Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 places competition winners

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We are delighted to announce the 10 winners of our Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 places competition.

A huge congratulations to the winners:

  • Peter Dahdouh
  • Jason Taylor
  • Douglas Currie
  • Imelda Easthorpe
  • Martin Delaney
  • Joe Tiley-Walker
  • Richard Owen
  • Brendan McCann
  • Tim Fearn
  • Martin O’Brien

If you weren’t lucky enough to win a place, all is not lost. We have a long list of charities who still have places available..

So pick your charity and get on your bike!

Our final #DreamMarathon winner

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On this #FundraiserFriday we’re are delighted to introduce our seventh and final Dream Marathon winner, Manny. Manny has won a dream Virgin Money London Marathon experience, including £100 of Adidas kit, two nights in Central London, upgrade to the Green Start and entry to Virgin Money’s after-party.

Manny was, in his words, “gobsmacked” to win the prize. He told us “I’ve never ‘won’ anything in my life, so this is not only a real surprise, but a once-in-a-lifetime milestone“.

Manny is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for the charity MACS, the Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society, which is the UK’s national charity for children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes. They support families of children born with Microphthalmia (small eyes), Anophthalmia (no eyes) and/or Coloboma (cleft of the eye) and their services are accessed by around 500 families around the UK and some from further away.

Manny tells us that he chose MACS after he “fell in love with their simple, honest, caring approach to helping children with microphthalmia and anopthalmia“, something which he’d never previous heard of. He went on “I’m always keen on small charities that put their heart and soul towards selflessly helping others. MACS is a tiny charity, but no less deserving of our support – in fact, I fear smaller charities sometimes get overlooked. Other than being short-sighted, I struggle to comprehend how difficult these children’s lives, and those of their families, friends and carers go through, so I feel privileged to give something back.” Manny also said that running for MACS is what will help him push past the wall at mile 23.. That and “the look of relief from my wife, and a Belgian raspberry beer“.

About the Virgin Money London Marathon, he says “I’ve watched it year-on-year, impressed by the scale and organisation and have often thought ‘I should do that!

Manny’s final word was to wish the best of luck and success to all participants and helpers on the day and then to tell us what he’s looking forward to post-Marathon: “Being able to look my wife straight in the eye and say ” Can you, please, mow the lawn this afternoon?”

You can support Manny in his fundraising efforts via his Virgin Money Giving page.

Richard is Shaun the Sheep

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Nine-year-old Daniel, from Farsley, thought that his father Richard’s mammoth charity cycle ride needed a little boost, and so has urged his dad to undertake the challenge dressed as Shaun the Sheep. As the first baby in Leeds to be diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy, Daniel has received support throughout his life from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), and now his dad is supporting them in return via his 800km cycle ride.

Richard is taking part in Nightrider™ – an incredibly unique 100km overnight ride through the streets of London. Not content with just the 100km, Richard will also cycle there and back from Leeds clocking up an impressive 800km in total.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people. They point out “Deaf children can do anything other children can do, given early diagnosis and the right support from the startDeaf children should be valued by society and have the same opportunities as any other child.

Richard’s challenge is even more impressive given he is not a seasoned cyclist.  He says:  “The challenge is very tough and even more so when you consider I’ve only been riding a road bike for a year and maybe a few months before that commuting on a mountain bike.  Prior to cycling, I’ve never done anything athletic and do get asthma”. 

He has these words of encouragement for anyone else thinking of taking part in Nightrider™: “If you’re worried about the distance, you will be amazed at what you can achieve if you just try it.  I used to think that 10 miles was a long way….a few months after that I was doing 30 miles then a few months after that I did my first 100 mile ride”.

Nightrider™ takes place on 6th and 7th June 2015.  While the capital sleeps, over 4,000 cyclists will ride through the night and raise £2 million for hundreds of charities. Highlights of the event include Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Royal Opera House and the London Eye.

You can find more information on Nightrider™here.

Richard is hoping to raise £4000 from his 800km Leeds to London and Nightrider™ challenge and you can support him via his Virgin Money Giving page.

The KiltWalk 2015

kiltwalk final 3 We were delighted last year to announce that we became the official fundraising partner for one of Scotland’s fastest growing charities, The KiltWalkThe event continues to grow, with more people walking, more events taking place and more charities being helped. The KiltWalk was founded in 2011 to help Scottish children from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who suffer from life-threatening illnesses, get the care and attention they deserve.  The charity does this by organising sponsored walking events which raise money to support a huge range of Scottish children’s charities. There are 6 KiltWalks coming up in Scotland, of various length:

and there are even KiltWalks overseas – including the Kiltiemanjaro KiltTrek. The KiltWalk is a fun, family friendly, colourful event and a great way to help some of the country’s most disadvantaged children. To find out more about the events, or to set up a fundraising page, visit the events page on Virgin Money Giving.

