Monday, 25 May 2009

This is the second open event that I have taken part in in as many weeks. Although the Wessex Cycle Festival ( is not strictly a charity fundraising event it has presented a great opportunity to get involved. My small attempt to support both Wessex Heartbeat and the Festival was a 25 mile bike ride from Somerton to Glastonbury and back. As I struggled up a long steep hill, thankfully not to the Tor, I thought that on a bike gravity is rather like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I certainly loved gravity as I sped down the other side at 40 miles an hour! I was pleased with my time of 1hr 58mins. Although I felt it was a bit tough having to cycle 3 miles to and from the car park! We were blessed with a fantastic day and it was enjoyable cycling past fields of buttercups with lambs in. There were a couple of magnificent bulls, one black as coal and shining in the sunlight like satin.
The more I think about the sorts of things one can do to support charity the more I am convinced that charities should offer as wide a choice as possible. After all people support charities for very different reasons; the kids have left home, it's a milestone birthday, that special anniversary, they are recovering from an illness or a bereavement, having a midlife crisis ( I do hope that is not me!). Or they are just looking for the challenge of a lifetime?

If as a charity you only offer a couple of your own events you run the risk of appealing only to those people interested in those particular activities and that they will be free on those dates. You also take all the risk, which doses not strike me as prudent particularly in this economic climate. However, if you can offer a wide range of events and dates you maximise the opportunities for your supporters to find an event that excites them and at a time that suites them. Of course you can’t put on all these events yourself so partnerships with other charities and event organisers spreads the risk and in the case of open challenges negates the risk completely. I’m always mindful that money gifted to my charity is in my care and I have to be the best steward I can be. After all the money has not been given to the charity to pay for more fundraising.

I found the Just Walk event ( inspiring as there were over a 100 charities supported by 850 walkers. There were plenty of opportunities to expand your horizons both literally and by learning about other charities and the stories behind the walkers.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

One small step

I’ve taken the first step towards completing 1 of the 4 challenges that I set myself in support of all those people affected by heart conditions; well, actually 14,500 steps to be exact! The ‘Just Walk’ Challenge involved walking 60km through West Sussex and along the South Downs. The walk went really well, the weather was perfect and the scenery superb. It took me twelve and a half hours actually walking with an hours’ worth of rest stops. The last 4K was uphill, in the wood, in the dark and on flint!!

It was a little bit of a wake-up call as I had not done any training. I’m nursing two blisters but other than that have come off well. However, my next challenge, the ‘Wessex Cycle Challenge’ on Saturday 23rd May is only a week away and the route is 35k........ (I had better get my bike out this week!)

The Wight Challenge on Saturday 19th September requires some serious training, this Challenge consists of a 20 mile cross country cycle, followed by a 3 mile canoe, topped off with a 8 mile run!

If you would like to sponsor me or would like to take part in any of the Challenges, please click on the widget on the right of this blog to donate or to take part, please click on the links in this post.