Rapid Hardware's fantastic gift…

Those fantastically generous people at Rapid Hardware in Liverpool have ensured that Forsight's plant sales this year will break all records…

The store heard on BBC Radio Merseyside about our efforts to grow garden plants for sale in aid of the Appeal and they immediately offered to supply us with all the flower seeds we could possibly use. We collected the parcel on Saturday… and discovered within it an absolute feast of flowers to grow and sell – £100 worth of seed which will convert into thousands of pounds over the coming years.

The Forsight Appeal Committee – and anyone in Merseyside who has an eye problem now, or in the future, which will require an operation – owes Rapid a very big thank you: their generosity has made a very real contribution to saving sight in Merseyside.

The pictures here show just the very start of the growing, which began as soon as we were back from Liverpool! The seeds on the bench are only those which can be planted in February; there are many more boxes of them for planting in March, April and May.

* We should also acknowledge again the generous gift of herb and vegetable seed from Suttons, which will also be grown for sale. A full list of the plants which we will have for sale – and how you can buy them – will be posted on this website before the end of March. If you would like more information before then about how you can buy plants in aid of Forsight – or you would like to circulate lists to colleagues and friends to ensure we make as much money as possible – please email jenny@forsightappeal.org.uk

£30,000 donation sends appeal total soaring

This week we have fantastic news to report… Arrowe Park Hospital League of Friends has donated a stupendous £30,000 towards the £150,000 EYESI Simulator. The cheque was presented to Mr Mark Watts by League of Friends representatives Ellen Clark,  Beryl Dare, Ken Robinson and Jean Kaye.

The money was raised through the League of Friends shop at Arrowe Park Hospital.

This magnificent cheque means that our aim of buying the entire EYESI suite of software by the end of the year has become a realistic hope.

Said Forsight Appeal Chair Mike Unwin: “This is a huge amount of money to receive in one go and we can never thank the hospital's League of Friends enough. It gives us real impetus to work harder still to raise the remaining money and ensure our eye surgeons have the equipment they so desperately need.  We have already bought the machine itself and the first set of software – which allows trainees to practise cataract surgery. This League of Friends donation takes us a long way towards being able to buy the software which simulates retinal operations, repairing the back of the eye.”

The EYESI is already playing a crucial role in saving the sight of a many people across Merseyside, and the Appeal committee is determined to get it fully operational as soon as possible.

Mike added: We know that many people are planning to raise some money for the Appeal this year, and we can only beg them to still do so. We need as much help and support from other local organisations as possible.

“I cannot thank The League of Friends enough for their wonderful generosity in supporting Forsight.  Anyone in Merseyside who needs an operation to save their sight will owe these wonderful people a lasting debt of gratitude.”

Sensational Suttons!

We have just received a bumper parcel of 100 packets of flower, vegetable and herb seeds from the fantastic staff at Suttons… for us to grow on into plants for sale in aid of Forsight.

We have basil, lemon coriander, thyme, chives and sorrel, 'Hundreds and Thousands' tomatoes, yellow hanging basket tomatoes, chillis, peppers, outdoor cucumber, courgette and onions as well as phlox, marigolds and pansy…

We can't thank Suttons enough for their unbelievable generosity – they have ensured the Forsight plants sales are set to break all records this year.

If you would like a full list of plants available for sale, email jenny@forsightappeal.org.uk

Mike’s growing success

Intrepid runner and Forsight supporter Mike Dowsett is also a very keen gardener and allotmenteer, and he sent us pictures of the Forsight plants he bought and grew on – and news of their success…

Mike’s allotment is not only his main source of food all summer, it is the site of his very own memorial garden to the Hillsborough disaster victims (Mike is an avid Liverpool supporter). All spring and summer last year he bought plants which had been raised for sale in aid of Forsight, with a special request that we grow more red flowers this year to fit his Liverpool FC theme! (Everton supporters are welcome to try to out do Mike with orders for blue flowered plants.)