Virgin Money Giving maintenance

Essential maintenance

We’ll be carrying out overnight maintenance to the Virgin Money Giving website on Sunday 15th.

As a result the website will be unavailable from 20.00 Sunday 15 March until 07:00 Monday 16 March.

We appreciate there’s never a good time to make changes to the website, and do our best to schedule the outages over night and when the website is quieter. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but it’s important for us to carry out this type of maintenance to ensure our system runs efficiently to support your fundraising.

If you have any questions or there’s anything we can help with please email theteam@virginmoneygiving.com and our helpdesk team will get back to you from 9:00 Monday morning.

Luke will have a #DreamMarathon

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On this #FundraiserFriday we’re are delighted to introduce our fifth Dream Marathon winner, Luke! Luke has won a dream Virgin Money London Marathon experience, including £100 of Adidas kit, two nights in Central London, upgrade to the Green Start and entry to Virgin Money’s after-party.

We asked Luke what made him choose the Virgin Money London Marathon, he told us “I ran the London Marathon back in 2010 and it hurt, a lot! Mainly due to the fact that I underestimated just how tough it would be. Around that time I was really getting into my long distance running having already run four half marathons, completing each of them in a time of under 2 hours. Keen to seek out the next challenge I applied to run in the London Marathon and I got in. I thought I had enough in the bag from the halfs that I had completed. I was wrong. I completed the course (just) but felt like I had unfinished business. I knew that if I was ever fortunate enough to get the chance to run London again, I would treat it with the respect it deserves and truly commit to a training programme. Training this time round has gone so much better than last and I cannot wait to line up at the start and get going.

Luke won our #DreamMarathon competition, which is entered by receiving a donation on your Virgin Money Giving page. The money that Luke raises through running the marathon is going to SUNS (Service User Network Swindon). Luke saysI get to run for a cause that is very close to my heart. SUNS are a local charity who provide essential support to those who suffer with mental health issues. They rely solely on donations from members of the public to do what they do and so I know that every penny I raise in running London will make such a big difference.

When we asked Luke what keeps him going and what he’s looking forward to, he told us, “The generosity of those who donate and a decent set of tunes on my iPod (although I’m not sure that my daughter would agree that my choice in music is any good!) I’m looking forward to eating, loads! Probably pie, chips & gravy J And of course celebrating with family & friends.

You can support Luke via his Virgin Money Giving page.

Kate Gross, Someone Special

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2015 saw the launch of Virgin Money Giving’s “Someone Special” fundraiser functionality, whereby numerous fundraisers can open pages in honour of someone special, whether that be to celebrate a person’s recovery, to support someone by raising money for a cause important to them, or to fundraise in someone special’s memory.

Today is #FundraiserFriday and we have a special guest blog from Jean Gross on why it’s so important to hit the £15,000 Virgin Money fundraising target for the charity Street Child.

“My daughter Kate Gross died on Christmas Day at the age of 36, ten minutes before her five year old twin sons Oscar and Isaac woke to ask if they could open their stockings. She’d been diagnosed with advanced colon cancer two years before.

I wrote about her death in an article in the Guardian that has now, amazingly, been viewed by more than a million people.

After someone you love dies, you search for meaning. A friend of mine said, when her partner died ‘I searched everywhere but I couldn’t find any’. She’s right – you can’t always find meaning. But what you can do is make meaning. And that is what we are doing by trying to raise funds for the charity Street Child.

As a small child, Kate became quite worried about the possibility of losing parents. ‘Is she a ‘norphan’, Mummy?’ she would ask, a question shaped by favourite books (The Little Princess, Ballet Shoes, The Secret Garden) and Disney movies (Bambi, Snow White). When first diagnosed with cancer, she wrote a blog post about her fear that her children too might end up as ‘norphans’.

They haven’t, and there is no reason why they should. They have a lovely Dad. But other children are less fortunate.  When Kate died, she asked for donations in her memory instead of flowers at her funeral, to be made to her favourite charity, Street Child.  The charity supports children in Sierra Leone, where Kate herself had worked, and it has much to do with ’norphans’. A few weeks ago we had an email from them, saying that they are planning to open new starter schools in rural areas once the Ebola epidemic is over, and wondering if they might name one after Kate. One day, we hope that Oscar and Isaac will visit that school.

Our target is to raise £15,000 for Kate’s school. We are getting there. Please donate today to help us build a future for these children.”

You can find out more about the Someone Special functionality on our website.


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