Running for Joshua

Emma Davey

Today is #FundraiserFriday and we have a special guest blog from Emma Davey and why she’s running the Virgin Money London Marathon for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

In February 2007, our long awaited son was born and on the 1st March 2007, Joshua was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis following a positive blood test.  Testing for Cystic Fibrosis had only been added to newborn screening in January 2007 and Joshua was the first baby in our region to be positively diagnosed as a result of this. We are extremely thankful for this early diagnosis to enable Joshua to start the treatment he needed.  At just under 3 weeks old, Joshua commenced a treatment regime consisting of twice daily physiotherapy, a plethora of medication including the necessary enzymes to help him break down his food to help him grow big and strong and he then started to gain weight going from a very fragile little baby to a bouncing heavyweight.

We can’t deny how challenging this diagnosis has been for us and there have been some tough times, but Joshua continues to amaze and inspire us with his zest for life and we are absolutely determined that he will lead a full and active life and nothing will stop that.

Ever since Joshua was diagnosed, I wanted to do something big to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis trust. I turn 40 in January and to mark the year of this milestone birthday – and to hope that during this next decade of my life my fundraising efforts will go some way to support the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in their research and development which we hope Joshua and thousands of others can benefit from – I decided to run the Virgin Money London Marathon. When I told the children they were so excited, firstly to come to London and see the Queen closely followed by seeing me in the marathon and cheering me on. Joshua did ask whether I thought I might win – I’ve said I think it’s unlikely but you never know!!

Part of my fundraising efforts in the lead up to Christmas has involved making reindeer food; bags of snacks for children to leave for the reindeer on Christmas eve.  To date I have used about 6o kg of porridge oats, 200 metres of ribbon and so much glitter that it has got everywhere – the total raised from the sales currently stands at £850 with more elves making and selling as we speak.

The hardest part of the training so far is fitting everything in. Both myself and my husband work so we have to work hard to juggle our shifts. We also have to fit in all Joshua’s treatments, keeping him active and healthy with lots of exercise and a good diet, as well as giving him and our daughter Olivia time to just be children. Despite this, I am absolutely determined to put in the time and effort needed to train and am massively motivated by my amazing son – what’s 6 months of hard work training when the money I raise will go towards supporting a fantastic charity in offering my son a lifetime of hope and opportunities.

You can support Emma’s fundraising via her Virgin Money Giving page.

Elizabeth is fundraising for FoodCycle


Our fundraising stories show us just how many different types of fundraisers there are; from the marathons to the bake offs, from the skydives to the baths of baked beans. Elizabeth’s fundraiser not only raises money for the charity Food Cycle, but also raises awareness for the charity’s cause.

Elizabeth writes Britain’s most northerly food blog – Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, based, in her words, in “the remote, wild and rugged Shetland Islands“. She tells us a bit more about her challenge.

From the 24th-30th of November 2014 I took part in the FoodCycle Breadline Challenge. This challenge, designed to raise awareness of food poverty in the UK and help raise vital funds for the Food Cycle food hubs, asks participants to live off of only £2-10 per day (per person) for food and drink. I blogged recipes, tips and thoughts throughout the week.

The charity FoodCycle “combine volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to create tasty, nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation“. At a time when food banks are relied on as heavily as ever before, the help of FoodCycle is invaluable. More than 4 million people are affected by food poverty in the UK, a staggering statistic, so Elizabeth’s fundraising is more important than ever.

Not only will all the funds donated to Elizabeth’s Virgin Money Giving page go to FoodCycle, but her blog will match, pound for pound up to £200, the amount raised and donate that to the Shetland Food Bank for their Christmas Food Parcels. She tells us that around 60 Shetland families will be supported by these food parcels this festive season.

Elizabeth tells us that she chose this event because “as a food blogger, I wanted to do something useful with my website instead of just sharing pretty pictures of cakes and whatnot; something practical that would actually benefit someone else.” She goes on to say that “the work that Food Cycle does, and during this time of the year where we’re all focused on consuming it’s really important to remember that we are not all that fortunate to just eat what we want to eat.

You can support Elizabeth via her Virgin Money Giving page.

One less Christmas card could make all the difference!

