#fundraiserfriday: The toughest two years of Ashley’s life

tom-and-joyce

In the space of 16 months, Ashley Davies lost both her parents to one of the more increasingly prevalent diseases in the UK; Alzheimer’s disease. Despite suffering from rheumatoid arthritis herself, Ashley decided to run the event that she had always watched on television with her dad, Tom; the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Ashley’s story

Ashley tells us that her mother, Joyce, had been very poorly with Alzheimer’s for quite a few years being cared for by Tom when, cruelly and tragically, Tom developed vascular dementia. Upon realising the couple could no longer live independently, they both were placed into what Ash describes as “a lovely care home“, but very sadly, after a short battle, her father passed away in June 2013 followed by her mother in October 2014. She tells us in no uncertain terms, “These were the toughest 2 years of my life“.

Alzheimer’s Society

Upon deciding to take on the London Marathon, something that her father had always believed she could take on, it was a no brainer for Ashley choose ash-and-terryAlzheimer’s Society as the charity to support. The Alzheimer’s Society “fights for a better world for people with all types of dementia takes a wide range of forms“. There are
currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to 1 million by 2025.

Training for the big day

Ash’s training is being supported by Flyers Southend, her local running group. They are incredible supportive and Keith Passingham, who founded “the Flyers”, has
devised a walk/run programme to enable Ashley to train despite her rheumatoid arthritis. Ashley says

“I will never give in, my determination to complete this challenge is so strong as I know my Dad and Mum will be looking down cheering every step I take.”

You can support Ashley

Help Ashley raise as much as possible for Alzheimer’s Society by donating to her fundraising page.

#charitytuesday: Crisis at Christmas

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Crisis at Christmas is a lifeline for thousands of homeless people across the UK, offering support, companionship and vital services over the festive period. 4,594 guests came to Crisis at Christmas 2015 in London, Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh and Newcastle combined.

Crisis at Christmas provides immediate help for homeless people at a critical time – sadly, one in four homeless people spends Christmas alone.

Each year hundreds of our amazing volunteers not only selflessly give their time to give a Christmas to homeless people, but also take the opportunity to get sponsored for their shifts and therefore raise money for not only the Christmas appeal but also year-round services. Over the last seven years these volunteers have raised in excess of half a million pounds – a testament to their extraordinary dedication to ending homelessness.

How you can help

  • You can donate £10.00 to help someone towards a brighter new year
  • Donate £22.32 to reserve a place at Crisis at Christmas for someone who wouldn’t otherwise have a Christmas
  • Or donate £223.20 to reserve a whole table at Crisis at Christmas, giving ten people a Christmas

Alternatively, you can set up your own fundraising page to try and raise as much as possible for this fantastic campaign.

#GivingTuesday

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After the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a way of following up your weekend of shopping by “doing good stuff” and helping a charity of your choice.

Giving Tuesday is a day to give something back, this could be a monetary donation, a donation of clothes, or maybe sharing your time to help a particular cause. If you’re a fundraiser, it’s a great day to push your fundraising page to encourage your friends and family to get you closer to that fundraising target and if you’re not currently fundraising, it’s a fantastic opportunity to pick a charity of your choice and get raising some well needed funds.

The Virgin touch

At Virgin Money Giving, we’re taking this opportunity to promote the whopping 11,000 charities currently registered with us who “do good stuff” every day. We gathered seven Virgin companies who have agreed to kindly give up their advertising space to encourage Virgin customers across the country to make a charitable donation to the cause of their choosing; in areas such as mental health, cancer research, working with children and the elderly, animal rescue and countless others.

Help your charity share in £50,000 with PayPal..

This week in celebration of #GivingTuesday, we’re helping PayPal give away £50,000 to UK charities! Make a donation of £10 or more on Virgin Money Giving via PayPal and they’ll donate an extra £1 to your chosen charity! Terms and conditions apply.

Do good stuff too

Why not make a donation to your favourite charity this #GivingTuesday? And make sure to let your family and friends know that they too can do this with ease via Virgin Money Giving.

#fundraiserfriday: Stroke survivor Colin Freeman

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Colin Freeman is a stroke survivor. He is paralysed on the left half of his body. And he is taking on challenge after challenge, alongside his carer Stuart, to fundraise for the hospice which took care of Colin’s brother in law. We asked Colin more about what inspired him to take on such a feat after experiencing something so debilitating.

The challenges

To raise money for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Colin has sailed a Regatta, will swim one mile (across 2 sessions) and as much more as he can – aided by Stuart, his carer, who is also taking on challenges for this cause including completing the Pilgrims Way Marathon and will be taking on a 35 mile ultra marathon!

Colin tells us “Choosing the challenges was based on what could be achieved by regular practise and working hard to improve my motivation and stamina”. During the summer season, Colin sails every week and also tries to swim for 30 minutes every week of the year. He adds “These challenges are designed to be difficult and with regular practise and determination I hope achievable.

