Posts Tagged 'Charity'

#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”

Heidi takes on fundraising with Instagram

heidi-fb

“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.”

Coming up with creative ways to keep up the momentum of your fundraising can sometimes leave you feeling a bit stuck. But often it’s simple things done well and using every day tools such as social media which really does rally the crowds and help keep you motivated.

Meet Heidi – not only has she smashed £2000 (and still rising) in donations for Tommy’s, who research how to save babies’ lives, she has also cracked Instagram to a T.

It’s clear that Heidi really does know how to work her audience, so we got in touch to find out a bit more about her story and how she’s approached her fundraising.

1. Use hashtags to get connected

Heidi says, “It’s about finding the right hashtag to connect with others. You need to find out what others are using.”

Heidi uses #thisisforbabyjames to personalise her story and to make it easier to follow, and also uses #marathontraining and #babyloss to connect with like-minded people.

2. Take people on your journey

When Heidi shares a photo, she makes sure to share the story behind the photo. She says that you need to “find something memorable in your runs. People need to be able to imagine what was happening. They need to find emotion, feel something and get lost in it. They need to connect with people.”

3. Choose your photos with a purpose

Sometimes a photo speaks a thousand words. Finding powerful photos really help tell your story. Heidi says “pictures help you to find the words when you just don’t know heidi1what to say”. One of Heidi’s photos is her Tommy’s running vest, which is covered in 63 stars; each one represents a child who was lost whose family she has met on her journey.

4. Connect with your charity

Heidi says that tagging the charity you’re running for is a great way to keep up to date with what you’re charity is doing, which allows you to share your learning about your charity with others. This ensures you’re always creating new opportunities to fundraise.

She adds “Tagging can also be reassuring. It’s the opportunity to talk and be supported by your charity so you’re never on your own. They understand and they want to support.”

5. Share your target

Heidi says that when you share your target and your running total, “people who’ve donated get excited. It’s all about looking how far we have come – the fundraising is a team effort.”

Sharing her target was a great way for Heidi to keep everyone involved and focused on a collective goal. It’s a call to act now rather than later. She adds “It’s making everyone feel good and getting the buzz going. Everyone wants to be that person to get you over the line.”

6. Thank people

Heidi says “Share your appreciation and people will be inspired to share your story again and feel a part of your team.” Regular sharing also means you’re rarely out of sight, therefore out of mind.

7. Make your Instagram public

Heidi says “Having a public page helps to open up your fundraising to a wider network. It doesn’t matter if people don’t know you because it’s easy to be compassionate when it’s close to your heart. People want to get on board, and it’s contagious.”

8. Start posting early and post regularly

Make the most of the time you’ve got. Heidi’s been posting for 29 weeks, and the Marathon isn’t until April. She’s showcased her whole journey so far, kept everyone up to date and taken her followers on her journey with her. She’s a constant reminder to her followers of why Tommy’s is so important, and why they should donate.

9. Mix it upheidi2

We know Heidi’s journey is not just about running. It’s about support, hard work, emotions, memories, brownies and more! She’s shared stories of raffles, new things she’s learnt about Tommy’s and those very special moments with her family that make it all worth it.

10. Always link back to your fundraising

Seize every opportunity to share a link to your fundraising page and include a link to your fundraising page in social posts or emails. Don’t forget to include it in your profile like Heidi.

If you want to change your URL to make it easier to remember, just sign in and select ‘change address’.

Have you cracked social media to inspire more people to donate? Share how you did it with others @VMGiving or on Facebook

#fundraiserfriday: Laura lost her husband 5 days after sinus pain

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In May 2016, Laura Barley‘s husband Euan complained of sinusitis and ear ache. Five days later, he had died from what turned out to be meningitis. Euan left behind a shocked and devastated Laura and their one-year-old son, Lucas.  Laura was determined to do something for a charity which could stop others from going through the same – Meningitis Now – and conquer the Great Wall of China.

The charity

Meningitis Now‘s vision is a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.

Since Euan’s death, Meningitis Now have supported Laura and Lucas. Laura says “I want to help raise awareness about meningitis, I often wonder if we had been more aware could things have turned out differently?

