The Virgin Money Giving Ebola Appeal

Ebola Crisis photo

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the largest and most complex outbreak since the virus was first discovered. As of 19 November, 15,145 cases and 5,420 deaths had been reported worldwide, the vast majority of them in these same three countries; Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Four Virgin Money Giving charities have set up appeals to help fight the disease. Read about the work they are doing and show your support, please donate today and help #StopTheSpread!

DEC Logo The DEC member charities are 13 lead UK aid charities working urgently to help stop the spread of the disease and providing support to those affected by the crisis.You can help stop the spread by donating NOW!donate-button_tcm31-37161
BRC-logo A DEC member, the Red Cross activities are focused on working with communities to ensure they understand how to protect themselves from the Ebola virus disease and how to prevent the virus from spreading.donate-button_tcm31-37161
Kings College The King’s College team of UK-based volunteer doctors and nurses are at the heart of the Ebola response in Sierra Leone and playing a critical role in the UK Government’s response, collaborating closely with the British Military, Government of Sierra Leone and NGO partners.donate-button_tcm31-37161
Oxfam Logo A DEC member, Oxfam is helping to ensure people in Sierra Leone and Liberia get treatment, providing water for treatment and isolation centres, protective equipment and hygiene kits. But urgently need your help to reach more people including setting up prevention programs in Senegal, Gambia and Guinea Bissau.donate-button_tcm31-37161
Plan A DEC member, Plan UK are working to stop the spread of Ebola in the worst affected countries of Guines, Liberia and Sierra Leone through prevention and awareness-raising.They’re also helping children who have been orphaned as a result of Ebola.donate-button_tcm31-37161
Street Child logo Street Child has been responding to Ebola since the first cases appeared in Spring 2014 but as the impact of the disaster, and scale of unmet need, has been starker, the charity has started radically scaling its response and is seeking donor support to further increase its efforts for the most vulnerable.You can find out more about the work Street Child do in one of our recent blogs Street Child Ebola Crisis Appeal.donate-button_tcm31-37161

Walk Home this Christmas for the Wounded Veterans


walking home for christmas

Instead of ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ the famous Chris Rea song, how about changing that to ‘Walking Home for Christmas‘ this year?

Walking With The Wounded, the charity which supports wounded ex servicemen and women into work have launched their new campaign to help raise much needed funds this Christmas – Walking Home For Christmas.

The idea behind the campaign is to encourage people to ditch the bus, car or tube from work and walk home instead to support those homeless veterans who don’t have a home to walk to this Christmas.

If you’re unable to walk home you can still donate here or you can fundraise by setting up a Virgin Money Giving page and joining the Walking Home For Christmas Campaign.

All of the money raised will go towards Walking With The Wounded’s Home Straight programme which focuses on supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans who have become homeless to help them get back into work.

Get those walking shoes out at the ready, good luck!


A Report Back from New York City!

new york

Back in August, we announced the winner of our Early Bird competition. It was for all those Virgin Money London Marathon runners that set up their fundraising pages early and Paul Lott was the deserved winner. The prize was a trip to New York City to watch the New York City Marathon with an overnight stay and £500 spending money – something to get you motivated ready for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015!

Paul recently went on his trip and kindly gave us a write up of how it went:

new york 2My wife and I were delighted and very surprised to discover that we had won the Virgin Money Giving prize for raising some money early for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 of an all-expenses paid trip to see the New York Marathon at the start of November.

Highlights included seeing the sun setting from the top of the Empire State Building and the lights of Manhattan coming on to highlight both the 1930s art deco architecture and the modern skyscrapers. My wife particularly enjoyed the shopping in 5th Avenue! Walking around Ground Zero and seeing the memorials and rebuilding work was moving and meaningful.

On the day of the marathon our hotel leant us a couple of bikes and it was great fun cycling around Central Park to cheer on the runners. Seeing the leaders coming through mile 24 in a faster pace than my normal training run was inspirational and motivating. Shouting on the runners and in particular the Brits felt like I was giving something back for the support I know I will receive in April when I run in London.  Then up in Harlem about mile 22, we positioned ourselves next to a James Brown style band who were bashing out the hits to encourage the runners who like myself were the 4 – 4 ½ hour finishers, who showed a lot more pain and gritted determination on their faces.

Seeing the New York Marathon has encouraged me to train harder so that I can complete the 26 miles without walking and enjoy it at the same time. I have always wanted to run the London Marathon and I am delighted to be running as a charity place for Barnardo’s the children’s charity. I run for them as my Father was raised in various Barnardo’s homes in London in the 1930s and 40s from the age of a few weeks to 16 yrs old. He in turn was a Social Worker so that he could give something back for the upbringing he had received through Barnardo’s. Although this charity does not run children’s’ homes anymore they still do fantastic work to support vulnerable children and young people so I am delighted to have the opportunity to do what I can to support them.

If you like Paul’s blog, why not make a donation and show your support here 

Dream Marathon Winner – Sarah Johnson

Blog Image Sarah Johnson

We announced our first winner back in October for the ‘Dream Marathon‘ competition and this month the lucky winner is Sarah Johnson! Sarah has won her dream 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.