Mike wrote: “Please find attached a couple of images of your wonderful plants I grew last season. With your help, I came 3rd out of over 100 allotmenteers in the flower category of the Caia Park Environmental Group. This, I’m sure will go down well on the Forsight website, encouraging more people to buy what are now award-winning flowers!!!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our gardening team will be growing an even wider range of plants this season – salads, herbs, vegetables, plus annuals and perennial flowers. If you would like to be notified when the plants are ready for sale to avoid the disappointment of discovering your favourites have sold out, or you would like to put in special requests for plants, email jenny@forsightappeal.org.uk.

Please support our fundraisers!

We are very grateful to all those who are organising events in aid of Forsight, and this month we are particularly calling for support for a marathon runner, as well as looking for takers for a golf day and a quiz night…

INTREPID Forsight Supporter Mike Dowsett (who works in Arrowe Park’s Eye Department) will be running for Forsight in this year’s London Marathon in April 17th. Mike is currently setting up a JustGiving page, where he will be thrilled to receive your sponsorship donations. In the meantime, you can email him c/o jenny@forsightappeal.org.uk with your offers of support and we will pass them on…

GOLF-MAD? The Mayor of Wirral is holding a Golf Day at Bromborough Golf Club, Raby Hall Road, Bromborough on Sunday, 8th May 2011. The cost is £200 for a Team of 4. The ticket price includes a round of golf, three course dinner and prize giving. Contact Sue Carroll at Wallasey Town Hall on 0151-691-8527 or
email: suecarroll@wirral.gov.uk for tickets.

QUIZ-MAD? The Mayor of Wirral is holding a Quiz Night on Friday 25th February at The Queen’s Royal, Marine Promenade, New Brighton, Wirral CH45 2JT starting at 7.30pm. The evening includes Chicken & Chips in a Basket and tickets are £9 per person with a maximum of 6 per team.
To book a team, contact either Peter Kenrick, Quizmaster, tel – 0151 632 6258, mob – 07779 902943, email – prkenrick@hotmail.co.uk or Rick Myers, tel- 0151 482 3145, mob- 07887 631218, e-mail- rick.myers@wirral.autistic.org

Brainteaser answers…

Here is the long-awaited solution to the absolutely MADDENING Christmas 2010 Brainteaser.

We were delighted at how many we sold, and astonished that so many people spent such a long time unravelling it.  Our  Brainteaser compiler David Lennard received 28 answer sheets, with 11 people scoring more than 90. Fantastic!
For the full list of answers, click here (
122KB pdf download).

Special congratulations go to:

1st:  Chris Chantler, Bath with a stunning 99 points (£50 prize).
2nd:  Jean Baker from Derbyshire with 97 points, and… (£30 prize)

3rd:  Wayne Allen, of Greasby, Wirral with 96.5 points. (£20 prize).
Their cash prizes will be sent to them very soon…

The remaining entrants scored as follows:

Brian Stewart   95.5

Mr J.E Taylor   95.5

Paul Fairfield   95

Mrs J. De Prez   94

John R. Gill   93.5

Mrs S.T. Nicholls   92.5

Richard Pownall   90.5

Nikki Thomson   90.5

Mrs K. Damen   89

Miss Ingrid Jones   89 

Angela Sant    89

S. Grogan  80

Vikki du Bois  86.5

Jill Lowry  85.5

Miss Christine Byrne  85

Jean Warley  84.5
R.H. & P.M. Amery  83

Eleanor Blore  82.5

D.M. Jones  81

Edna Crummie  80.5

Mr M.J.Dowsett  80

Marc Shaw  78

David Stott  77.5

Diane Humble  72.5

Mrs Hartley  65 

In addition to those above, who submitted their brainteasers for marking, many hundreds of people bought them and battled with them throughout the autumn and Christmas seasons. Thank you all so much for supporting Forsight while driving yourselves potty in the process!

If you would like us to run another brainteaser in the summer, do email and let us know at jenny@forsightappeal.org.uk so we can gauge interest…

We think they are the perfect (low weight) addition to a holiday suitcase – and a great way to help us save sight in Wirral, Merseyside and beyond… If enough of you agree, we will make sure another one is ready for you, just after Easter… Thank you all, so much, for your support.