Be more Kevin

The longer it takes, the more time I get to spend with him

I was chatting to someone yesterday who asked me where I get the ideas for these blogs from. They wanted to know whether I had a lot of topics to cover, or whether it was more on-the-hoof, and whatever seemed most topical. I had to confess to her that sometimes it’s a case of a looming deadline meaning I need something that I know will get me over the line so to speak. In other cases, I said, there’s phrase, a paragraph, a sentiment or an image that I want to finish with, and the hard task is finding a topic that will allow me to shoe-horn in what I really, really want to share with a wider audience. Today’s is one of those.

I use up a lot of words in this blog decrying people who seem to be incapable of doing their jobs properly, o who seem not to care whether they do a good job or not. People and organisations who run roughshod over the needs or others. Sometimes these people are in government, sometimes they are in organisations or businesses. Every day it seems there is more evidence coming out from the Post Office Horizon enquiry that people in the higher levels of the Post Office – a Government-owned business let’s be clear – knew there were issues with the IT system, knew they were pushing prosecutions of innocent people and cared not one jot for anything other than saving their own tax-payer-padded backsides. Then we have the water companies, taken out of public ownership and handed to the corporate world, which pays scant regard to the environment, preferring to pump acres of raw sewage into our rivers, seas and waterways, in order to safeguard their dividends.

The energy companies – also privately owned – who are making out like bandits on the back of wholesale gas prices, even as household bills double, triple, even quadruple. The companies and government departments whose customer service teams scattered to the four corners of the country to work from home during the Covid 19 pandemic, and who are still claiming ‘unprecedented times’ to explain their crap service.

So there’s all this, but then there are all the hundreds of people doing the best they can for other people. I was with IBC’s Dave Robertson on Monday, who sets off with his team members today for their trek to lands End, ready to start the cycle ride to John O’Groats in aid of the Construction Youth Trust’s Maddie Rose Campaign and Unitas, Barnet Youth Zone charities, two amazing causes. The donation link is here if you haven’t already donated and want to.

Then there’s this guy. *shoehorn alert* Kevin Sinfield OBE decided to run 7 marathons in 7 days to raise £77,777 to aid motor neurone disease research, after his friend and Leeds Rhinos rugby league teammate Rob Burrows, who played at 7, was diagnosed with this cruellest of diseases in 2020. He did that. And then some. He ran 101 miles in 24 hours in 2021, and last November ran seven back-to-back ultra-marathons – 40 miles each day. He has, to date, raised over £7m for MND charities.

On Sunday, Sinfield completed the Leeds marathon, pushing Burrows in his wheelchair, carrying him in his arms over the finish-line. If you can find someone in your life who looks at you like Kev looks at Rob, then you’ve done OK.

In a world where you can be anything, be more Kevin.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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