Michelle’s 100k


Today is #FundraiserFriday and we have a guest blog from Michelle Nicholson, who is running 100k for two charities close to her heart.

I have set myself what I consider to be the bonkers challenge of running 10k (6.2 miles) every day for 10 days to raise money for two charities very close to my and my husband’s hearts: the Miscarriage Association and the Leicester Royal Infirmary Maternity Assessment Unit.

I run occasionally but until this year have never run more than 5k, so running 10k every day for 10 days may not seem a challenge for some hard-core runners, but it’s definitely challenging for me. My challenge begins on Friday 3rd July 2015 and I will run 10k every day, mostly locally except for two of the days when I will be taking part in two races: firstly the Leicester Race for Life on Sunday 5th July and second, as my finale, the Women’s Running 10k in Nottingham on Sunday 12th July.

During the Christmas of 2010 I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks pregnant. I was desperate to be a mum and did not deal with this well. I became obsessed with becoming pregnant; it consumed life and I consequently did not become pregnant again for almost 2 years. During this time, my husband and I had various fertility tests at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, there was nothing medically wrong with either of us, but it continued not to happen. Then, amazingly, one month before we were due to start fertility treatment, I fell pregnant. We now have an amazing son, Frank, who will be 2 years old in June.

I reflect on that time and still feel saddened and upset: it truly was the worse time of my life. I now realise that if I had spoken about it all at the time and opened up to people, things may have been different. This isn’t just a running challenge for me, it’s also my challenge to learn to talk about what happened. If I can raise awareness of the Miscarriage Association, or even reach out and help one woman/couple who are going through what we did, then mission accomplished!

The team at Leicester Royal Infirmary were an amazing support for us from the miscarriage all the way through to Frank’s birth and this is my way of thanking them. They currently have an appeal to refurnish the Dining area/Day room of the Maternity Assessment Unit. The ladies who are admitted to this area will have experienced difficulties during their pregnancy and will not be able to leave hospital, so the LRI would like to create a comfortable space where they can relax and feel as at home as they possibly can.

The Miscarriage Association is a small charity who acknowledges the distress associated with pregnancy loss and strives to make a positive difference to those it affects. The MA’s founding aims are: offering support and information to anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy, raising awareness of miscarriage and promoting good practice in medical care.

You can support Michelle via her Virgin Money Giving page.

Prize winners

winnerThis #FundraiserFriday, we’re delighted to introduce some of our fantastic competition winners, who are fundraising for various causes using Virgin Money Giving.

Firstly, introducing Paul Prothero, who won our final 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon competition, “Run. Raise. Relax.” Paul is fundraising for The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading children’s charity for children with brain injuries. You can read more about Paul’s story here. The “Run. Raise. Relax.” competition is now closed, however we have other competitions which are still running..

Each month between March and September, one Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon (RPFH) fundraiser will win our Royal Parks April’s On your Parks. Get Set. Go. competition; every donation received on a RPFH fundraising page in that month gets the fundraiser one entry into the draw to win, amongst other prizes, a £50 Runners Need voucher, afternoon tea for two at Grosvenor House and, of course a £100 donation to their Virgin Money Giving page. This month’s winner is Kerrie O’Dwyer who decided to run the event for The David Sheldrake Wildlife Trust She says “In September 2014, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, it was probably one of the most amazing days of my life. I got to see first hand how these beautiful animals are cared for by the wonderful Keepers, who dedicate their lives to saving the African Elephant and Rhino.

Every month, we give one fundraiser the chance to win a Pamper Package: every donation received in that month gets the fundraiser one entry into the draw. The Pamper Package prize includes chocolates and champagne from Virgin Wines, a Pamper Day package from Virgin Active and a £100 donation to the winner’s Virgin Money Giving page.  This month’s winner is Sarah Pryor who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon for Round Table Children’s Wish. Sarah told us “I still can’t quite believe it. I never win anything normally! My favourite things are spa days, running (especially with new kit), bubbles and chocolate, so you can imagine how happy I am to have won this prize!“. Round Table Children’s Wish is a charity dedicated to granting “handcrafted” wishes for children and young people with life threatening illnesses.

Superheroes for the RNLI


Batman, Spiderman and Iron Man running along the east coast of the UK‘ might sound like the start of a joke, but in actual fact these three superheroes are fundraising for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and they’re doing it in style.

Paul Greensides, Lee Vinny Jones and John Figiel are running for 17 consecutive days up the east coast of the UK; the total distance is over 400 miles and they will be averaging around a marathon per day. Not content with the challenge as it was, the trio will be doing this huge feat dressed as Spiderman, Batman and Iron Man respectively.

