Big Bird’s Charity Challenge



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We often feature fundraisers taking on an incredible challenge for a charity close to their heart, however Jackie is slightly different. She didn’t just decide to take on a challenge, she gave herself an incredible fundraising target to be divided between four charities, and will continue to fundraise – by any means – until she reaches that target. Jackie told us her story.

Big Bird’s Charity Challenge began in 2010 when I turned 40.  I decided that I wanted to do something different to celebrate my milestone birthday.

BBCC is all about raising £40,000 for four different charities and inspiring friends and family to help raise money towards the target as everyone can do something, no matter how big or small to raise money.  It’s all the little amounts that soon add up to make a big amount.

The money is divided between four different charities that have a personal meaning to me.  The charities are Help the Hospices UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Diabetes UK and Help For Heroes.

Unfortunately, my mum had cancer and passed away in 1997 when she was 60.  Without the support of Macmillan Cancer Support and St Michael’s Hospice, I am not sure how my family and I would have coped.  In 2007, I lost a dear friend, Graham Goldsmith to a brain tumour and it was the help and support of the Iain Rennie Hospice that helped his family through a very difficult time, which is why I chose Help the Hospices UK as the second charity.  My old pops, now in his 80s, has diabetes and my friend was serving in the RAF and so Diabetes UK and Help For Heroes were chosen as the other two charities.

I started the BBCC fundraising with a 40th birthday party and held a silent auction, raffle and had fun games to play and the evening raised over £4,000, which was a great start.  Since then, I have held various events which have included:  me training and taking part in three half marathons, a team of 16 doing the three peaks challenge,  cake bakes, fancy dress discos, pub quizzes, Christmas fêtes and ‘Come Dine With Me’ evenings.  A friend very generously donated her wedding money and even my godson and his sister iced biscuits and sold them for 50p each!  I have also done numerous car boot sales, sold items on eBay and recycled mobile phones, CDs and DVDs.

As you can see, it really is a case of all the little amounts add up.  I am looking to hold a black tie event in April next year and a possible abseil down the Spinnaker Tower which will take me completely out of my comfort zone as I hate heights!  But to me, what’s a challenge like that against the challenges that my Mum and Graham faced?   

It hasn’t all been easy; having a full-time job, finding time to train for my half marathons and organise events – but it has been fun!  It does all take time but, with the help of my friends and family, I am pleased to say the total now – including gift aid – is over £39,000, so not far from the big £40,000 now!

To help support Jackie reach her incredible target, visit her Virgin Money Giving page.


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