#fundraiserfriday: Sarah Hyde for Nelson’s Journey

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Sarah Hyde works with the charity Nelson’s Journey. To celebrate her first year in this role, she is fundraising for the charity, doing various activities to raise as much money as possible. Sarah is today’s #fundraiserfriday star.

Nelson’s Journey is a charity dedicated to supporting bereaved children and young people throughout Norfolk. Based in Norwich, we were founded in 1997, since which time we have helped hundreds of children between the age of 0 to 17, who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life such as a parent or sibling.

Sarah tells us more

“In September 2015, I celebrated one year at Nelson’s Journey. The time I have spent here has been absolutely incredible, I have learnt so much and seen the positive impact that offering support to children and young people that have had someone significant to them die.”

“Sadly I meet a lot of children which have been through a traumatic experience, a couple of months ago I met a child who discovered their mothers body after she decided to take her own life. I’m afraid this is something that happens quite often and is heart-breaking to learn about. Nelson’s Journey is the only place in Norfolk where children and young people can go to receive support for something like this.

“Shockingly the rise in deaths following a suicide has risen and are experiencing more complex grief reactions. Some young people are struggling to cope and can be actively self-harming with others having made an attempt on their life.sarah for blog 2

All in all in 2014, Nelson’s Journey supported 596 children. Sarah adds that the support which is offered to these children and young people by the child bereavement support workers at Nelson’s Journey is outstanding. She says she has seen a significant change in children and young people after receiving this help.

What Sarah’s doing

To help raise funds for this fantastic charity, Sarah is holding

It costs around £248.00 to send one child to attend one of Nelson’s Journey’s residential weekends at which they will meet children with similar situations to them and build on their confidence and have access to coping strategies which gives them good grounding to continue to move forward positively with their life.

You can help support Sarah’s fundraising by donating to her page, or if you want to fundraise for Nelson’s Journey, you can set up a page.


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4 February 2016 is World Cancer Day, a day which unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.

It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).

Take action today and find a cause, or donate to one of these fantastic charities.


Children’s Cancer and Leukemia Group



royal marsden cancer charity

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

children with cancer

Children with Cancer UK


Maggie’s Centres

#fundraiserfriday: Fundraising for CCLG

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Today we have two #fundraiserfriday stars, both of whom are running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG). Both have personal reasons for taking on this challenge and for wanting to raise as much money as possible for this great charity.

Celebrating Ava

Chris McCarthy is running the London Marathon in celebration of his daughter Ava’s 2 year remission.

Ava was diagnosed with a stage 3 Wilms tumour, with complications, when she was two. These complications meant that a standard treatment plan might not be effective. CCLG members’ research, ava cclgbacking and knowledge was behind Ava’s treatment plan. In 2013, she completed her first year post-chemotherapy, cancer free. Ava’s parents, Chris and Kerry set up ‘Ava’s Pink Quest‘ to raise money for
several organisations, including CCLG, who have helped Ava in her journey as they wanted to give something back. Since starting their fundraising, Chris, Kerry and various friends and family members have completed a wide range of fundraising events, from skydives to runs, abseiling to fundraising parties. Ava’s fund at CCLG is used to support our work into renal tumour research.

After 34 weeks on a combination of three different types of chemotherapy and two weeks of radiotherapy, on Ava’s 3rd birthday she received her final treatment. Ava is now 5 and has successfully passed the crucial 2 year window post-chemo, and we would like to say thank you to CCLG for assisting in putting a plan into place that saved our daughter’s life.” Chris and Kerry McCarthy.

You can support Chris and Kerry in saying thank you by donating to their Virgin Money Giving page.

Remembering Toti

toti cclgClare Lumsden is running for Toti who died suddenly and tragically from Leukaemia in July 2014. Since then, his family have been tirelessly raising funds for CCLG in Toti’s memory, to support research into childhood leukaemia. They have now raised nearly £140,000 which will fund CCLG’s first Toti Worboys Paediatric Leukaemia Project Grant, which will make funds available to researchers to improve their
understanding of the disease and help improve the outlook for children. Fundraising in Toti’s memory is showing no signs of slowing, with the current list including the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Boston UK MarathonBath Half Marathon, canoeing from Stratford to Bristol, cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End, a golf day, a clay shoot, school events, work events and Scott the plumber is even shaving off his beard! To support this amazing work, you can donate to Clare’s fundraising page.

How you can help

As well as donating to these fantastic fundraisers’ pages, you can make a donation directly to CCLG or, if you’re inspired to take on a fundraising challenge yourself, you can set up a page to fundraise for this great charity.


#charitytuesday: Youth Adventure Trust

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The charity Youth Adventure Trust’s vision is “for vulnerable young people to fulfil their potential and to lead positive lives in the future“. The Youth Adventure Trust is a youth development charity working with vulnerable and disadvantaged 11 to 14 year olds. Outdoor adventure can have a massive impact on somebody’s life. The positive effects of challenging yourself, learning to trust others and work as part of a team are immeasurable.

The Youth Adventure Trust’s 3 year programme is designed to inspire the young people and give them the hope, confidence and skills to face the challenges in their daily lives.

Today is #charitytuesday and we’re delighted to share the news Youth Adventure Trust are extending a challenge to fundraisers who want to put a bit of adventure into 2016 and change the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people at the same time: the 10 Peaks Challenge 2016.

The 10 Peaks Challenge 2016 is a 33km hike up 10 of the peaks in the Brecon Beacons within 10 hours. The charity are looking for teams of 4-6 people to take part in this fantastic team building event and highly rewarding personal challenge.

