From School to Schooling: Shout Out To A Couple Of Local Legends Killing It In The Name Of Charity…
(Come and have a go if you think you’re heart enough)
If there’s one thing I love seeing more than Meatloaf (the dude, not the food), it’s seeing people flourish.
My hub and I come from a very small town in North Yorkshire called Northallerton. There’s not much to go at really, except the 3 Cs:
Charity shops, chavs and the clap.
When we were at school, there were these two lads, David & Jonathan, known affectionately as The Stretts.
Twins by nature, twins by nurture, although they don’t actually look alike at all. Anyway, these guys were always destined for big things; you could tell. They stood out. People were threatened by stand outs.
Ultimately, they weren’t afraid to be themselves, and for that, I tip my hat to them.
So then, when news started to spread about Jonathan’s open-heart surgery and their work with the British Heart Foundation with their project ‘Six Times Open’- a bold mission to raise £100k for vital heart research – the little world we grew up in started to pay attention.
Post by post, article by article, these two were getting traction like no other from our town had got before. It was exciting, new, and to some, I imagine a little weird.
So where do I fit in. Well, to be honest, I didn’t really fit in to it at all until very recently. At school, we were fond acquaintances really – not what you’d call good friends, just mutually fond.
It wasn’t until I started Lucy with a Why Ltd and offered some complimentary marketing help to charities that we got talking again (minus a brief stint where we went to visit their wood as a potential wedding venue).
When I spoke to David, it was the first time I properly understood what a horrific time Jonathan had been through…he was, at that point, just about to undergo his sixth open heart surgery.
See, thing is, the bond between these two is immense – even stronger than what I knew existed before.
David – I can feel it – is so fiercely passionate about their work with the BHF, which is all in aid of his bro – it gave me goosebumps initially – in a lovely way.
I didn’t know how, I just knew I wanted to help.
Fast forward a couple of months and talk turned to the Ticker Ball. This Ball was to be their crown and glory, their flagship event, their Royal Wedding…And Matt and I were fortunate to get an invite.
(Oh hey there, just chillin’ in our Sunday Bests)
And so it was, on the 18thMay, we rocked up to the most prestigious hotel in London and watched in amazement as The Stretts smashed it out the park at their Black Tie do at the Savoy.
Expertly organised and beautifully displayed, a champagne reception was soon followed by a contemporary dance performance and a 3-course Michelin star meal.
To call it anything other than “whoa there” would be an insult.
A few celebrity guests including NEIL’S DAD from Inbetweeners and some bloke from Made In Chelsea added an extra zest to the event, which was coupled with some incredibly touching stories from Heart Surgeons, patients and ambassadors.
Top that with a pretty fancy auction delivered by a bloke who’d kill it on Homes Under The Hammer, and a jazz band sexy as hell, and you can see why, come close, we were in bewildered awe at what we’d just seen.
6 months planning and a £10k return, the Ticker Ball was a touch of heaven borne out of Jonathan’s heart surgery hell, and a fine example of what can be achieved when purpose and passion collide.
Of course, the Ticker Ball isn’t the only fundraising event Six Times Open have accomplished – in fact, since January 2018 they’ve done no less than 15 events, and one of their most recent one was the 24 hr 3 Peaks Challenge, which, to our surprise, we just happened to be doing on the same weekend and saw them at the top of the UK on Ben Nevis’ wily rocks.
(Yo, bit soggy)
It’s safe to say, these two, David and Jonathan Strett are nothing short of trailblazers, risk-takers, fundraisers, and norm-shakers.
Their altruistic mission to raise £100k for BHF is simply staggering, and it is with a warm heart I say on behalf of our diddy Yorkshire town, well done guys – we’re so very, very proud of you.
If you love the sound of these guys’ work and wanna see more of their stuff, check our their website at: www.sixtimesopen.com