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Share Your Story: The Bright Green Penguin Story so far

Share Your Story: The Bright Green Penguin Story so far

As you may know, I started Share Your Story's Live A Good Story back in Jan, and have been working on it ever since (missed Feb meet up due to family emergency) & March meet is coming up soon

In preparation for that, want to think what I want to achieve, my three goals were

1. Finding a job in Brighton

2. Setting up a project for Bright Green Penguin (will be known as BGP from now on)

3. Looking into setting up BGP so I could earn an living from it

and here is how they are going 

1. Not going well at the moment. Partially feel I'm either too experienced or not enough experience. 

2. Deciding between using the Lego show I am doing already, or more of a BGP idea

Weirdly I think picking the Lego show as a cheat, as something I'm already doing. Also I feel I need to do something as BGP, something to make people aware of what I do. The Lego show is happening in May at Dice Saloon. Have a few non Lego related ideas

My two original non Lego ideas are a BGP map, a foldable map which features on certain area, championing the creatives,  charities, community groups, supporting local shops. Sort of make it a map/magazine

The other idea is a Doing Good board game / card game / iSpy book. Wanting something to encourage people to do good, recognising Good behaviour

3. This is the big problem, as I can't seem to decide on what I could do. Part of this problem is not being able to focus on what BGP is all about.

Or should I be focusing on Brighton Bricks. Lego is something I love, but just doing BB feels like I missing out on all the great stuff BGP does.

Even though I have been doing BGP a few years now, I'm still not sure what it is, and I think that is why I feel take up has been so slow on this. I have a quite a few followers on Twitter but don't feel I have had any real impact on my the world

Also think I go from one idea to another, like a magpie & cant focus on one thing. Maybe you this is something I need to change, or embrace

So need to focused on what BGP should be about, what I want it to achieve. I know the main thing is I want to expend it from being just me to a bigger thing, to working with others

*BGP career ideas*


Running people's social media accounts

Selling other people's creative work

Running / Hosting events

Creating my own products

*Brighton Brick ideas*

Selling Lego sets / Lego related items

Organising Lego events for kids

Organising Lego events for businesses, team building, problem solving etc

Custom Lego printing

Setting up a BB shop / cafe


So I hope to have for the next Live A Good Story ideas of what I could do


If anyone has any ideas / suggestions would be great to hear

42: Meaning of my Life

On 24th of Feb (tomorrow) I will be 42, and as we know from Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of life is 42. What is the question is unknown. 

So from 24th Feb 2017 to 23rd Feb 2018 I will be attempting to work out the meaning of life. Well not quite, I will be looking at the meaning of MY life. I will be looking at how I can improve my life, looking at what I enjoy, look at what I could do more of. Reducing my bad habits, making better use of my time. All in the aim to creating version 43 of myself.

So I have a list of 42 things I want to do, and will be charting my progress for the whole year on how I go.

