To mark Virgin Money Giving’s 5th birthday, today’s fundraiser – Jule Wilson – decided to take on 5 very different personal challenges for 5 different charities, and is hoping lots of others will do the same.
Jule is going Sober for October for Macmillan Cancer Support, doing the Stand Up To Cancer March around central Newcastle-upon-Tyne, walking barefoot over hot coals at the Leeds Firewalk for The Stroke Association, sleeping rough in Sunderland as part of the Centrepoint Sleepout raising money for homeless young people and finally dunking herself in the North Sea as part of the Boxing Day Dip for the mental health charity Sane.
Jule tells us “I was determined to do some fundraising this year, but I wanted to find events that were a bit different, and that didn’t require huge amounts of physical training as I have a weak ankle following an injury and am not long back on my feet after illness. ”
All five charities being supported in the challenge mean something to Jule. Since 2003, as well as volunteering for Cancer Research UK, Jule has donated annually to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan on her Grandma’s birthday, after losing two grandparents to cancer. She points out that the care her grandma received from a Macmillan nurse was a great support to her mum. Jule says “Giving up the demon drink for a month was certainly not going to do me any harm, and I loved the idea of the country uniting together for the March.”
Jule says that stroke can happen to anyone at any time and can have a huge affect on families, but with the right treatment and support, available due to orgnisations like The Stroke Association, people can now make amazing strides. Similarly with Centrepoint, Jule knows how easily homelessness can happen to people from all walks of life.
“The Firewalk was something I didn’t think many people would try, but I fancied giving it a go, and I’ve roped a friend in too. I’m hoping it’ll be mind over matter, and although the thought of it is a little bit scary, I’m sure the fact it’s for such an important charity will help spur us on on the night. I’ll be able to layer up for the Sleepout, but most homeless people don’t have that luxury, so I feel it’s important to experience just a little of what they go through each winter, to help raise awareness of the issue as well as some funds to help tackle it. “
The final challenge, the Boxing Day Dip, means the most to Jule. “I chose Sane because it is one of the lesser known mental health charities, which offers practical support not just to sufferers but also to those who live and work with them. One in four people will have a mental health issue at some time; myself, several close friends and family members have been and are affected by mental illness – it is a widespread issue, but doesn’t have to be as debilitating as it is assumed to be.”
Jule adds “What would inspire me to keep going even more would be if more people would join me and do 5for5 of their own, using Virgin Money Giving – whether that’s five one-off events like me, for different charities, or five events for the same charity.”