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Lewis Garland 's Entries

10 blogs
  • 08 Jun 2017
    Tennis2Be is a London based charity dedicated to making tennis an accessible and inclusive sport. Their annual flagship, the ‘Craic Cup’ plays a key part in achieving this mission,  with players of all ages and abilities attending. With this year’s cup just ten days away we caught up with Tennis2Be’s Jay Macpherson. Tell us about the inspiration behind the Craic Cup? What have been your Craic Cup highlights ? “Noticing how more and more people show up every year. There is a real demand for it, enough people to create healthy competition whilst also taking playing levels into account. Visits from our Patron, Rudolph Walker from East Enders,and the Major. The oldest and youngest attendees 3-85 years! At the heart of what we do as a charity is to provide sports and education, we’ve been consistent in involving grassroots organisations and having our ear to the ground each year then I'd call that a highlight reel in itself." What do people have to look forward to this year? “The numbers are getting larger each year, over 80 people attended, giving players the opportunity to play as many people on the day as possible. We've also secured the National Tennis Centre again this year which is a 40 million pound tennis venue built for the pros. If you want to get motivated to play tennis, there is no better place to start than here!” Who can get involved and how? “The beauty of charity events is that absolutely anyone can get involved. All you need is to sign up through our website at www.tennis2be.com . Places are limited and would advise everyone to sign up as soon as they can. We also have special volunteer roles for the Craic Cup where people can gain experience on organising an event of this magnitude, roles in data entry, social media, trusteeship and more." How have you used Localgiving to raise funds for this tournament and your other activities? “Localgiving was an amazing platform that we used initially to try and get donations incentivised by the match funding (London Regional Development Programme). We found Localgiving has much more functionality including appeals and fundraisers, all of which we have explored with fantastic results.This is also thanks to Conor; our point of contact from Localgiving, who was very supportive and patient during the early stages of our understanding, always there when we need both in person and on the phone. The way we use the funding is mainly for providing equipment, reaching out to communities, increasing our programme intake, venue hire, and much more. For example a £45 donation can provide 5 children with a tennis lesson plus educational element. The value of our donations and the ease with which this was done through the platform, says volumes about Localgiving's mission is to strengthen UK communities by safeguarding the sustainability of the local voluntary sector. We really appreciate all the support from our patrons on Localgiving, you guys are awesome!" What recommendations would you give to other groups about how to make the most of their Localgiving page? “A couple of things. Filling out your profile as well as you can to make sure everyone knows exactly where you come from and where you intend to go is absolutely key for charities and organisations wishing to make a difference. You need stand out and provide something unique for your supporters so they can relate to you as closely as possible. An additional recommendation I would give is make use of fundraisers! Even if you get your small team of 3 or 4 individuals to try raising money it adds up insanely quickly. It can also be a ton of fun seeing what people are coming up with on the site, from bold marathons to baths in baked beans, there's a level of magic.” To find out more about the Craic cup or register to take part you can visit: https://www.tennis2be.com/tennis2be-craic-cup-2017  Enjoyed this blog? You may also like: Maximising your fundraising potential New Grant Opportunities from the United Way UK
    1999 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Tennis2Be is a London based charity dedicated to making tennis an accessible and inclusive sport. Their annual flagship, the ‘Craic Cup’ plays a key part in achieving this mission,  with players of all ages and abilities attending. With this year’s cup just ten days away we caught up with Tennis2Be’s Jay Macpherson. Tell us about the inspiration behind the Craic Cup? What have been your Craic Cup highlights ? “Noticing how more and more people show up every year. There is a real demand for it, enough people to create healthy competition whilst also taking playing levels into account. Visits from our Patron, Rudolph Walker from East Enders,and the Major. The oldest and youngest attendees 3-85 years! At the heart of what we do as a charity is to provide sports and education, we’ve been consistent in involving grassroots organisations and having our ear to the ground each year then I'd call that a highlight reel in itself." What do people have to look forward to this year? “The numbers are getting larger each year, over 80 people attended, giving players the opportunity to play as many people on the day as possible. We've also secured the National Tennis Centre again this year which is a 40 million pound tennis venue built for the pros. If you want to get motivated to play tennis, there is no better place to start than here!” Who can get involved and how? “The beauty of charity events is that absolutely anyone can get involved. All you need is to sign up through our website at www.tennis2be.com . Places are limited and would advise everyone to sign up as soon as they can. We also have special volunteer roles for the Craic Cup where people can gain experience on organising an event of this magnitude, roles in data entry, social media, trusteeship and more." How have you used Localgiving to