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Why is ‘Sarah’s Promise’ Destination Judo’s Chosen Charity?

on Sun, 05/08/2012 - 11:28

Karen Preston explains.

On 10th March this year we were travelling to London to celebrate Marc’s birthday. On the flight to Gatwick we bumped into Pujit Gandhi, whose girls, Himika and Bhavi, attend Destination Judo in Dunfermline. We decided to travel into London together, a decision that was to set in train a whole series of coincidences that led to Sarah’s Promise becoming Destination Judo’s chosen charity.

On the Gatwick Express we asked a gentleman if we could join him at his table. He, as we would later find out, was Colin Hardie, the founder of Sarah’s Promise. We started to chat and the coincidences started to flow .......

· Colin knew just 1 person who did judo – it turned out to be Marc’s good friend and hawking teacher, Lee McGrorty

· Colin had just visited India - not a well-known part, but one with which Pujit was familiar

· Colin, an architect, had designed our friend’s house

· Colin lived near our family in Bathgate

And so the coincidences and the links between us all grew and, as we chatted, we came to understand the reason for Colin’s visit to India.

Colin had a daughter, Sarah, who, tragically, died suddenly at the age of 9, following an epileptic seizure. Devastated by the event, Colin and his wife Myra, set about raising funds in her memory, with the aim of making a difference to the lives of other children. Initially they decided to build an orphanage for unwanted girls in India. The Sarah Hardie House opened on 9th February 2010 and is now home to 200 little Indian girls. But they didn’t stop there. They also went on to build the Sarah Hardie House for street boys in Peru. And, so far, this little local charity has raised over £200,000 – every single penny of which goes to help disadvantaged and unwanted children. Their next venture is in Africa where they want to build a home in Tanzania for children whose parents had AIDs. Some of these children are orphans, many of them have AIDs themselves.

And this is where Destination Judo comes in. Part of this development is a clinic to give these children the support and care that they vitally need. The clinic will cost £20,000 to build – and we are going to fund it!

Destination Judo children are fortunate in that they have loving families, health and happiness. Through their efforts we have raised over £28,000 in the last few years for Children with Leukaemia. We know that our children can rise to this next challenge, and over the next year or so you will be seeing a range of different ideas and ways to raise the funds.

We know that in these austere times everyone seems to be asking for money and it’s not easy to find anything extra. However, we are a big club now with thousands of children. If each child and each family contributes just a little over the next year or so, we can do it!

So, that’s why we’ve chosen Sarah’s Promise. We felt that these things didn’t just happen by chance. They happened for a reason. And for that, Marc, Pujit, Pujit’s wife Nupur and myself have come together to form a little team to work on this. Pujit and Nupur are both doctors, and with Callum, Colin, Glynn, Marv, Danny and Carol-Anne on the case, we can’t fail!

Incidentally, there was one last coincidence. As Colin left us that day he gave each of us a little badge of an Angel. (Sarah had drawn this in a Xmas Card and it is the symbol of the charity). After we said our goodbyes at Victoria Station, the next day, in the heart of bustling, cosmopolitan London, Pujit and Colin bumped into each other again.

At the Angel Tube Station. Of course!

PS: You can read more about Sarah’s promise on and