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

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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!

Trick or Donation?

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The clocks have gone back, Winter is here, that can only mean one thing…it’s Halloween soon! What a great excuse to give your fundraising a bit of a boost. No tricks just fundraising tips just for you:

  1. Hold a gruesome cake sale – as Halloween falls on a Friday everyone in the office will love a cake to celebrate the last day of the week.  Why not make some simple cupcakes and decorate them to look like pumpkins or spider webs?
  2. Dress up in your spooky gear at work and see if your office will agree to take part in a freakish Friday dress-down, or maybe fancy dress. Charge everyone a small donation for taking part, and a bigger donation ‘fine’ for just wearing their usual work gear.
  3. Run in costume if  you reach a level of donations. Agree to tackle an event like Parkrun dressed in your Halloween fancy dress.
  4. Trick or donation why not spread the word on Social Media on the day of Halloween to your friends and family, it’s Friday, Halloween and payday all rolled into one!
  5. Hold a Halloween film night with a selection of ‘scary movies’ and spooky film snacks (we’re thinking green popcorn, Halloween cup cakes and trick or treat sweets). Ask for a donation to your page from your guests and then hide behind a cushion with the lights out when the film starts.

If you have any tips to tell us about or photos of you celebrating Halloween, share them here or

Eden Springs want to hydrate you

We all know how important it is to keep hydrated regardless of what activity you’re undertaking; whether it’s running, cycling, or going Sober for October. So our friends at Eden Springs are giving away up to 1,000 cases of their bottled water to keep the UK’s fundraisers hydrated!

To get your hands on 12 500ml bottles of water for free, all you need to do is add the following button to your fundraising page or website, and register with Eden Springs.

To add the button to your page we’ve included four simple steps you need to follow. Firstly, sign into your account, choose ‘edit page’ and then the ‘amend fundraising page’ link.

  1. In the ‘about you’ section where you’ve entered your story about why you’re fundraising and what you’re doing you’ll see a button in the editor to insert a picture.Insert a picture to your fundraising page
  2. Copy and paste into the ‘image URL’ field, and click ‘insert’. This will add the button to your page.
  3. To link the image back to the Eden Springs page click on the picture once to select it, and then the ‘link’ button in the toolbar.insert a link to page
  4. Copy and paste into the ‘link URL’ field and click ‘insert’, and then click the ‘save changes’ button to update your page.

Now your page is updated, all you need to do is head over to the Eden Springs website and register for your free water!

Plus, if you recommend Eden Springs to your friends and colleagues, for every cooler they install, they’ll donate £30 to your charity. Just submit your details via the website!

Find out more via this video.

Terms and conditions apply, this offer is  made by Eden Springs. Full details are available on the Eden Springs water coolers website.

Street Child Ebola Crisis Appeal


As the death toll from the Ebola outbreak nears 5,000, the charity Street Child has written a guest blog to explain how they are helping and how you can join in.

The 10 children in the above picture have lost four members of their family to Ebola; their father, mother, great aunt and grandmother. Six other members of their family are in critical condition at a MSF Ebola Treatment unit in Monrovia, Liberia. The children are facing stigmatisation from their neighbours and the wider community, as they begin their fourth period of quarantine. They are not permitted to leave their house to get water, food or coal for the fire. Nobody will associate with them. They are completely alone.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common story for thousands of children in desperate need of humanitarian aid. It is estimated that 3,700 children have lost a parent to Ebola across West Africa and face being shunned by their own families and communities.

Through Street Child, these same children are now being provided with food, water and vital medical supplies to ensure their safety during quarantine. This response for quarantined families and orphaned children in particular is being replicated all over Sierra Leone and Liberia. In addition, Street Child are creating sanitation stations and Ebola awareness initiatives to limit the spread of the virus.