raise funds for this tournament and your other activities? “Localgiving was an amazing platform that we used initially to try and get donations incentivised by the match funding (London Regional Development Programme). We found Localgiving has much more functionality including appeals and fundraisers, all of which we have explored with fantastic results.This is also thanks to Conor; our point of contact from Localgiving, who was very supportive and patient during the early stages of our understanding, always there when we need both in person and on the phone. The way we use the funding is mainly for providing equipment, reaching out to communities, increasing our programme intake, venue hire, and much more. For example a £45 donation can provide 5 children with a tennis lesson plus educational element. The value of our donations and the ease with which this was done through the platform, says volumes about Localgiving's mission is to strengthen UK communities by safeguarding the sustainability of the local voluntary sector. We really appreciate all the support from our patrons on Localgiving, you guys are awesome!" What recommendations would you give to other groups about how to make the most of their Localgiving page? “A couple of things. Filling out your profile as well as you can to make sure everyone knows exactly where you come from and where you intend to go is absolutely key for charities and organisations wishing to make a difference. You need stand out and provide something unique for your supporters so they can relate to you as closely as possible. An additional recommendation I would give is make use of fundraisers! Even if you get your small team of 3 or 4 individuals to try raising money it adds up insanely quickly. It can also be a ton of fun seeing what people are coming up with on the site, from bold marathons to baths in baked beans, there's a level of magic.” To find out more about the Craic cup or register to take part you can visit: https://www.tennis2be.com/tennis2be-craic-cup-2017  Enjoyed this blog? You may also like: Maximising your fundraising potential New Grant Opportunities from the United Way UK
    Jun 08, 2017 1999
  • 19 Apr 2017
    We’ve reached the half way point of Local Hero 2017. Francesca and Rachel, who are raising funds for Friends of Hillside School, have stretched their lead to 16 points raising £1875 in the process  – a strong but by no means unassailable lead. Meanwhile, the chasing pack is becoming increasingly concertinaed. Just 15 points (donations) currently separate 7th to 20th place. Each week we are inspired by the creativity and energy put in by our Local Heroes. This week is no exception. Here are some of our highlights from week 3: Fundraising is an art! Charlotte Clark is creating a bespoke piece of wall art to be exhibited as a permanent fixture in the Clifton Community Arts Centre. She will be incorporating the artwork of local community groups such as schools and charities.  Knit you usual challenge Avid knitters from the "Made to give......with love" group in Plymouth  are  getting sponsored to knit links. These links will be built into a chain which will be measured in September.  All funds go to Jeremiah's Journey. Digital detox  These days detoxes take all types  - for Anoushka Yeoh and friends going without screens for a day is the hardest challenge of all!  Tour de France Force After conquering Kilimanjaro in 2017, Lynda Dean and the wider Sporting Family Change Team are at it again – this time cycling mighty 240 Miles from Bath to Paris!  “…Even if we’re just dancing in the dark…” Julia Fletcher is hosting on an energetic night of glow sticks and Lycra for Basingstoke group,  Helping Hands for the Blind. Fundraising from 10,000 feet above! 6 brave souls will be jumping out of a plane in a tandem skydive for Oxford Cruse, which provides free bereavement support and counselling to people in Oxfordshire. If you’ve got stirring story or a creative challenge why not get in touch! Until next week, happy fundraising!  
    1556 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • We’ve reached the half way point of Local Hero 2017. Francesca and Rachel, who are raising funds for Friends of Hillside School, have stretched their lead to 16 points raising £1875 in the process  – a strong but by no means unassailable lead. Meanwhile, the chasing pack is becoming increasingly concertinaed. Just 15 points (donations) currently separate 7th to 20th place. Each week we are inspired by the creativity and energy put in by our Local Heroes. This week is no exception. Here are some of our highlights from week 3: Fundraising is an art! Charlotte Clark is creating a bespoke piece of wall art to be exhibited as a permanent fixture in the Clifton Community Arts Centre. She will be incorporating the artwork of local community groups such as schools and charities.  Knit you usual challenge Avid knitters from the "Made to give......with love" group in Plymouth  are  getting sponsored to knit links. These links will be built into a chain which will be measured in September.  All funds go to Jeremiah's Journey. Digital detox  These days detoxes take all types  - for Anoushka Yeoh and friends going without screens for a day is the hardest challenge of all!  Tour de France Force After conquering Kilimanjaro in 2017, Lynda Dean and the wider Sporting Family Change Team are at it again – this time cycling mighty 240 Miles from Bath to Paris!  “…Even if we’re just dancing in the dark…” Julia Fletcher is hosting on an energetic night of glow sticks and Lycra for Basingstoke group,  Helping Hands for the Blind. Fundraising from 10,000 feet above! 6 brave souls will be jumping out of a plane in a tandem skydive for Oxford Cruse, which provides free bereavement support and counselling to people in Oxfordshire. If you’ve got stirring story or a creative challenge why not get in touch! Until next week, happy fundraising!  
