Epworth’s Paul Verricho on never ever giving up

Those following our story will have read the fabulous news that TeamVerrico was officially recognised as a charity on August 5.

I won’t bore you with too much detail as to how laborious the process was (think hours of form filling, justifications, policy writing and chasing). Suffice to say I was very grateful to my friend Jackie McHale from Wroot who did most of it for us!

Folk may think that, because I’m a lawyer, doing the paperwork would be easy. The reality is very different!

There are many benefits from charitable status. Most obviously, we can claim Gift Aid, use JustGiving and receive corporate donations from companies that only donate to charities.

There are additional governance procedures we have to follow. Our constitution and grant-making policies are both on our teamverrico.org website.

Fundraising efforts continue. The great folk at Metres to Miles have re-named the Isle of Axholme half marathon after Anna. I have committed to running while pushing Lucia (!) although I am hoping for more than a little help from (better) runners doing the event with me. Anyone wanting to run for TeamVerrico should drop me a line to receive one of our T-shirts.

One charity trustee, who used to work with me, is competing in an Ironman triathlon next week. He promised Anna he’d do it and has already raised over £2,000. In addition, some kind folk have dedicated Ice Bucket Challenges to our work. Scunthorpe United are planning a special event at the Milton Keynes Dons game (the closest home game to the day Anna died) to support her charity.

In my personal life I’ve been back to Italy on holiday and had a bit of a life re-shape, in part due to a profound conversation I had with Tom Kimmel while he was staying with me.

It went like this: Tom: “Paul, you’re a good guy, but you work a lot. Do you need to while you’ve got such young kids?”

Paul: “Hey, you know Tom, I just need to make sure I’ve got some cash put aside for a rainy day.”

Tom: “Paul, no disrespect, but from where I’m standing, looking in on your life, it’s f***ing pouring”.

As a result I decided I should spend more time at home. From Monday I am working a four-day week that allows me to pick up and drop off Lucia at school more frequently (her first day at Epworth Primary Academy was last week) and spend time with my two-year old. Alessandro has, on reflection, not had the best start. He has missed out on a lot of fabulous experiences Lucia had. I’ve not been able to take him swimming as I can’t manage both in the pool at the same time. A daddy/son day on Mondays should help sort that out.

The need to re-align priorities was re-emphasised to me recently when a good friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour and given weeks to live. This lady is a vegan and an excellent runner – a superb professional – and medicine is unable to help. She’s been very clear that, as she enters her last days, she is sustained by experiences and memories.