Sarah is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for her Brother Chris. He sadly died of Bowel Cancer aged only 30 earlier this year. Sarah says: “Ever since Chris died, running has been super hard.  When you run you are alone with your own thoughts; which at times can be liberating, at others debilitating.” 

Sarah has decided to turn her running into a positive and this is why she’s taking on the challenge of the Marathon distance. She’s running for MacMillan Cancer Support and says that: “Although given a terminal diagnosis, Chris spent much of his time helping others; via social media and raising money himself. I want to remember and celebrate his attitude and resolve”. 

 MacMillan Cancer Support have a motto that Sarah strongly believes and so did Chris ‘no-one should face cancer alone’.

You can show your support and help Sarah achieve her fundraising target here.



Today’s Fundraiser Friday blog comes from Jo who will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon for The Prostate Cancer Research Centre.

Jo tells us “I’ve always loved sport, namely football and running and after moving to Basingstoke from Coventry over four years ago, I decided to get back into running following a long-term injury and joined Chineham Park Running Club who inspired me to want to run further. I’d only run up to 10k beforehand but since joining, I have run up to half marathon level on a number of occasions and an endurance 20 mile relay.

With football, I’m an avid supporter of my hometown club, Coventry City Football Club, and travel all over the country for them, despite now living 120 miles from home. I have been to over 80 Football League stadiums following Coventry! A beloved family member takes us on these road-trips and it was becoming obvious something wasn’t right with all the breaks we were having on our journeys, and that he was having trouble with his prostate, which was later confirmed.

Jo, a keen runner, was struck down by a stress fracture, which she says totally knocked her confidence. She also found the injury affected her mood, as she finds running not only aids fitness but also acts as a release and helps clear the mind.

During this spell, Jo watched the Virgin Money London Marathon and says “I decided that after moping around, [she] was going to focus on getting the injury sorted and next year, I was going to run it.” Despite it having taken 6 months to to get the all clear, Jo will now be fulfilling the dream of running the Virgin Money London Marathon.

The Prostate Cancer Research Centre tell us that currently a man over 50 has a 1 in 11 chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and that, due to increased lifespans and widespread testing, it is predicted that a boy born in 2015 will have a 1 in 7 chance of being diagnosed with the disease.

Jo says “I knew for sure that I also wanted to raise money for a charity. You feel pretty useless when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness. However although medically there’s nothing you personally can do to help, emotionally/mentally you can be there for that person and physically you can do to raise awareness and funds to help research. The Prostate Cancer Research Centre seemed the obvious choice and I cannot say how fantastic they have been. I definitely chose the right charity.

Jo has thrown herself into her fundraising and has combined her love of football and running by raising funds by obtaining items from some football clubs to auction off. Jo also says “my employers have been fantastic too in allowing me to hold a company BBQ, as well a Marketing Team holding a World-cup Sweepstake & Red Carpet Auction“.

You can support Jo via her Virgin Money Giving page and you can follow her training, and her passion for the Sky Blues, via her Twitter page.

The Marathon Man

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Just like everyone that watches the Virgin Money London Marathon on TV, Rob Young was inspired by what he saw. But unlike everyone else who just went back to their daily routine the next day, Rob decided to take on an incredible, some might say crazy challenge – to run at least a marathon, every day, for 365 days.

By the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 Rob a.k.a Marathon Man UK will have smashed the Guinness World Record for the number of marathons run in one year (male). And also fundraised a phenomenal amount of money for charities close to his heart. At present he’s raised £16,678 but his target is £200,000 to help three charities – NSPCC, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Dreams Come True.

We were very inspired by Rob’s story so we recorded an interview for you to be suitably amazed too, make a cuppa and enjoy…

Why did you choose the three charities you did to support? 

What’s been the most rewarding part of doing this challenge?

What are the difficulties with your challenge?

Why did you choose to do this challenge?

Were you a keen runner anyway? 

Have you had to get a whole team in place around you (physios, nutritionists, etc)?

Have you ever done anything like this before? 

What’s that inspirational quote, line or thought that keeps you going over all of those miles and miles of running? 

Inspired? Donate here to help the Marathon Man reach his target. Plus you can follow his epic journey to the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 start line here.

The Great Big Minibus Giveaway

Blog image

The Axis Foundation is a charity aiming to provide opportunities and support to people, projects and causes that make a positive lasting impact on the community. They have a fantastic giveaway for a deserving charity – a 17 seater Mercedes Minibus! 

They have purchased the minibus and will be giving it away to a charity that needs it most, no catches. If you’re a charity that would benefit greatly from this new vehicle then apply now! All you need to do to enter the giveaway is complete the application form  telling Axis Foundation how you would make best use of the 17 seater Mercedes.

The closing date is 21 November so all applications need to be in by then, entries will then be shortlisted by the Foundation Trustees and three lucky charities will be chosen to go through to a public vote to decide who can make the best use of this fantastic prize. Find out more details of the giveaway as well as the terms and conditions here.

Good luck!

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