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Lembit Opik Charity Dinner in Bourne raises £530 for MNDA

October 20, 2008 1:10 PM

Lembit OpikGrantham & Stamford LibDems recent Charity Dinner for the Motor Neurone Disease Ass. was a resounding success. Lembit was an absolutely inspiring and energising speaker. The evening was a sell out and we were privileged to have Gordon Hickmore, President of the Lincs Branch of MNDA , joining us with 24 members and friends and members of the Grantham based NHS Outreach Team. Gordon told us that the association is a bit thin on the ground in the south of the county and that he hoped that the publicity in the media will raise awareness and help promote the cause. If this happens then the evening will have been an even bigger success. Before moving on to the evening itself, we would like to express our great gratitude to Phil Feminille at Fratellis at The Angel Hotel for his great patience in the run up to the evening and also for his great generosity. We had a magnificent meal and the staff were fantastic.

Harrish, Lembit and GordonLembit, who was accompanied by Stephen Keirney (Henley) impacted on the room as soon as he walked in. He is full of energy and good humour. As well as addressing the issues of MND, Lembit managed to make us all laugh (sometimes uncontrollably) and kept us not only amused but interested for the whole evening. Laughter really is the best medicine for the spirit, it was a lesson in genuine care watching Lembit go round everyone in the room at the end of the evening making us all feel special.

We all agreed that he a. looks far younger in life than on the telly, b. he has enormous compassion and dedication and c. is actually a deeply serious person with a real ambition to change things for the better by making us think about our attitudes and judgements. His belief that there are good and bad in every walk of life allowing him to work constructively with people of all political persuasion, faith and colour came across very clearly. It was inspiring and gave us a lot to think about. His experiences in Ireland, where he grew up, have obviously given him a great insight into why people go down the paths of violent action. He has certainly learned the lessons of how we should go about conflict resolution by looking at, not only recent history, but conflicts in the past. He believes strongly that you should engage with your enemy, however distasteful. Stephen Keirney (Henley) also spoke and was equally energizing and encouraging. We went away from the evening determined to press on with our LibDem messages - not always easy in such a large constituency. The evening raised not only £530 for Motor Neurone, but our spirits as well. In giving thanks at the end of the evening Harrish Bisnauthsing, our PPC, pointed out that Lembit and Stephen had travelled over 500 miles that day with still more travelling when they left. Well done Lembit and Stephen - and thank you again from all of us. If you want to know more about Lembit click on National on your navigation menu.