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20th October 2013

It is a wonderful feeling to know that we now have what must possibly be the best team in the country, who will be joining me and will be going with me to Moscow on 14th January 2014.

When I left on the wee 125cc motorbike to try and forge working friendship and links with Russia, which will benefit our children between the two Nations I had high hopes. These hopes are now a reality.

I look forward to meeting everyone at Vera Hospice project and to our Scottish team, sharing ideas and working with Vera to help produce a fantastic children's hospice in Moscow. :)

None of this would have been possible without the support of everyone who has egged me on, provided me with shelter, friendship, sponsorship grafted with me, fundraising and organising or supplying spare parts for the bike.

We have a growing team at Kirsty's Kids, everyone is vital to our continued success in helping to make a difference to the lives of the world’s children.

100% of all donations received to date have been committed to various direct assistance equipment for children, special camps and projects across the UK. Nothing is ever used for staff wages as everyone of Kirsty's Kids members are unpaid volunteers. In-fact even CHAS specialists are not being paid by Kirsty's Kids. They have volunteered to provide their time free of charge in attending Moscow for the mutual benefit of the children. We have a meeting on 8th November in final preparation for this trip.

This is an incredible show of commitment to the care of children, not just in Scotland, but working in partnership with other countries, to enhance the short lives of those children. Also, families who find comfort and support, unrivalled by the Children's Hospice Association Scotland team.

I always maintain charities working together and committing to each other can achieve seemingly impossible goals. This was evidenced when we got together to carry the motorbike to the top of UK’s highest mountain.

A special thanks to Michael of Sheredar for his incredible help and support while I was in Moscow. The work he is doing with his team to build the first cancer rehabilitation centre, in the outskirts of Moscow, is absolutely incredible. Kirsty's Kids would love to be able to fund a group of kids, with assisted needs or life limiting illnesses, from Scotland to be with Michael when the Sheredar project opens next year.

It is still my commitment that children in Scotland should become friends with the children of Russia. Growing up together in friendship, as young children will change preconceived ideas and lead to improved relations between our Nations.

Remember kids are not born to hate each other, they learn that from adults. Prejudices are handed on from one generation to another. It’s time to stop this. Together with education programme's, schools connecting and sharing cultural differences, we can make the world a safer place. Let’s use modern technology as a tool to improve and connect children around the world in friendship.

Thanks everyone for the continued support. I have a feeling this is just one of many good things to be achieved by the volunteer team of Kirsty's Kids.

I believe you may get some peace and quiet in 2015, as I keep thinking of children in Mozambique. Anyone heard of fish and chip babies? Why should any new born child be wrapped in newspapers to be kept warm the moment they leave their mother’s womb? Surely in our modern world something can be done to help stop this. Projects such as self sustaining textile industries which can utilise scrapped cloth to weave new clothes and blankets should be possible?

As orphans reach the age of 17 years old they leave the orphanages, many only to go back on the street. Prostitution and crime are their only means of survival. Some of these kids then have children. These kids are picked up as orphans when the parents die and so goes the vicious circle.

If a project could be pulled together, through working in partnership with other charities, to make it possible then maybe just maybe. Watch this space…

Perhaps there is enough life in the wee yellow bike to make a round trip to Mozambique in 2015. That’s taking the bike from the Scottish Highlands, to see if we can work together and make a small difference the some of our world’s children.

We would not have been able to have achieved any of this without my wife, Jan, who is always there and working to make sure things run smoothly. Even standing by me and working tirelessly at home, while her daft husband took the tiny motor bike across the arctic circle to within 650 miles of the north pole.

Jan you are my world and my rock. Thanks for putting up with this grumpy old man and for always being there. Love you more and more with each grey hair you acquire, most of which are probably of my making XXX.

John C Bryden.


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