News Flash: Join me today as I bake mince pies and raise them in memory of Jo Yeates one year on to make sure she finally gets the mince pies she never got to bake last year.
If you are on twitter tell the World you are raising a cake in #InMemoryOfJo – you never know it could get trending in her honour.
We are one year on from Joanna Yeates disapperance and has the World changed? In the same way for each person who has lost loved ones the sun will rise, the mist will clear and although it may not be as cold as last year the day will continue as if nothing has changed. Most of us will hurry around getting our last-minute Christmas preparations done whilst stressing over the little things in a bid to perfection.
Those missing loved ones will try hard to continue this ritual but will do it with the nauseating stomach churning realisation that things are different this year no matter how much they try to carry on as normal. For them there is no hiding the fact that there is one less place to set, one less present to wrap, one less stocking to fill and the kiss under the mistletoe for Greg and other lovers is just not going to happen no matter how much they will it too. There is nothing to take away the fact that person once in their lives is no longer.
As I dusted off my Christmas tree decorations and hung them up I realised how those without loved ones must feel and how lucky I am this year when it could have quite easily have been a different story. My Christmas tree truly tells the story of my life.
How can you look at that story when a big part of it is missing? When I read Greg’s article in the newspaper I realised how true these words are and how I had done the right thing in November by pledging to bake mince pies on December 17th in honour of Jo and other loved ones memories (read part 1 or part 2) . The trial in Bristol for Jo struck a real emotional cord with me and I just knew that this year I had to bake mince pies to finish what she started last year before she was murdered.
I am not an avid Charity supporter so I had no idea what to do next. I nervously explained my idea (read part 1) to my tutor group at school and asked them if they could help me raise a few pounds through a cake sale for Greg’s (Jo’s Boyfriend) Just Giving page. I am not an professional charity supporter but when I realised that Greg is supporting the Missing People charity to thank them for the help they gave when Jo went missing and to support other families in the future I knew I wanted to do something to help. Leading up to the cake sale over I subjected Twitter and Facebook to an onslaught of invites to join the event and raise a mince-pie or cake in memory of Jo and those we miss (read part 2) this Christmas.
This has truly has been a personal voyage of blood, sweat and tears but one that I would take any day over losing someone I love. Together we wanted to let families like Jo’s know that even though our television screens may not be filled with their missing or lost loved one’s faces that we have not forgotten. For me I just wanted to make sure that Jo’s mince pies got baked this year as they should have done as a baker I know I would appreciate it.
My tutor group and I have donated the money we raised from our little cake sale to Greg’s page which raised £140 in one cold windy hour outside our Sixth Form Centre. Although the amount will never compete with other charity fundraisers it comes from a small group of unknown people who believed in my cause and have supported me throughout the last 8 weeks as well as my family, followers and friends and for that I feel very fortunate. It is also a coincidence that the amount allowed Greg’s fund to finally move over the £5000 mark.
Some say that the youth are uncaring but this group of individuals did their absolute best for the cake sale and of course they moaned a little along the way but what teenager doesn’t? Afterwards they were so pleased with their efforts and their eyes had a glint of amazement when I told them the total raised in less than one hour on a small stall on a cold day during an hour of frenzied cake selling. This is a moment I know I will be proud of for a long time to come. I even heard one say as they left “we should do this again next year!” and as Greg’s page is open until 2015 perhaps we will. So community spirit is not dead and the youth and people like me do care but like any good Christmas pudding the spirit sat deep at the bottom will only rise to the top given enough encouragement and stirring.