If anyone has any suggestions or able to help me on this journey let me know 

In no particular order

1. Read 42 Books 

2. Build 42 Lego Sets

3. Give Out 42 Homeless Care Packages 

4. Go on The Dad Course 

5. Play 42 Game Sessions 

6. Learn to Draw

7. Have 42 weeks of walking at least 60,000 steps a week 

8. Do 42 laps of BHT Around the World Challenge 

9. Get 4,200 Twitter Followers as BGP

10. See 42 films in the cinema 

11. Run 42 Times 

12. Give away 42 unwanted items 

13. Sell as Brighton Bricks 

14. Complete Live A Good Story course

15. Complete 42 blog posts not including blog post about this 42 Challenge 

16. Hold Lego show at Dice Saloon

17. Hold Lego Fire Walk event 

18. Interview 42 people for BGP

19. Register Brighton Bricks as a LUG

20. Get a job based in Brighton 

21. Have 42 blog posts from other people on BGP

22. Go to at least 42 Exhibitions / Sporting Events / Shows / Gigs etc 

23. Cook 42 meals from scratch

24. Think of a cool hashtag to join this all up

25. Learn A Magic Trick 

26. 42 Random Acts of Kindness

27. Raise money for charity 

28. Have a popup store 

29. Interview 42 people for BGP / BB 

30. Be A Dad 

31. Produce a BGP Plan for the future 

32. Produce a Bright Bricks Plan for the future 

33. Look at what I do to waste time & how I can make use of this. What is my definition of wasting time

35. Start book swapping 

36. Walk More

37. Explore more 

38. Do, not just talk 

39. Sort out my storage unit, in an effort to discover my past (and be more organised)

40. Enjoy life, smile more, laugh more. Ensure I know what is important to me 

41. Keep revisiting this list & updating / changing where needed. This is a tool for me to improve my life, not a tick list or something to beat myself about if I don't achieve something 

And finally  

42. Re-Read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to discover the meaning of life (if I don't have time for the book, check out the classic TV series, which is amazing. Should check out the radio series as never heard that. Did see the stageshow a few years ago

Singing for Sanctuary- Sat 28th Jan

You are invited to join a sea of voices Singing for Sanctuary in the magnificent St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton this Saturday 28th January 2017 for a massed choir fundraising event. 

Singing for Sanctuary is a community, open-access event for those who love singing together to support the efforts of charities who work with people living in challenging situations.

This is our first year and we have chosen the charities RISE UK, Voices in Exile and Miss Represented to sing for.

We are absolutely delighted that Peggy Seeger, the Radio 2 Award winner for Best Original Song for Swim to the Star, supports Brighton Sings. Peggy says:

“Every song a gem, hopeful and inclusive. Everyone singing every one of the songs.  Every pound made donated to charity. The start of a trend that will spread to everywhere. Heart-warmers: the concept, the songs, the singers.”  Peggy Seeger

Featuring a diverse repertoire of song – from shape note to blues, Brazilian jazz to South African solidarity, and folk to (choral) big beat and including choral contributions from folk legend Peggy Seeger and gospel great John Mark Harrison intertwined with performances by local singer songwriter, Mike Reinstein and Brazilian musician and artist, Gui Tavares.

Our choir have been rehearsing independently and attendingworkshops to ensure a gorgeous four-part harmony performance for you.

Brighton Sings is a brand new movement for Brighton – one which we hope will become an annual event.

2017 for Bright Green Penguin

What has 2017 planned for Bright Green Penguin

Last year I applied for Share Your Story's Live A Good Life award & managed to get a place. This award gives me a place on their program, which is all about helping people tell a good life story.

My application was about Bright Green Penguin, and how I want to transform it, make it better. So going to use this blog post to think about some of my ideas

First off, what is the purpose of Bright Green Penguin (BGP). I wanted to do something to help improve the world. I never know what impact I have, if I have any at all but I still do this because I believe the world can only get better if everyone makes an impact not matter how small it is.

How do I want to make the world a better place? By sharing, promoting, championing great ideas, creatives, community initiatives which I hope may inspire other people. Like buying from local shops through the great #justacard campaign. Or volunteering while getting fit with Good Gym

So what do I want to achieve 2017?

I want to make BGP more real, not just a Twitter & Facebook account


Ideas I have include

  • Offering pay as you feel consultancy
  • Setting up networking events
  • Become an online store or sell local designers crafts at Art Fairs / Craft Fairs
  • Looking at what recycling options I can offer
  • Creating a game which helps promote the three Cs of BGP - creative, charity & community
  • Create a hub where people can share ideas
  • Offer a connection service, i.e. if you are a company looking for a charity to support, or a community project looking for sponsors
  • Create an leaflet / map promoting the local shops & community projects which need supporting

Plus also I will be developing Brighton Bricks, my adult fan of Lego group.

If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions please let me know at




Bright Green Penguin's 2016 Review

Wow, what a year 2016 has been. What with Brexit, Trump and the seeming endless list of celebrities who died it doesn't appear to be a good year. BUT I want to focus on what I think was good about 2016.