Colin tells us that he was never a very strong swimmer but says that after his illness, water became his friend.

“I started off learning how to float, progressed to swimming widths, then lengths and I am now able to move independently in water. I attend Hydrotherapy and Swimability which has helped improved both my fitness and overall health. It is so good to be out of my wheelchair and with assistance, I am able to move and walk with the support of the water.”

Colin also tells us how hard he had to work on the sailing, having never sailed before the major stroke which left him partially paralysed. He adds “Since joining Sailability I have worked really hard to overcome concentration problems as well as the physical disabilities.”

The charity

Colin chose Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice who, he tells us, who do excellent work supporting people with cancer in the community. He adds “Sadly my brother-in-law Ron died in 2015 from an incurable cancer and the hospice helped Ron and his family tremendously with support at home and then also in the hospice.

The motivation

What’s keeping Colin going through these challenges is partly proving to everyone what someone can achieve given the right support, motivation and encouragement and partly the fact that he benefits from the exercise by getting fitter and being more self-motivated. He says “I have alot of assistance from the support workers who enable me to do these activities and there are also a lot of volunteers who make sailing accessible for disabled people all over the country.”

How you can help

You can support Colin’s amazing achievements by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page and be sure to check back to his page in coming months to see how his next challenges go!

The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Christmas Promotion

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Fundraisers who start earlier raise more. It’s a fact, we’ve checked.

As the official fundraising partner of the Virgin Money London Marathon, we’re thanking runners who started their fundraising early by giving every single one of them a free £20 Virgin Wines gift voucher… And the chance to win one of 600 cases of wine!

Every week until 18 December, we’re giving London Marathon fundraisers the chance to win 1 of 150 cases of wine, just for fundraising!

Each and every donation on a London Marathon fundraising page will count as an entry into the competition.

If you’re running the London Marathon, don’t miss out; get your page set up today!

Terms and conditions apply.

And don’t forget – as a London Marathon fundraiser, this isn’t your only chance to win with Virgin Money Giving…
Continue reading ‘The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Christmas Promotion’

The Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards 2016

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The 14th of November 2016 will see the 23rd Mind Media Awards take place at the Troxy in London.

The Virgin Money Giving Mind Media Awards celebrate the best examples of discussing mental health in print, broadcast and digital media. Mental health charity Mind says that they organise these awards “to reward media professionals, organisations and students who report responsibly and sensitively on mental health issues“.

There are eleven categories on the night – including blogging and documentary making – and there are also two special awards.

 

This year, for the first time, we will be streaming live from the awards so that anyone can watch this special and inspiring event from the comfort of their own homes. Simply visit our Facebook page from 7pm on the 14th and you’ll be able to join in with nominees, winners, judges and celebrity guests as you watch the whole event. Plus, if you’re busy on the night itself, the awards will be available to watch afterwards!

Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, Jo Barnett, said;

“Virgin Money Giving is really pleased to support Mind and the great work they do to provide Mental Health support across the UK”

#fundraiserfriday: Chronic pain won’t stop Nick Southorn

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On 23 April 2017, tens of thousands of runners will take to the streets of London and take part in the largest single-day fundraising event in the world; the Virgin Money London Marathon. One of those people will be Nick. Nick told us about his challenge and how his chronic pain is affected.

The event

“I chose the London Marathon initially as it is one of those ‘bucket list’ events. I completed London in 2016 and realised that it is so much more than a bucket list event, it is an all-consuming running and charity festival. Everyone is sharing the same emotions and there is a tacit feeling of community and compassion amongst not only the runners, but the spectators too. They gained my everlasting respect and I look forward to being a part of it once more this year.”

The challenge

“One of the biggest motivational factors for me, aside from charity work, is to spread the message that I try to sell in my clinics – it’s better to have a life with chronic pain and fatigue than to simply live with it. It is difficult, but worth it. On leaving the army in 2003 I was a reasonably fit 22 year-old, but I then developed a significant lower back and sacroiliac joint pain which drove me to inactivity. I became increasingly fatigued to the point that normal daily activity was a struggle which lead me to becoming out of shape, sluggish, depressed and unsociable. However, by starting off with a few gasping and limping 3 km runs, I was slowly able to run and make reasonable distances regularly.”

Nick’s 2017

“2017 is going to be my most active yet; five marathons and a couple of ultras (including three laps of Tough Mudder = 33 miles of obstacle running). When it’s all over I look forward to finding my next challenge. Knowing that I have two great charities to raise money for [Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care] means that I must get moving. My friends and family are amazing and supportive by forcing me out of the house when I really don’t want to. Whatever the future holds for me, I plan to always be an advocate for healthy living and not letting chronic pain and fatigue get in the way.”

Support Nick

You can help Nick raise as much money as possible for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice via his Virgin Money Giving page.


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