• Joe Sims

No place for hate crime

Morning all! We often talk about the impact of our gesture being as powerful in some instances as the money itself. It allows people to feel seen, it inspires the feeling of civic responsibility and community spirit and restores ones faith in humanity and I hope more than ever this is true of this week's wonderful nominee. Abi was the victim of a gutless, cowardly hate crime because of her sexuality. We want to show these nasty cowards there is no place for their abhorrent bullying and we choose to live in a place of kindness, tolerance and understanding. There are far more of us than there are of you and our voices are legion and they will be heard. Abi sounds like an inspirational person who has overcome huge personal and physical adversity to inspire others to be themselves and I hope our small donation goes someway to showing that appreciation. Lots of love, The 500 Reasons Admin Team x

Dear 500 reasons, I would like to nominate Abi Ralph for consideration this week. Abi is an amazing young woman from Bridgend, who has faced many challenges throughout her life and overcome all of them. On Abi's arm she has a tattoo of her favourite quote - "I am a Survivor not a Victim" - I am sure when you read this email you will understand why. Abi was born with her intestines on the outside, a hole in her diaphragm. Her family were given 48 hours to turn her life machine off and then suddenly she started breathing on her own. Growing up she faced many challenges, as a baby she had more than half of her bowel and appendix removed. She was tube fed till the age of 3 and at 12 had her gall bladder removed. Nan used to call her a little miracle. She truly is. From a young age Abi was always herself at a time and in a place where it wasn't always easy to do so. She was badly bullied in school for being gay but continued to be visible and inspire others in the community to have the courage to be themselves. Last year Abi suffered pneumonia and her family were told she would not survive. She did survive this and was getting back to health, but very sadly only last week Abi was victim of an unprovoked hate crime in Bridgend town which has left her very badly injured and traumatised. This has given me the impetus to nominate her to help her once again back on her way to recovery. Abi is a wonderful, kind person who is much loved and does so much good. An amazing singer - she is a regular on the South Wales music scene with her band Tattoos N High Heels. I am nominating Abi because I want her to know despite this awful attack by a total stranger, there are kind good people in the world who want to support her, champion her, and get her back to where she belongs. If this nomination is successful, Abi would like to use the money towards cosmetic surgery for her surgical scars, which she hopes will give her confidence to recover and come back fighting. Below is a picture of Abi just after the attack, and a picture of Abi as she deserves to be seen - on stage being brilliant. Thank you so much as ever, Katie

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