As we enter into the final stages of planning for the Nordoff Robbins Six Nations Dinner, I am reflecting again on the history of this dinner, why I got involved and why I am as passionate about this charity as I ever was.
The idea for the dinner came some 22 years ago when I met Willie Robertson, who at the time was Vice Chair of the charity. We wanted to raise money and awareness for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and pay tribute to a rugby player. At the time, I was also playing rugby for Bath and England. Over the years, we have honoured so many true rugby legends including Jason Leonard, Richard Hill, Lawrence Dallaglio and Chris Robshaw. It has been a privilege to honour these players.
Fundraising for Nordoff Robbins remains one of my main goals both personally and through my business at VU Ltd. I have worked with and fundraised for so many charities over the years, but this is the only charity that I work with everyyear. I think it is because of the people. The people at Nordoff are so friendly, so committed, so professional and I consider many of them my friends.
I visited the Nordoff Robbins Music Centre a few years ago and watched a session with children. One cannot help be moved by witnessing their extraordinary work. It is very real and the difference they make is remarkable. The therapy brings joy, calm, development and progress for the children and genuine support for the parents.
I was not blessed with the gift and ability to play music. I did dabble in the saxophone until my teacher asked me to stop! But it has not stopped my appreciation and love for this art. Music really does touch the soul.
I feel that through this dinner and through my other fundraising endeavours such as the Truants Bike Ride, we can make a tangible difference. Please join me.