The challenge

Laura tells us that she was looking through the featured fundraising events on the Meningitis Now website and the Great Wall challenge immediately appealed to her as Euan had spent part of his life in the Far East and China. Laura adds that incredibly, the Great Wall was one of the things she and Euan had discussed on their first date! She says “I felt it was a perfect thing to do in his honour.”laura-barley-for-blog-2

The training involved in such a challenge is significant! Laura and her team (cousin Emma and friends Alison and Lauren) – who Laura says have bonded well over their training – will have to be pretty fit to conquer the steps of the Great Wall.

When asked What Laura is most looking forward to about the challenge, she says she is most looking forward to seeing the finishing line and her son, Lucas. “The sense of achievement will be fantastic and knowing we have done something so challenging for such a good cause will, I’m sure, be quite overwhelming,” she says, adding;

“Completing this in Euan’s honour will be a wonderful incentive too. I know he would be immensely proud.”

How you can help

You can sponsor Laura and her team by visiting their Virgin Money Giving page and help to raise funds so that others might not have to go through what happened to Lucas and Laura.

#fundraiserfriday: From finding out I was expecting a baby to saying goodbye to my inspirational little lady

henrietta

In the short space of 18 months, Victoria Guthrie went from the elation of finding out she was expecting a new baby to saying goodbye her ‘inspirational little lady’. Victoria and Henrietta share today’s #fundraiserfriday star.

Henrietta’s story

After a normal pregnancy, baby Henrietta surprised everyone with her quick entry to the world, which revealed that she had Noonan syndrome and an extensive list of life limiting conditions. These included JMML which is a form of Leukaemia, Tetralogy of Fallot and bi-ventricular hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, characterised as the thickening of both sides of her heart muscle. Henrietta was unable to feed naturally which meant that although Victoria and Henrietta were able to have 9 months of ‘big girl sleepovers’ at a children’s hospital, 7 months of which were in an intensive care unit, Henrietta never got the chance to go home with her devoted family.

Cardiomyopathy UK

During her time with Henrietta in hospital, Victoria saw a lot of incredible charities doing amazing things for the seriously sick children around her but noticed that there were fewer donations given to cardiac babies like Henrietta. Due to the devastating news that Henrietta’s prognosis was a life expectancy of less than 12 months, Victoria felt it was vital that Henrietta experience as much as she could within the hospital walls and that “seeing some children receive virtually nothing, particularly on Christmas day in ICU” is an image she will carry with her forever. Victoria vowed then that she would find a way to help those living with cardiomyopathy and help people understand that heart conditions aren’t just found in the ageing or with poor lifestyles.henrietta-2

Taking on the London Marathon

As a way of coping with the death of her daughter, Victoria turned to running, inspired by her youngest daughter who had become fixated with Mo Farrah. During one longer run, Victoria decided that running the London Marathon would be a great way to honour her “little lady” and teach Henrietta’s siblings that good things can come out of tragedy. She adds “such an inspirational and aspirational event can challenge you personally whilst also allowing you to raise much needed funds for charities like Cardiomyopathy UK.

Victoria tells us that finding time to train can be very challenging at the best of times but with a young family of 4, Victoria’s training has been a full family effort. Rising as early as 4am, with any lie-ins being replaced with long runs and hill sessions.

Victoria’s motivation

If you ask Victoria what will keep her running, even in her bleakest moments, the answer is simple: love.

“All I want is people to feel supported and not to suffer alone, whether they are the patient or the family. We know first-hand that a diagnosis can rip your world apart. Everyone affected deserves the support of Cardiomyopathy UK – to know it’s always there for you. And with Cardiomyopathy affecting people of all ages and being the main cause of sudden death in young people under 35, its work is vitally needed.”

How you can help

You can support Victoria’s challenge in honour of Henrietta by donating to her Virgin Money Giving page. Every penny raised will help to make a huge difference:

  • £7 pays for a 10 minute call to a specialist helpline nurse,
  • £10 pays for 3 families who have a child with cardiomyopathy to get the right information,
  • £20 pays for 4 people to receive a ‘living with cardiomyopathy’ pack,
  • £60 pays for 150 people newly diagnosed to get detailed information from the website,
  • £150 pays for a doctor or nurse to be trained at the annual conference.

#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

crisis blog

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

giving-tues-16-tw

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.


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