One Team One Dream One Love
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One Team One Dream One Love – Hannah Baker was 33. Outgoing, gregarious, loving, annoying… and list-maker extraordinaire.
Hannah is being described to me by her husband Eddie. He thinks she was an “amazing person”. Hannah is no longer with us. Earlier this year she fell down some stairs and never got up.
In places, I realise that this is undoubtedly one of the hardest interviews I’ve ever had to make. Eddie is in tears as he describes what happened.
When he reads this back, I’m sure that Eddie will have tears in his eyes just as he does now when he’s talking to me. During the interview he receives many comforting hugs when it all gets a bit much. But I know that he will then have a huge smile afterwards when he thinks about the love of his friends, and how they’re keeping him going.
I’m with Eddie at the ‘Mucky Duck’ in Winchester, along with Jamie Aspin, Colin Parsons and Paul Hare. They’re just one-quarter of a team which is going to do something positive in her memory.
Hannah would probably have a wry smile on her face if she were listening to the guys speak, because she would be planning the event from the start. And asking the team to cut down on the booze and ciggies! I’m looking around the team and I’m sure they’re on their second pint already, and I’ve only been there five minutes.
The project is huge; to help the Karatu Education Fund which is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community of Karatu in Tanzania. Proceeds of money raised are used strategically to build and restore education facilities, and to improve the quality of learning in Tanzanian Schools.
Eddie and Hannah had spent their honeymoon in Tanzania in 2008 and fell in love with the place. So much so, they had wanted to take a sabbatical and spend a year out there helping. To kit out a classroom and science labs too we’re talking about £25,000.
The way they’re doing it is huge too. Next year is already being planned – it’s Kilimanjaro. This year it’s the 3 Peaks: Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. In 24 hours.
“Failure is not an option”, Paul protests: “I’ve been running up and down St Catherine’s Hill to train. That’s an event in itself”, he insists. “Yeah, there’s an earthquake in Wales each time it happens”, is the reply from Eddie.
I love the humour from these guys. They continue to talk about their determination: “Look, come on… how far is it from my house to those steps?” asks Paul. “About 200 yards…” jokes Eddie.
The classroom or science lab will be named after Hannah. “You read about things like things like this in the newspaper, and you believe that this will never happen to you,” says Eddie. “When it does, it really hits home; you just want to do something worthwhile.”
Jamie offers another helping hand to Eddie and also offers some more words of comfort: “You see people doing challenges and think they’re all as fit as fiddles. It’s great to see these guys get out of their comfort zone and do something worthwhile.”
Paul just wants to put a smile on Eddie’s face: “This is going to be a big challenge for me, but its all for one. I will get to the top of each one. No moaning.”
Colin agrees: “We’re not walkers. Most of us are not that fit. We’re overweight. But we’re getting prepared. We’ve got our personal trainer (Jamie), and it’s a family affair too. Wives and girlfriends are doing the driving. Everyone’s together. Hannah’s brothers, Alasdair and Brendan Jaynes are also taking part.
Jamie also encourages the team by saying that they are doing their training, they manage to get up and down St Catherine’s Hill around 15 times at a time. Nevis is only the equivalent of 10. “But maths is not our strongest point!”
As we carry out the interview, one other key member from the team, Jonathan Cardy, has been out training. He’s injured himself and is currently stuck in a forest and unable to walk. He’s arranged most of the challenge, so slightly worrying!
But the show must go on. Jonathan will be okay, hopefully. They’re determined to march on, to keep going… for Hannah.