Have you ever woken up, anticipating the most hectic and stressful day, (because you’ve helped to organise it!), but it takes on a wholly unanticipated life of its own, from the moment it begins? Such was the launch of the James Brindley Foundation for Mum and Dad; television, radio and the papers, had all been invited, but very few confirmed their attendance; imagine the shock then, at 8.00am, when BBC Radio West Midlands called them on their mobiles, for a live interview with Alex Leicester, as they climbed the stairs in the Town Hall. Moments later, Rogan Productions were attaching microphones to them as part of a ‘fly on the wall’ coverage for BBC Panorama, immediately followed by Amy Cole and the BBC Midlands Today cameraman! By the time Mayor Longhi was ready to welcome everyone attending, two hours later, they had also been interviewed and ‘live streamed’ by Free Radio, Heart FM, The Express & Star and the Birmingham Mail!
The official launch of The James Brindley Foundation and The James Brindley Full Circle Programme took place at the Mayor’s Parlour, Town Hall, Walsall, on 2nd November, 2018, where Mayor Marco Longhi hosted the event and spoke about his admiration and support for the Foundation and the Brindley family.
Guest speakers, Wendy Moreton MP, Chief Inspector Andy Parsons, and Dr Ruchi Joshi, Clinical Director at The Manor Hospital, Walsall, all spoke passionately about the need for positive social change and the impact of violent crime, from a professional standpoint. Mum and Dad spoke about James as a person and the incredible affect he had on those around him, their personal devastation and the ripple effect of his murder, through family and friends and throughout the community of Aldridge. I paid my own, very personal and heartfelt tribute to James, through a pre-recorded video, speaking about him as my brother and best friend.
The speeches finished at 12 noon, followed by networking for the professionals, socialising and refreshments for everyone… except Mum and Dad! The media wanted to know how they were feeling and their reaction to the success of the event; meanwhile, Rogan Production’s microphones and camera were still rolling (which Mum and Dad had completely forgotten about!) so let’s hope Rogan’s editors don’t have to cut out too many spontaneous expletives before it is aired mid-February this year!
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