Archive for the 'Guest Blog' Category

#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.

#charitytuesday: Walking home for Christmas

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This December, why not carry your Christmas tree home, hand deliver Christmas cards or ditch your car and challenge yourself to walk home from work with a friend while raising money for a fantastic causeThe charity Walking with the Wounded is encouraging people across the UK to pull on their walking boots and Santa hats this Christmas in support of homeless and other vulnerable veterans.

Last year

Last year more than 2,000 people across the UK signed up to Walking With The Wounded’s Christmas campaign Walking Home For Christmas in a bid to have fun, get fit, and raise crucial funds to support veterans with physical, mental or social injuries. There were some amazing stories, including a Cheshire father and son who ‘stretchered’ their Christmas tree 10 miles home and a Suffolk super–granny walked 400 miles to relatives in Belfast!

The campaign saw more than 5,000 miles walked and raised enough to support more than 250 vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and regain their independence.

This year

In partnership with Virgin Money Giving, Walking With The Wounded is inviting people to join in again. It’s just £10, the charity send you a branded Santa hat and hi vis vest and you grab your friends and plan a walk anytime between 1st –  26th December, of any distance challenging for you.

This year walkers can also sign up as ‘Captains’ and lead a public walk to encourage more people to take part.

Walking With The Wounded events manager Andy Sloan said:

“We’ve been bowled over by the creativity and ambition of participants taking part and clearly having a lot of fun in their Santa hats. It’s a great way to have an adventure with friends or get to know colleagues better by wrapping up warm and walking together to  a destination, preferably featuring hot food or a sociable drink on the way. All while supporting vulnerable veterans who have little to look forward to this Christmas.”

Walking With The Wounded supports veterans with physical, mental or social injuries on their journey to long term security independence and employment.

How To Enter:

  • Sign up for £10 + postage at wwtw.org.uk/Christmas
  • Get your pack and Santa hat, plan your walk and tell your friends
  • Walk as far as is challenging for you, 1 mile or 100
  • Any time from 1st – 26th December
  • Share your story on Social Media using #WalkingHomeForChristmas

Need ideas for your walk?

  • The Long Haul – Go large and surprise yourself and a relative
  • The workplace challenge – why not try walking as a Teambuilding or client engaging exercise?
  • School’s out – Walk home from school or uni with parents or friends
  • The Team Outing – Walk to a pub for dinner
  • The Ingenious Idea – Hand deliver a present, Christmas cards or carry a Christmas tree home
  • The Train-ing Plan – Get off the train a stop early; great if you live too far to walk the whole way home!
  • The (long) dog walk – Take the lead and have an adventure

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#fundraiserfriday: Phillip Price ran 184 miles in one weekend

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In November 2015 we brought you the story of Phillip Price. Phillip was just setting out on his training which would lead to the most epic of challenges; running 7 marathons in just one weekend which Phillip quite incredibly completed last week. Phillip Price is today’s #fundraiserfriday.

Phillip’s story

Back in 2015 when we first spoke to Phillip, he told us how his story began 6 years earlier when he volunteered at one of the first activity days at The Maypole Project. The Project work with children and young people who have complex medical needs, life threatening illnesses and disabilities. Six years on, one trek up Kilimanjaro, several half marathons, marathons and ultra-marathons later, Phillip was ready to embark on the training for his 2016 seven marathons – a total of 184 miles – in 3 days.

Phillip’s challenge

On 16th September, Phillip set off from the source of the Thames river to run to his final destination, the Thames barrier. Day one didn’t go according to plan with Phillip having to cut his running short after tearing a ligament in his ankle and therefore having to make up the miles on day two, however this did not stop him. Phil tells us;

“My incredible support team and supporters along the route [kept me going]. When it got tough, my support crew were there to pick me up, feed me, even put plasters on my feet!  When I was alone and running in the middle of nowhere the one thing that kept me going was knowing the impact the funds I have raised will have on the families supported by The Maypole Project.”

Phillip adds that he couldn’t describe the feeling he felt when he crossed the finish line after 184 miles and that he doesn’t remember what he said, “I think I was in shock, it felt like a dream.” A few days on and quite incredibly, Phillip actually feels a bit sad the challenge is over.

How you can help

Phillip ran 184 miles in 3 days to raise money for the fantastic Maypole Project and you can help him reach his target by donating to his page.

#charitytuesday: Turning 5,123 offences of abuse into 5,123 smiles

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There were 5,123 offences of sexual abuse and cruelty against Scotland’s children last year. This is why the charity Children 1st have created the Create a Smile campaign; to raise awareness of this shocking statistic and hopefully help to reduce this statistic in coming years.

All you need to do is visit the Create a Smile website and select your unique smile to show your support – it only takes a minute – and you can then share it on your social media accounts to encourage others to get involved.

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Alison Todd from Children 1st says;

“Children 1st has been working for over 130 years in Scotland to make sure that we do all we can to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect from happening. When the worst happens, we know that with our help and support, children can recover and go on to have happy healthy lives.”

To sign up and show your support, visit the Create a Smile website. It really does take seconds and don’t forget to SHARE the smile you create!

You can also donate to Children 1st to help support the amazing work they do or you can start your own fundraising for this amazing charity.