If this sounds like something you’d like to take on for this inspirational charity, you can visit their website for the event and also view their Virgin Money Giving event event. Once you’re signed up, don’t forget to open your Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

#fundraiserfriday: Hannah wants to say Thank You

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Today’s #fundraiserfriday is Hannah Tomes, who is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) to thank them for all the help and support they gave to her Gran, Oma.

Hannah tells us “I decided I wanted to run the London Marathon a few years ago, but applied and didn’t get a place. I was lucky this year and managed to snag one! It’s just the ultimate challenge both fitness and endurance wise, and I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years now, although I’m not much of a natural runner so the challenge is massive!

Hannah chose to run for QEHB to thank them for the “amazing work” that they did in helping her Gran – as well as countless others – through  really tough times. In 2012, Oma was battling Oesophageal cancer in 2012 and relied heavily on the work of QEHB. QEHB provides direct clinical services to nearly 800,000 patients every year, serving a regional, national and international population. Hannah says “They did so much for her, and I can’t find words to thank them enough – we wouldn’t have her here today without them, and for that, I owe them the world (and a little bit more!)“.

When asked about her training, she said that the hardest part so far has been the motivation to get going when it’s cold and rainy outside. But she adds “it’s also very rewarding when you realise that each time you’re getting a bit better.” And of course, Hannah’s main motivation comes from the charity she’s working hard to support. “The money I raise will go towards giving other families more time with their loved ones. That’s what keeps me going when its grey and cold and the last thing I feel like doing is going for a run!

What Hannah is most looking forward to at the finish line is seeing her family and boyfriend – “hopefully with a large gin waiting for me!”  – and the prospect of having hit the £1500 target she chose for QEHB.

You can help Hannah reach her target by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page, or if you want to fundraise for QEHB, you can set up your own page.

Meet our fantastic competition winners

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We know how amazing our fundraisers are, so we like to thank them for all the incredible work they do and reward them with some special treats.

Every month between now and March 2016, we will be upgrading one lucky Virgin Money London Marathon runner with our Ultimate Marathon competition. Every single donation to a London Marathon fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving gets the page owner one entry into our exclusive monthly prize draw. December’s winner of this prize was Mike King who is fundraising for The Haemophilia Society. Mike will be staying overnight in a central London hotel, starting the race from the Green Start with the celebrities and have two friends cheering him across the finish line from the Virgin Money Giving Grandstand.

For the months of November and December, we ran a special giveaway to give Virgin Money London Marathon fundraisers who had raised £500 on their Virgin Money Giving pages the chance to win a £500 donation on us. The two winners of this competition were Martin Silvester, who is fundraising for Children with Cancer UK and Pauline Mitchell, fundraising for VICTA.

Every of 2015, we gave 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. The final winner of this prize is Kayleigh Kilsby, fundraising for the National Autistic Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Macmillan Cancer Trust and Endometreosis UK.

#fundraiserfriday: Graham is running for Isla

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Today’s #fundraiserfriday story comes from Graham Fitzgerald, who is running the Virgin Money London Marathon to fundraise for the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).

The why

“Without realising it, I expect that most of us take our hearing for granted and rarely consider what it would be like to have diminished capacity in this particular sense.  That is why when our youngest daughter Isla was diagnosed deaf a few months ahead of her 3rd birthday, our family were totally shocked and experienced a great deal of worry and uncertainty.

At first I tried to rationalise it by convincing myself that Isla wearing bi-lateral hearing aids should be as unremarkable as children wearing glasses and although there are times that I think this understates the issue, overall I believe that it is important to hold steadfast to this attitude in order for Isla to get the most out of life.

The who

“NDCS have been an extremely positive reinforcement of the “world without barriers” mind-set and they have undoubtedly helped us significantly reduce ndcs isla blog 2the initial fear and anxiety that we felt after diagnosis. The support and reassurance from NDCS has been invaluable to our family and the information that they have provided us with has enhanced the assessments and therapies that we have accessed via the NHS.

The what

“Although cycling was my sport of choice as a teenager I have struggled for time more recently because of work and family commitments so running has offered the quickest burst of exercise and, as many of the experts proclaim, has become somewhat addictive providing a regular purge for the daily stresses of life.

As I am turning 40 this year I was already considering undertaking a memorable challenge and a few of my friends suggested a sky dive but I ticked that off the “bucket list” many years ago while living in America . So by trying to raise money for NDCS I now have all the motivation I will ever need to run the London Marathon in April 2016.

26.2 miles will require every ounce of physical and mental strength I have but knowing how much deaf children progress with the help of NDCS will make any amount of exertion worth it and I would like to send a huge heart felt thank you to all those who have donated generously to my fundraising effort.

How you can help

You can help Graham raise as much as possible for NDCS by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page. Or if you’re inspired to take on a challenge for this great charity, you can set up your own fundraising page.


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Latest Tweets

  • @PaulGraham93 Hi Paul. I've asked the team to look into this again for you and they should get back to me first thing Monday. Thanks ^SM 3 hours ago
  • @FL600 Ah that’s great Andrew. Thanks for letting us know! ^SM 6 hours ago
  • @FL600 Hi Andrew. Could you send me which fundraiser page you are trying to donate please and I'll ask the team to have a look? Thanks ^SM 9 hours ago
  • @FionaWebster Hi Fiona. If you copy your fundraising page URL and paste this as your Facebook status it will have the same effect. Thanks^SM 10 hours ago
  • @PaulGraham93 Good morning Paul. I’ll ask the support team to take a look at your page again for you and see how we can help. Thanks ^SM 12 hours ago

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