Posts Tagged 'VMLM17'

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 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.

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’

#fundraiserfriday: Chronic pain won’t stop Nick Southorn

nickt-tw

“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.”

On 23 April 2017, tens of thousands of runners will take to the streets of London and take part in the largest single-day fundraising event in the world; the Virgin Money London Marathon. One of those people will be Nick. Nick told us about his challenge and how his chronic pain is affected.

The event

“I chose the London Marathon initially as it is one of those ‘bucket list’ events. I completed London in 2016 and realised that it is so much more than a bucket list event, it is an all-consuming running and charity festival. Everyone is sharing the same emotions and there is a tacit feeling of community and compassion amongst not only the runners, but the spectators too. They gained my everlasting respect and I look forward to being a part of it once more this year.”

The challenge

“One of the biggest motivational factors for me, aside from charity work, is to spread the message that I try to sell in my clinics – it’s better to have a life with chronic pain and fatigue than to simply live with it. It is difficult, but worth it. On leaving the army in 2003 I was a reasonably fit 22 year-old, but I then developed a significant lower back and sacroiliac joint pain which drove me to inactivity. I became increasingly fatigued to the point that normal daily activity was a struggle which lead me to becoming out of shape, sluggish, depressed and unsociable. However, by starting off with a few gasping and limping 3 km runs, I was slowly able to run and make reasonable distances regularly.”

Nick’s 2017

“2017 is going to be my most active yet; five marathons and a couple of ultras (including three laps of Tough Mudder = 33 miles of obstacle running). When it’s all over I look forward to finding my next challenge. Knowing that I have two great charities to raise money for [Macmillan and Treetops Hospice Care] means that I must get moving. My friends and family are amazing and supportive by forcing me out of the house when I really don’t want to. Whatever the future holds for me, I plan to always be an advocate for healthy living and not letting chronic pain and fatigue get in the way.”

Support Nick

You can help Nick raise as much money as possible for Macmillan and Treetops Hospice via his Virgin Money Giving page.

Win the Ultimate Upgrade for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon

25 places image for email

If you have been lucky enough to get a place in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon then a huge congratulations to you. You are going to be participating at the biggest single-day fundraising event in the world, following in the footsteps of Paula Radcliffe, Mo Farrah, Dame Kelly Holmes and, of course, Humphrey the Camel.

Just when you thought your place couldn’t get any better.. We’re giving away 9 chances to win the Ultimate VIP Upgrade to win:

  • A night in a central London hotel before the race.
  • VIP travel from your hotel to the Green start, where you’ll set off with the celebrity runners.
  • Two grandstand tickets for family or friends to watch you cross the finish line
  • Entry for you and two guests into the Virgin Money after party

Every donation that you receive on your London Marathon Virgin Money Giving page gets you an entry into our competition and we will give one away monthly so the more donations you get, the more chances to win!

It will only take a minute or two to set up your page and start fundraising and there is no time like the present..

Terms and conditions apply.

Continue reading ‘Win the Ultimate Upgrade for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon’

#runface winners

runface winners

At the end of April this year, we decided to give people the chance to get in early by giving away 10 places for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. All they had to do was share a picture of their #runface.

Yet again we received hundreds of entries; from elation to exhaustion, from cheers to tears, we saw fear, fatigue, jubilance and jowels. A shortlist was decided and votes were cast and we ended up with 10 clear winners who we are delighted to introduce to you now:

If you are lucky enough to get a place at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, don’t forget to set up your fundraising page with us. We’re the official fundraising partner of the event and we’re with you every step of the way.


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