The power of a 12 year old

For this week's Pause for Thought I was asked to address the theme of 'Coping with Suffering' as it's world Cancer day this week. I wrote a script based on the amazing work one of our Bat Mitzvah pupils is doing to raise money. It began as a mitzvah project, and has gone completely viral! Georgie Sussman who we're very proud of has been appearing in not only the Jewish papers but ITV's This morning and the Evening Standard. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to give this particular Pause for Thought as it's too much of a plug for the BBC to be comfortable with, so I thought I'd give it a little push here, because it really is an incredible example of how we can respond to suffering. If you'd like to support Georgie you can find The CupCake Ward Cookbook on Facebook, and you can buy it here: And if you're really lucky you can catch Georgie at WLS on a Sunday morning and buy one directly from her!
"Aged 13 our teenagers have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah service to mark their increasing independence as they begin to take responsibility for their Judaism. We ask our teens to explore what this means by performing a number of religious obligations. One 12 year old, Georgie, whose Bat Mitzvah service will be later this summer, wanted to do something charitable that would mean something to her. A young family friend, Lucy, was born with a brain tumour, and as there weren’t the facilities to deal with the tumour in the UK she had to travel to Arizona to have it operated on. Lucy is now nearly 5, and while the op went well, her tumour is still growing. Georgie adores Lucy, and in her honour wanted to do something to help other families going through the same trauma.
So Georgie committed herself to raising the money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which is building it’s Cupcake ward specialising in neurological illnesses, to help them buy the extras that help make these difficult times a little easier – like mummy beds so that parents can stay over with their children. Georgie initially thought she might raise the money with cupcake sales, but soon realised this wouldn’t be enough. So she began collecting recipes from friends and family to sell a recipe book alongside the cakes. Somehow Georgie’s request for recipe’s began to circulate, and celebrities and famous chefs sent in their contributions. Her parents were so impressed at all the work Georgie was putting in that they called in some favours and got the book printed for free, so that every penny spent on buying the book goes straight to Great Ormond Street. 12 year old Georgie has produced a cook book and is well on the way to raising her minimum goal of £9000
We wanted our teens to understand that being responsible Jewish adults is about more than a one off celebration and service at synagogue. Georgie has understood so much more than that, and has inspired people around her by responding to the suffering of one little girl to help many more families in the same situation. We don’t often understand why these things happen, but Georgie helps us understand what we can do to make a difference!"
As I won't be delivering this script tomorrow morning, tune it at 5.45 am on Radio 2 or listen again on iplayer to hear something else about coping with suffering - nice start to the weekend!!!


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