To multiply their efforts, Street Child is hosting the Big Sleep Out challenge event in support of its Ebola Crisis Appeal and invites you to join them in raising funds to increase the support for thousands of children in desperate need of our help. While benefiting a hugely important cause, this is an opportunity to enjoy the tastes and sounds of West Africa, and seek sponsorship for your challenge of sleeping on the streets to help ensure that thousands of children in the world’s poorest countries don’t have to.”

To donate to Street Child’s Ebola appeal, visit their Virgin Money Giving campaign.

For more information about how to get involved with the Big Sleep Out challenge event, you can contact Kris on or call 0207 614 7696. For more information about the Ebola outbreak and street Child’s response, please visit the Street Child’s website.

Our first ‘Dream Marathon’ winner


Each month, we will give away a unique Dream Marathon experience to one lucky Virgin Money London Marathon runner, including £100 of Adidas kit, two nights in Central London, upgrade to the Green Start and entry to Virgin Money’s after-party.

And this month we are delighted to introduce our first winner, Haydn Squibb, who is running to raise money for Anthony Nolan.

Haydn says “2013 was one of the toughest I’ve had; I’d never had to deal with losing someone close to me, and in 2013 I finally had to experience it. Oli was one of the most amazing people I’d ever met, and to have known him for a good 17 or so years makes me feel like one of the luckiest people in the world.  Anthony Nolan did all they could to help Oli and with him meaning everything to me, I’ve gone totally crazy and thought I’d do my bit to give something back!

Anthony Nolan is a blood cancer charity which works to match individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to those who have the disease, as well as educating and conducting research into this type of cancer. The charity also supports people with blood cancer and their families, offering advice and information. It is this which Haydn is most grateful for, after her friend Oli suffered from the disease.
We asked Haydn about her decision to run the marathon and how she was getting on with her training. “The London Marathon is the most well known marathon in the world, and after heading out to watch the 2014 one I added it to my list of things to do before I die.  It’s my most local run too so that’s rather helpful too! I’m finding the training rather hard, I’m not a strong runner at all so it’s starting from new and building up stamina and miles!
She also told us that although it is worth it for the cause she’s fundraising for, she was heartbroken to have to give up her favourite food, burgers! “I know that Oli is up there thinking I’m an absolute nutter but would be so proud of what I am achieving.  Plus a close friend of mine has said she will be waiting at the finish line with a bottle of Prosseco, that won’t go a miss.
When asked how she felt to have won, Haydn told us “I was very overwhelmed when I won the competition, it will certainly make the day a lot easier!”

To support Haydn, you can visit her Virgin Money Giving page and to find out more about the Dream Marathon competition, read our blog.

And for all you 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon runners out there, we still have six of these exclusive packages to give away – one a month from now until March.  Every donation you get on your Virgin Money London Marathon Virgin Money Giving fundraising page, gets you one entry into that month’s draw. So the more donations you get, the more chances you have of winning this dream prize.  If you haven’t set up your page yet, why not set it up now? There’s still a week to go to enter the October draw! Good luck!

Tailor made fundraising just for you!

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We recently launched Virgin Money Giving Campaigns. This is a new tool which allows you to bring fundraisers and donors together on the same tailor made Virgin Money Giving Campaigns page to target a specific objective. Whether that is through an event, Charity of the Year fundraising or a natural disaster appeal, Campaigns gives you more control over the charity pages you create.

Setting up a new Campaign only takes 3 simple steps:

1. Decide on your campaign. Is it a charity appeal, event or charity of the year?

2. Create your campaign pages. This tells your charity’s story through photos and videos and shows people how their donations will help.

3. Promote your campaign. Share your Campaign on Social Media, write a press release, share it with your corporate partners, there are lots of ways to shout about your completed Campaign.

Since we’ve launched there have been some great Campaigns set up. One is for the Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal, they set up a campaign to raise money for a new Breast Cancer Unit and so far have raised a whopping £199,133.28! There are fundraisers who are taking part in their own events to raise money specifically for this Campaign.

If you’re a charity, fundraiser or even an event that would like to set up your own Campaign, this is a great time to do it!


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