Favourite Highlight of the Year

The South Coast Challenge. Walking 100km / 60 miles in 24 hours 22 mins was the main highlight of the year. Especially raising £1461.03 for the great Sussex charity RISE.
Walking from Eastbourne starting early morning, along the cliffs at Beachy Head, and then along the South Downs to Brighton, and the half way point in Hove, where we had food and set off again with headtorches for the 2nd half where you were walking through the night, until you reached Arundel.

Highlights include

  • The beautiful scenery of the South Coast
  • Joining up with another Nick for the 2nd half, who really helped me when walking through the night.  
  • The amazing support from people, on the walk, as well as friends and family before and during.
  • The amazing support from RISE and giving me the cool orange hoodie
  • The training walks, getting to discover Sussex, as well as listening to lots of great podcasts

Favourite Podcast

The Cycling Podcast - All about cycling, and having been a Tour de France fan for years, this has really help me expand my knowledge about this great sport. Hosted by three journalists and some friends, they give a friendly and enthusatic telling of the news and issues in the cycling world. Also by donating £10 a year you can become a friend of the podcast and have access to special podcasts. Some of the 2016 highlights include Ep2 The Rise and Demise of HTC-High Road, Ep 7 Operacion Puerto: The Day the Tour Almost Died, and E8 Mount Ventoux: Heat, Wind & Fear. Read More. Available via iTunes

A few other favourite podcasts

  • Serial
  • This is Not A Fish 

Favourite Films of 2016

Things That Prove Life in 2017 Will Be Better Than We Thought

  • Library of Things - Friendly space in West Norwood where you can borrow, share and learn with your community. Read More
  • Share Your Story - Not for profit group in Brighton and Hove providing a space to hear people's stories, to inspire us to live better ones ourselves. Read More
  • Foodshed Cook & Creche Course - Foodshed running courses for families who want to learn how to cook, whilst their children play in the next room. Read More
  • Brighton Etsy Team - One of my highlights was the Brighton Etsy Christmas Market at the Corn Exchange in Dec. If you are a creative, and on Etsy but don't follow them, then do so now. Read More
  • City Reads - Promoting shared reading across communities in Brighton and Hove. Read More
  • The People's Fridge - Community Fridge in Brixton where people can give and take spare food. Read More about them on Twitter
  •  #justacard - a Brilliant twitter campaign to encourage people to support local shops & independent creatives 
  • #Bright50 & #BrightFuture Campagin by ZSTa an architect firm based in Brighton, all about how we can improve our city  

Favourite Articles of 2016

Some of my favourite articles/news stories I shared via Twitter/Facebook this year, and via my Flipboard book

  • Artist Turns A Cement Mixer Into A Giant Disco Ball - via Bored Panda. Read More
  • The Good Gym appear on the BBC. Read More
  • 6p a Minute Cafe - via BBC. Read More
  • Artist wearing every piece of trash he creates for 30 days. See More
  • Brighton For Nerds (featuring my Brighton Bricks) via We Love Brighton. Read More
  • 7 Things To Say To Young Girls That Isn't About Them Being Cute - via Buzzfeed. Read More
  • Street Pantry Invites People to Leave Goods for Those in Need - via Huffington Post. Read More
  • Haircuts for the Homeless - via BBC. Read More
  • Host A Silent Reading Party - via Book Riot. Read More

Favourite TV Shows of 2016

Comic Book

One of the things I have got back into this year is comic books, and below are some of the series I have enjoyed.

And a few other highlights 

  • Heroes Run - I ran this race as The Flash this year. Race is raising money for education projects in Africa. A rest in 2017 but will be back for 2018. Read More
  • Lou Reed's Drones - part of Brighton Festival. Read More
  • World Book Night - I gave out books as part of a care package to rough sleepers in Brighton. Read More about World Book Night

Charity Raffle - Raising Money for Rise

You maybe aware I'm am doing a 100km walk at the end of August, raising money for Sussex based charity Rise

I am holding a raffle, which tickets can be bought online (see below) and having extended the raffle from my recent charity night I be looking at an venue/event this month to draw the tickets (Any suggestions please let me know)

Tickets are £2 each, and you can buy tickets in advance by donating to my Justgiving page

And in the comments section say Raffle tickets, and a contact email address, and I will then email you photos of your raffle tickets.

