Archive for the 'Events' Category

#ReasontoRun

This year, the Virgin Money London Marathon has a very special theme. We are asking people to think about their #ReasontoRun. Hugh Brasher, the race director, explained;

We know every single runner has a unique #ReasonToRun the world’s greatest marathon. Whether it’s to set a PB, to raise money for a cause, to remember a loved one, to break a Guinness World Record, to win, to remain an Ever Present, to qualify for Great Britain or just because it’s always been a dream to run the London Marathon – the reasons are endless and we would love to hear them.”

We decided to ask some of our fundraisers to share their reasons for taking part in this amazing event. You can click on each fundraiser’s name to find out more.

Heidi fundraising for Tommy’s in memory of her son, James.

“My #ReasontoRun is my baby James and all the steps he will never take and to raise funds for Tommy’s so they can help future babies find their feet rather than their wings.”

Jonathan is fundraising for North London Hospice and Chai Cancer Care following his own battle with cancer.

“My #ReasonToRun is that following my battle with Testicular Cancer and chemotherapy, I will continue to run with fight and determination for those who can’t, whilst fundraising along the way.”

Michael is fundraising for Brain Research Trust after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.

“Being happy to be alive and urging for more progress with brain research is my #ReasontoRun”

Nick is fundraising for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care.

“It’s easy to just exist when you live with long-term conditions, so my #ReasonToRun is to live, not simply exist, with persistent pain and fatigue.”

John is fundraising for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland following the sudden death of his best friend.

“My #ReasontoRun is that following a serious illness, running gave me a new lease of life – it’s great”

Peter is fundraising for The Sepsis Trust in memory of his mum.

“My #ReasontoRun is to help prevent more needless lives being taken from Sepsis so my mums life will not have been in vain”

Whatever you do, be creative

“Being happy to be alive and urging for more progress with brain research is my #ReasontoRun

One thing we’ve learned this week is that when you’re fundraising, it’s really important that your donation requests, your story and your page stand out. If they are different, if they grip your supporters, you interest people and interested people make donations. If there’s anything you can do to really bump up your donations, it’s to captivate people with your creativity.

This week, we spoke to fundraiser Michael Nollet. He’s raised over £3500 so far for Brain Research Trust, who research neurological conditions such as brain tumours and Alzheimer’s Disease. We believe his fundraising has been successful because of how he shares his story on his blog.

Be unique

One way to grab people’s attention is to share your story your own way. Give it your own personality, and if you can, add photos to help people visualise it. Michael’s story worksMichael Nolet - Early 2006 well because he presents it not only in a blog, but in a comic strip that’s easily digestible, quirky and gets his point across.

Have fun with it

Don’t be afraid to share the positives of your story; the moments that kept you going, or made you smile and step back for a minute. Michael does this by taking one of his most vulnerable moments after his surgery, and turning it into something funny. It’s okay to laugh; if anything, it helps people connect with you.

Give people a reason to explore

Michael says, “Design a site people can surf around a bit with. Better they feel there’s more to explore – so long as it’s interesting – than that they’ve seen it all on first visit.” He does this by having separate tabs to help guide people to the content they want to read: ‘My Story’, ‘My Blogs’, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘DONATE’.

Find a thread

Michael says, “Create an excuse to keep blogging – whether it be milestones in your fundraising or simply a mile per blog.” This way your blogs are connected so people know what to expect, and they’re more likely to come back to read again and, with any luck, sponsor again. This way they can follow your whole journey.

Mix it up

“Keep your blog content varied; repeating the same sort of stories gets predictable which could mean people will stop following your blogs,” Michael tells us. His blogs vary from sharing his own experiences of having a brain tumour, to how the research can help so many different causes. It never feels like the same story, there’s always something new, a different angle, something fresh.

Keep it up

Michael says, “Get ready for an initial burst in sponsorship followed by a big drop off. Each blog’s worth lots of potential sponsorship, so work hard at them all.’ So if you make sure to post regularly, you can maintain people’s interest and keep the donations coming in. People can’t forget about you if you keep them in the loop. At the same time, each blog needs to have a purpose – post every day and you might lose people’s interest.

Share photos, not just links

Michael says, “Don’t just post links to your blog on Facebook – add photos.” This way your blog can reach more people, and also catch more people’s attention.

Help them understand

If your supporters can really understand what happened, they can understand your motivation. Michael lets his supporters into his memories, so they can really feel how he felt when he had a seizure. It’s the difference between just telling them what happened, and helping them feel as if it happened to them.

