A Word from the Chairman.

John Bryden is the Chair of The Kirsty Bryden Memorial Trust.

(Click here for John's running blog on the Moscow Challenge)

11 August 2013:

I have been reading the paper this morning, the Times, which has been reviewing the major charities and showing the multi million pound deficits of the organisations.

The Times reports £168,000 pay salary for some CEO's and massive pay packets for other staff in many cases.

It is easy to see why people become sceptical about charity. We hope that by starting at the bottom and continuing with Kirsty's personal ethical values we can help to restore public support is some way. We have no paid staff, but our charity is able to deliver and work at the highest level, in countries which are finding it difficult to work with the West is a very positive step and we need to ensure it continues to gain support.

I see some religious sectors in this country they are uneasy with Gay weddings, but the West creates massive media hype against Russia for declaring a stance by refusing to allow minors to be exposed to gay ideas until they are old enough to make their own informed decisions. While at the same time sometimes female vicars are still shunned in certain remote areas of Scottish Highlands today. We find it easy to blame others before evaluating our own weaknesses a trait, which helps to widen the divides within our societies.

This is true for every field. Charities become insular and even compete by getting into competition with others often becoming guarded and protective, trying to ensure they get the coin in the bucket rather than it going into someone else's.

Kirstyskids.org is about Charities working together, because the children come first. That's why we do what we do. Not for money but for the children to receive better care.

When I set up the Ben Nevis Challenge it was about getting charities to work together. My idea came from first hand experience of charities being annoyed by other charities being present at major organised events. I heard some charities saying, "we wont support you, we are doing charity work for our people".

I went round every charity stall at The National Bike show in Edinburgh  2013 and spoke with the charity collectors and volunteers. I do this on every event. One lady told me you can come to our Armed Services event, but you are not allowed to receive cash when you are on our land. The event is to benefit our troops.

I discussed this with the organiser. Informing her that the soldiers injured and suffering alcohol abuse, PTSD, violent tendencies have affected their families. We care about the whole package because it affects the kids so we need to work together. Why not bring the entire family, soldiers as well to Trust House we can make a difference.

I was asked by a blind charity to give them £500 so we could help a blind child. I said no, we will help you guys help the kids by bringing them to Trust House, they can touch the animals at the Seal life sanctuary, feel the sea breeze and the wind in their hair on a speed boat, catch a fish and feel the incredible feeling as it tugs on the line. This will cost you nothing. We must work together for the children. We are still waiting for a family to contact us with a child who has seriously impaired sight!

We decided to show what working together could do, so we arranged for charities to come to Ben Nevis and help us carry the bike to the summit, a seemingly impossible task. But working together with other charities we achieved the seemingly impossible and carried the bike there in seven hours, a world first. Kids with life limiting illnesses helped us by physically getting involved!

Before charities can move forward they need to loose the massive debts preventing money, which was donated for the benefit of the children, being diverted to stoke up the pension funds, there has to be serious considerations about working together for one purpose - the children.

I want people to understand the importance of this. The children are why we are there, not for personal gain and what's left goes to the kids.

Lets start at the basics here join with kirstyskids.org in supporting each other. This planet would be a dreadful place without charities. They can and often do change the hearts and minds of dictatorship around the globe. They improve living conditions and diminish the suffering of impoverished starving children, but there is so much more that could be done if we started back at the basics.

Jan and I have done just that to practice what we preach, our home is an open door for the benefit of the children who need us. We work across continents. Not going by Jet or business class, but on a tiny we bike carrying a donkey :)

We need support to help the kids and that's other charities getting involved with us. We need to receive donations.  None of it goes to our house keeping, personal living expenses or holidays. Our accountant via Lochaber Voluntary Action ensure we are completely transparent.

Lets start to put children first by putting kids first, we help the world become a better place.

Hope this gives you a wee bit of insight to kirstyskids.org.

Wheels moving slowly.

John C Bryden.