Prizes include

Print by Linescapes

Seedbombs from Foodshed

Prints by Leighisinkpixel

Lunch for 2 at Chilli Pickle

Books by Queen Spark Books

£30 voucher for Fatta a Mano

Star Wars Print from Manic Minotaur

and Prizes from

Dice Salon

Made Brighton

Painting Pottery Cafe

Present in the Lane

Bedsit Games

Just DayDreaming

Bison Beer

Art Shop and Pottery

Any questions email me at

Stonewall Housing Investigate How The Older LGBT Community Live

Stonewall Housing have announced a pioneering study into the need for specialist housing for the older LGBT community.

The housing advice and support provider has been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Commonweal Housing to carry out their study, which will establish the demand for dedicated LGBT housing.

CEO of Stonewall Housing, Bob Green, said: “The feasibility study is a great opportunity to really investigate the housing needs and requirements of the older LGBT community.

Read More

Independent Venue Week & Gig Buddies / Stay Up Late

Stay Up Late is a charity, who's aim is to promote the rights for people with learning disabilities to choose how they live their lives.

Independent Venue Week is a 7 day celebration of small music venues around the UK & 'a nod to the people that own, run and work in them, week in, week out' Like Stay Up Late / Gig Buddies they like to celebrate the diversity of the wonderful smaller-scale live music scene across the UK.

Stay Up Late will be subsidising tickets for adults with a learning disability to bring an accompanying person for support (thanks to Arts Council for funding this). Many venues may already offer this as it is general good practice for ensuring disability equality, but as this can be difficult for smaller venues they would love everyone to take this opportunity to enable people to enjoy Independent Venue Week.

See below for Stay Up Late's guide on the practical stuff

The practical stuff:

We can refund a ticket for a helper / personal assistant / accompanying person of a disabled customer going to check out a gig during Independent Venue Week, up to the value of £12.

ow to get your refund:

- Let us know the gig that you are planning to attend first (there's a limited amount of money so we need to know numbers)

- Email Madeline a copy or picture of your ticket or receipt –

- Let Madeline know your bank details or the address to send a cheque to.

- Let Madeline know the name of the disabled customer, and organisation that are in contact with Gig Buddies that you heard about Independent Venue Week through.

After the gig, the audience member with a learning disability should send Stay Up Late a review of the gig. This could be a bit of writing, a video, a recorded interview, a photo, a picture… The most creative one will win the £40 voucher. Check out our guide to doing reviews here.

Send your reviews to Madeline! They will be judged by some of our gig buddies people, and the winner will be announced in February.

Spare Chair Sunday - Contact the Elderly Campaign

Did you know a third of people over the age of 70 in the UK eat alone every day

So The Bisto Together Project and the charity Contact the Elderly have teamed up together to form Spare Chair Sunday

See below for details about what Spare Chair Sunday is about

Sunday lunch should be a time of togetherness. The one meal we all look forward to, where we sit down with friends and family for good food and good times. Yet for 1 in 7 older people, it’s the loneliest time of the week. 
So The Bisto Together Project and national charity Contact the Elderly have joined forces to create Spare Chair Sunday. A project that allows people to offer up a spare chair at their Sunday Lunch to an older person who would otherwise be eating alone.
For just a couple of hours of your time, you could make someone’s day. And of course, there’s nothing better than sharing some good food, great tales, and laughter around the table! If you can spare a chair at your table and host a meal, we’d love to hear from you. To sign up click here

Hackney Winter Night Shelter is Looking for Trustees

Hackney Winter Night Shelter is Looking for Trustees

Hackney Winter Night Shelter provides a warm welcome and dinner bed and breakfast and support for homeless guests who would otherwise be out on the streets during the coldest winter months. The shelter is open from November – April.

During the season we work with guests and throughout the year our link workers continue to assist them with finding more stable accommodation.

We are looking for additional trustees for our associated charity “Hackney Doorways”.

For information on what being a trustee entails and how to apply, please write to