#fundraiserfriday: “It won’t be an easy road for Kev”

blog headerAfter his brother Kevin was diagnosed with bowel cancer, Neil knew it wouldn’t be an easy road. He says;

“He has been prodded and poked in places he won’t want me to mention! He has had surgery to remove part of his bowel, giving him a new nickname of ‘Kev Semi-Colon’. He has a C-Section scar to empathise with the female species. He is currently undergoing 6 months of Chemotherapy to eliminate any traces of the cancer.”

What Neil may not have known at the time is that he and Kevin would end up cycling the 100 mile Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100… dressed as women!

The cause

Neil points out that bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and affects around 1 in 19 women and 1 in 14 men. He adds that when diagnosed early at stage 1, more than nine out of ten (97%) people survive this type of cancer for five years or more. At stage 4, this drops to less than one in ten (7%).

Neil decided to take on his fundraising challenge for Beating Bowel Cancer, a charity which aims to raise awareness as well as campaigning for better screening processes for the disease.

blog body imageThe challenge

To help support his brother, Neil decided to take on the 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. To amplify the amount raised for charity as much as possible, Neil decided to set some targets.

If he managed to raise more than £500 he would do the race on a fold up bike, while if he raised over £1000 his brother Kevin would join him. As the total surpassed £5000, Neil and Kevin had to think up something even bigger. So in the end they donned their dresses and took on the mammoth cycle dressed as women (and cycled it on 1970s made fold up bikes with 3 gears!)

Neil tells us that the race was not as bad as they had expected and they completed it in 8 hours and 46 minutes, spurred on by comments such as “you could have shaved your legs” and “you look good from the back, but not so good from the front.”

Help support Neil and Kevin

You can help the brothers raise even more for this fantastic charity by donating to their fundraising page.

#fundraiserfriday: “Mum would have been my number one supporter”

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The charity

Kirsty Mackay, not content with just one fundraising challenge, has decided to do 40 things before she turns 40. She is taking on this challenge to fundraise for the charity Beat, the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight and shape.

Kirsty’s mum, who suffered from an eating disorder, sadly and unexpectedly, died in 2012. Kirsty says “I know that she would have been my number one supporter throughout all the events I will be taking part in this year.

The challenge

Kirsty tells us that the reason behind taking on 40 challenges to celebrate turning 40 this year was “to prove that age is just a number and you can do anything if you put your mind to it“. She then decided to add an extra angle to the challenge by asking friends and family to nominate challenges for her to do, as a way to spend time with people who are important to her.

Challenges range from running the Virgin Money London Marathon – which Kirsty says was the event she was most looking forward to and didn’t disappoint; “I loved every minute of it” – to holding a spider for one minute, a challenge given to her by her Dad!

Kirsty also took part in the fantastic Spartan Race – a mixture of running and taking on weird and wonderful obstacles – and next week will be taking part in the Great Scottish Swim; the challenge she is most nervous about as she admits she is not a strong swimmer.

Help Kirsty

You can support Kirsty in her 40 challenges by donating to her fundraising page.

RideLondon fundraising hero: Georgia cycling in memory of her father

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On Sunday 31st July, Georgia Isaacs will will be one of thousands of cyclists taking to the road for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. She’s riding in memory of her dad, Michael Isaacs, who sadly died the day after her 18th birthday in November 2011. Georgia told us her story and we’re delighted to feature her as a guest blogger today.

Why RideLondon?

“I’ve waited a while to do something in memory of my dad because I just wasn’t sure of the right thing to do. Then I went to watch the the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Box Hill a few years ago and I knew it was exactly the challenge I wanted to take on. Now I’m here… terrified but incredibly excited!”

Michael Isaacs

“My dad devastatingly lost his battle with cancer after an honourable fight. He worked up until 3 weeks before he died and never ever let us know how much pain he was actually in, which made the news that he only had days to live a complete and utter shock. All of our lives were turned upside-down.

The Princess Alice Hospice

“On my 18th birthday my dad was taken to the Princess Alice Hospice, Esher. The Princess Alice Hospice is a wonderful, calming place that is far from what I expected a hospice to be. They put their heart and soul into making sure dad’s last hours were as comfortable as possible and tried their very best to ease our pain too. With a team of doctors and nurses caring for dad medically it enabled my mum to go back to being his wife and just be at his side.

“You are always welcome back to the hospice to look round the gardens, light candles in memory or just sit in the cafe and remember your loved one. We were, and still are, so grateful for the amazing job the staff do in such an emotionally tough environment.

Training

“Training for this ride has been very physically challenging as well as emotionally. I have not had dad here to help me with the things I had always depended on him to do such as oiling my bike, fixing punctures and helping when my chain comes off. I am so grateful for the people who have been able to help me and subsequently teach me all of these things and more.georgia bike

“I wish so much dad could be here to cycle with me, something I am sure he would have loved to have done. I try my hardest to remember that any pain I endure during the training and on the day is nothing like the pain my dad was in.

“My dad was my absolute world and I would do anything to have him back and for our family to be whole again. I still can’t get my head round the fact he is no longer here.”

How you can help

You can support Georgia’s challenge via her Virgin Money Giving page.


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