60 seconds. Thousands of aggressive, electrical charges force my fingers to move in random directions.  Someone else is in control – I’m a passenger in my own body. I want whatever’s taken over to stop. But the waves keep coming. If only I could stop this invasion

Give it some perspective

Michael shares how one of his friends – who also had a brain tumour – said “I have the MRI scans at home… and I have one framed on the wall. When I am having a really bad day I look at the scan and think if I’ve dealt with that – then it doesn’t seem as bad.” With his Michael Nolet - Stitched Upown scan in the blog, it shows the reality of his situation and helps you to really appreciate the everyday moments, and why his fundraising is so important.

Bring it back to fundraising

Michael often writes about his cause as a way to connect to his fundraising, like this excerpt from his blog:

“The good news is that the average brain generates around 50,000 thoughts per day. However, the bad news according to scientists is that disturbingly 70% of these thoughts in most people are apparently negative!

So with a cheeky smile, and in the words of my friend Tom Burmester, I say to you: Do something good! Sponsor Mike.”

Not got a lot of time?

Don’t worry, you can still take a few pointers from Michael. If your event is coming up soon, you could create a photo based blog with shorter written text, or you could write about the countdown itself, or maybe even as a way to let people know what’s going on in the run up to the day, and how things went on the day itself. You can put as much or as little into it as you like, but whatever you do say, don’t be afraid to be yourself with it.

Have you found a creative way to share your fundraising story? Share it with us on Facebook or @VMGiving

 

#fundraiserfriday: From intensive care to the London Marathon

In 2012, Paul suffered a frontal lobe hemorrhage following an unprovoked attack. He will be running the London Marathon in 2017 to raise awareness of brain injury, inspire others and show that after a brain injury, you can still go on and achieve great things!

Paul’s journey

Taking part in this event marks a huge milestone in Paul’s own personal journey, as at the time of the race 5 years ago, he was in intensive care. Back then he never dreamt he would be taking part in the London Marathon!

Paul stated “Nothing could prepare my family and I for the battle of brain recovery. It is a long and challenging journey, which will test every aspect of your life. I know from personal experience that people are left lost, lonely, confused and vulnerable after brain injury. The injury can come with devastating consequences and be life changing for everyone affected. For those reasons, there needs to be somewhere to go, a lifeline, a place to obtain comfort, support, education and inspiration. That’s why I set up the charity PAUL For Brain Recovery.”

The charity

All funds raised by Paul as a result of taking part in the London Marathon will go to PAUL For Brain Recovery. During his own recovery, Paul realised that there was a real lack of community support after being discharged from acute services. Because of this, he founded PAUL For Brain Recovery, which exists to make life easier after brain injury by providing advice and support to empower all affected.

He added “I have walked the difficult path of brain recovery and feel very lucky to have recovered well. It is now my passion to help others that are on the line of despair. That’s why it’s such an honour to be representing the brain injured in this year’s London Marathon.”

How you can help

To keep him going during the marathon, Paul will be thinking of all of the people that the charity is able to help.  A great motivation for him is the positive effect that his efforts will have on those facing a difficult time in their lives. Paul will also draw on his own personal experiences; during the dark days of his recovery, he never thought he would be in a position to be such a positive influence to so many people.

Help support Paul’s amazing journey by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page.

Win a £1000 donation with #MadeToMove and Lucozade

Our friends at Lucozade Sport have recently launched their #MadeToMove social campaign which gives London Marathon runners the chance to win £1000 for their chosen charity by getting 10 of their friends to run 1 mile each and post a selfie on Instagram. Come and join the new way of fundraising!

Over the competition there are 3 separate prize draws!

How do marathon runners get involved?

  • Take to Instagram and post something like this:
    “As you all know I am running the Virgin Money London Marathon and I need your help! Run/walk/jog a mile for me and upload a sweaty selfie and I could win £1000 for my charity courtesy of Lucozade Sport. Make sure to use the hashtag #MadeToMove”
  • Don’t forget to remind your friends to tag you and @ you on Instagram otherwise it won’t count!
  • Once 10 of your friends have run 1 mile and tagged you on Instagram, you will be in the running to win £1000 for your chosen charity. Look out for a direct message in your Instagram inbox!

For more information, check out the Lucozade Sport Instagram account or the website.

10 Virgin Money London Marathon places competition winners

charity-places-fb

In October of this year, we launched a competition to give away 10 places to run the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and we are delighted today to announce the ten winners who will be storming up the Mall on the 23rd April.

A huge congratulations to:

Karen Slater
Tiago Cleto Machado
Emily Cox
Claire Wragg
Tracey Roberts
Steven Brown
Paul Brewer
Angela Parry
Karen Unger
Alannah Rohan-Wild

Don’t forget, if you’re running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon you could win one of 600 cases of wine and an exclusive VIP upgrade including accommodation and entry to an after party simply by setting up your London Marathon Virgin Money Giving page and getting a donation!

#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.

The 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Christmas Promotion

wine2-tw

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’


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