senior education or we can take a leaf out of Adie's book and get stuck in to providing a simple solution to quite a difficult problem in a straightforward and pragmatic way.
Have a look at the Examiner website for news of the live broadcast of the Memorial Service tomorrow. It's a fantastic tribute to Adrian that his special service will be shown on the very site he loves so much.
The spam is a bit troublesome I am afraid. Beyond my skills but Liam will be rooting it out soon.
Love to all