Christmas Meme Twitter 2

Christmas is a time for giving, spending lots of time with loved ones and creating happy memories. But at this time of year it’s also important to remember those for whom Christmas isn’t always an easy time and who may need the help of a charity over the festive period.

Charities rely on support from people like you to allow them to continue the great work they do, especially over Christmas.

We’re hoping that this year, if we encourage all of our fundraisers to donate a small amount to a charity, maybe even just the cost of a Christmas card, lots of charities would be better off. So why not share our Christmas meme instead of sending a card and donate the money you would have spent?

We’ve picked 12 causes to which you might consider donating your Christmas card money this year. Or if you have a cause that’s close to your heart, why not donate to them instead?

To show our support, we’re giving 12 charities a Christmas bonus of £100 each. All you have to do is donate directly to a charity by 24 December and all direct donations made between now and midnight on 24 December will be entered into the prize draw. Go on, #spreadthecheer. All 12 winning charities will receive their £100 in the New Year – what a great start to 2015!

Here are some charities you might like to consider:

Children with Cancer

Many children will be spending time in hospital over Christmas.donate-button_tcm31-37161

Age UK

Age UK supports the elderly who may otherwise be spending Christmas alone. donate-button_tcm31-37161

Missing people

Each day people go missing and Christmas can be the hardest time for those without their love ones.donate-button_tcm31-37161

Make a Wish

Helping make desperately ill children’s wishes come true.donate-button_tcm31-37161


A pet is for life not just for Christmas. donate-button_tcm31-37161


90,000 children will be homeless this Christmas. donate-button_tcm31-37161


Not all children live a fortunate life, but the NSPCC are working to change this.donate-button_tcm31-37161


Christmas can be a difficult time and Samaritans are just a phone call away.



Transforming lives in every community.donate-button_tcm31-37161

mind-logoThere to make sure no one has to face mental health problems alone.


Virgin Unite logo

Uniting people to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way.donate-button_tcm31-37161

Ebola Crisis photo

Supporting the thousands of people affected by Ebola this Christmas.donate-button_tcm31-37161

There are thousands more charities who would love your support, you can browse our list of charities here to make your donation.

Why not #spreadthecheer and instead of sending the Christmas cards, share this image on Facebook instead, sending your Christmas wishes and supporting a charity at the same time.

Happy Christmas.

Planned maintenance on the Virgin Money Giving website

Essential maintenance

We’ll be carrying out overnight maintenance to the Virgin Money Giving website tonight.

As a result the website will be unavailable from 21:00 Thursday 4 December until 06:00 Friday morning.

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 and our helpdesk team will get back to you from 9:00 Friday morning.

Tom is running for Shelter

tom winkler

This year, 125,000 people applied for a Virgin Money London Marathon place via the ballot. However some people already had their places sorted, people who attained places directly from a charity. These people pledge to raise a certain amount in exchange for their marathon place and one such runner is Thomas Winkler.

Tom tells us “I’m not a natural born athlete and have never really been gifted with any sporting ability. I stand at around 6ft 7 and back in January topped the scales at 17 Stone 10 lbs, I decided things needed to change.” Tom began running and, after running his first 5k in a time of 36 minutes, decided on a challenge 8 times as far as that: the Virgin Money London Marathon. When asked why he chose this event, he said “It’s something some people have said that I would never be able to do, so I am proving them wrong and hoping to do it in style!

Each year, various charities throughout the UK are given Virgin Money London Marathon places to give to their fundraisers. It was the charity Shelter which provided Tom with his place. Shelter is a charity which works with people who struggle with bad housing or homelessness. They give advice and support to those struggling, campaign to combat the root causes and train people to help with all the issues surrounding homelessness. Tom says “I chose Shelter as my charity to run for because I couldn’t bare to think of someone having housing issues, especially a family! A home is where the heart is, every one deserves that!

Tom’s training is going well, he has taken part in various competitions including a Tough Mudder and he’s been keeping a blog to keep people up to date with his progress. When asked if he was missing anything, Tom said “Yes, a lie in! I get up and train every day before work and often after work as well! The race will be tough but knowing that every step I take is one closer to the finish will keep me going.

You can support Tom by visiting his Virgin Money Giving page.

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!


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