When asked why they chose this particular charity, the men told us that they each live minutes away from their local RNLI stations and have friends who serve on the crew, so the charity was the obvious choice. They told us “We decided that due to the perilous work the R.N.L.I. carry out daily, that the most fitting way to run, was in superhero costumes. We see what they do, their bravery and, as regular beach and sea users, we are very conscious of their work.

The RNLI provide an on call, a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service. With costs of around £385,000 per day to run the services, every penny of which is generously donated by the public, they rely entirely on the fundraising of people like Paul, Lee and John. The RNLI point out that the running cost might sound like a lot but “with an average of 22 people rescued a day, [the costs] are worth it“.

The three superheroes will be calling at various RNLI stations on their 400 mile route and say that the costume choice was down to “reflecting the heroic work done by the volunteer RNLI crews.

You can support Paul, Lee and John on their super challenge by visiting their Virgin Money Giving page.

Nepal disaster aid


On Saturday 25 April a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. It severely shook the lives of at least 5.3 million people and left many homeless. Nepal’s major cities, including the capital Kathmandu, have been badly damaged and rural areas near the epicentre have been completely cut off by avalanches.

Already over 8,000 people have been confirmed dead. Even those whose homes are still standing are sleeping in the streets because they are terrified by regular aftershocks.

DEC member agencies, their partners and numerous other charities are working urgently to provide emergency shelter, food, clean water and blankets. Once immediate, life-saving needs are met, they will work with individuals, families and communities to support them to rebuild their lives.

You can support the desperately important life saving work being done by donating to one of the below charities that are currently running campaigns to try to counter the affects of the earthquake in Nepal.

Disasters Emergency Committee


The Pod Charity


Dolma Development

Serve On

Sheffield Rag

Charity Logo Essex Boys And Girls Clubs

Essex Boys and Girls Club

Article 25

Nepal Recovery Fund

2015 Virgin Money London Marathon

Virgin Money London Marathon 2015

To everyone who took part in the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, a huge congratulations from all of us at Virgin Money Giving. Whether you sprinted, rolled, jogged or crawled over the finish line, you did something that most of us will only ever dream of. So wear that medal with pride; wear it to the gym, wear it to the shops and definitely wear it to bed.

Now you’ve completed the 26.2 miles, here are four things you can do this week to boost your fundraising total:

  1. Update your fundraising page with a photo from Sunday. You can find the official Marathon Photo images by searching your name on the tracker website, or if you had a friend take a photo at the start, the finish or halfway round it will help show everyone you did it.
  2. Change the information on your page, let your supporters know how the run went, what time you did and how it felt crossing that finish line.
  3. Send a quick email to everyone you know – including people who’ve already donated. Let them know how much you’ve raised so far, your finishing time, and include a link to your fundraising page. When your friends and family find out how well you did, they might donate again!
  4. You can download a finisher certificate with your time from the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, just put your details in here, you’ll find it just below your marathon timings.

We’d love to hear how it went for you, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Snap Donate and Bowel Cancer UK

snap donateWe are delighted to announce that we have partnered up with Bowel Cancer UK and SnapDonate to provide the 750,000 people who will attend the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon on the 26th of April the opportunity to donate money simply by ‘snapping’ the charity logo with their phones.

All spectators will have to do to donate to Bowel Cancer UK on Sunday is take a picture of the charity logo using the SnapDonate app. All donations made on the big day or in the run-up to the event will be passed onto Bowel Cancer UK.

The reason behind this partnership is to promote Bowel Cancer UK’s “Fantastic 50″, fifty runners who have a personal connection to bowel cancer and are fundraising for the charity this Virgin Money London Marathon. Bowel Cancer UK tell us “Some have been diagnosed with the condition themselves, others are supporting a family member through treatment, while many are running in memory of a loved one. Team members hail from across the nation, from Brighton to Belfast, but they all stand shoulder-to-shoulder in their determination to help save lives.

More than 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year. It is the second biggest cancer killer with 16,000 people dying from the disease each year, an average of one person every thirty minutes.

If you’re spectating at the Virgin Money London Marathon this Sunday, keep your eye out for the Bowel Cancer UK logo and snap it with SnapDonate to support the team. You can also support the team right now via their Virgin Money Giving page.

Jane Sutton’s London Marathon promise

In the first of a short series of films Jane Sutton talks about her motivation for running the Virgin Money London Marathon on the 26 April and how she is going to fulfil her promise to her son Stephen Sutton.

Stephen was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 15, the cancer was classed as incurable, when he was 19 he passed away on the 14th May 2014.

Stephen was a keen runner himself, even though he had a diagnoses of incurable cancer he always still thought that one day he would be able to run a marathon. Jane and Stephen both went to watch the London Marathon last year and inspired by the incredible atmosphere Jane promised to run for him.

Jane’s taking to the 26.2 mile course and fundraising using here on Virgin Money Giving, you can find her donation page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StephenSutton.

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