    Apr 19, 2017 1556
  • 24 Jan 2017
      Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian Swimming Pool in the UK. Sadly the pools have been closed for swimming for over quarter of a century. However there is now an appeal being run through Localgiving to rejuvenate and reopen this forgotten landmark. This appeal, led by local resident Suzy Granger, has really caught the imagination of the local community.  On the week commencing 6th February, 8 local swim schools and approximately 700 children will be participating in a swimathon to raise money for the campaign. We spoke to Suzy in advance of the big swim to find out what inspired the campaign, what makes Cleveland Pools so important and how supporters can get involved with the campaign. What makes Cleveland Pools special and how will this campaign benefit the local community? “The Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian swimming pool in the UK. Closed for swimming in 1984, a trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year old site with it crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles.  Situated on the banks of the river Avon it is a peaceful and beautiful location to enjoy an outdoor swimming experience.  It will be the only public outdoor swimming pool in Bath so will be a great asset to the local community in the summer months, especially as it will be naturally heated and treated for the first time in its history. Outdoor swimming has had a revival in recent years and it will be a great opportunity for Bath to have such an offering for its local community.” Tell us about the challenge? “I thought it would be great to get the swimming community in Bath involved in raising money for Cleveland Pools.  I have organised sponsored swims before at my swim school, Bath School of Swimming.  However I have never organised a sponsored swim of this scale with so many swim schools involved.  To my knowledge this is the first time the whole swimming community in Bath have come together to raise money collectively.” What are you enjoying and looking forward to about running this appeal? “Lots of people have heard about the Cleveland Pools but don’t know where they are in Bath and know little of their history.  This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the pools with the swimming community.  I am also looking forward to witnessing the swimming community coming together and collectively raising money for such a great cause.” How can people get involved with the appeal? If you would like to make a donation to support the Swimathon then please go here. If any local companies want to match fund what the swimmers raise we would be really grateful and they should get in touch with suzy@clevelandpools.org.uk. Likewise get in touch with Suzy if you would like your swim school to take part.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 3 Top Tips On Creating Great Social Media Content For Charities Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge  
    3252 Posted by Lewis Garland
  •   Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian Swimming Pool in the UK. Sadly the pools have been closed for swimming for over quarter of a century. However there is now an appeal being run through Localgiving to rejuvenate and reopen this forgotten landmark. This appeal, led by local resident Suzy Granger, has really caught the imagination of the local community.  On the week commencing 6th February, 8 local swim schools and approximately 700 children will be participating in a swimathon to raise money for the campaign. We spoke to Suzy in advance of the big swim to find out what inspired the campaign, what makes Cleveland Pools so important and how supporters can get involved with the campaign. What makes Cleveland Pools special and how will this campaign benefit the local community? “The Cleveland Pools is the only surviving Georgian swimming pool in the UK. Closed for swimming in 1984, a trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year old site with it crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles.  Situated on the banks of the river Avon it is a peaceful and beautiful location to enjoy an outdoor swimming experience.  It will be the only public outdoor swimming pool in Bath so will be a great asset to the local community in the summer months, especially as it will be naturally heated and treated for the first time in its history. Outdoor swimming has had a revival in recent years and it will be a great opportunity for Bath to have such an offering for its local community.” Tell us about the challenge? “I thought it would be great to get the swimming community in Bath involved in raising money for Cleveland Pools.  I have organised sponsored swims before at my swim school, Bath School of Swimming.  However I have never organised a sponsored swim of this scale with so many swim schools involved.  To my knowledge this is the first time the whole swimming community in Bath have come together to raise money collectively.” What are you enjoying and looking forward to about running this appeal? “Lots of people have heard about the Cleveland Pools but don’t know where they are in Bath and know little of their history.  This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the pools with the swimming community.  I am also looking forward to witnessing the swimming community coming together and collectively raising money for such a great cause.” How can people get involved with the appeal? If you would like to make a donation to support the Swimathon then please go here. If any local companies want to match fund what the swimmers raise we would be really grateful and they should get in touch with suzy@clevelandpools.org.uk. Likewise get in touch with Suzy if you would like your swim school to take part.  Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 3 Top Tips On Creating Great Social Media Content For Charities Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge  
    Jan 24, 2017 3252
  • 23 Jan 2017
    Every year our Local Hero campaign shines a spotlight on the incredible work of individual fundraisers. This campaign sees fundraisers competing over a month to top our Local Hero leader board. 2016 saw a nail-biting race to the finish line, with fundraisers changing positions right until the last minute. Our eventual champion, Alastair Sill, secured an incredible 317 unique funders, raising over £4000 for Taking Flight Theatre Company - plus a further £1000 in prize money. We recently had a chat with Alistair to discuss what inspired him to take part in Local Hero, to find out what his greatest challenges were during the month and to gather some tips for those interested in participating in this year’s campaign. How did you hear about the Local Hero campaign and why did you choose to support Taking Flight Theatre Company? “The theatre company had heard about the Local Hero campaign and told me about it as it coincided with plans I had already been making to fundraise for them” “I have worked with them for 6 years now as an audio describer. I recognise how hard they are trying to make their work accessible to a wide audience and the difficulties they face” How did you decide upon your challenge? “I enjoy cycling and wanted to do a cycling challenge anyway. My decision to ride from the East to the west of Wales matched the tour route the theatre company were taking.” “Throughout the ride I stopped off in places they were performing to explain what the company was doing. The theatre company sent out actors to the schools before I arrived and delivered iambic pentameter workshops. I did some games involving audio description and talked about my role and explained what audio description is" What training did you do for your challenge? “I followed a hilly route quite near my house when cycling. There is also a lake quite near where I live that I cycled around. I built up to the challenge, got my stamina up and made sure I had enough supplements.” What did you enjoy most about participating in, and winning, Local Hero 2016? “I didn’t expect as many people to get behind it as they did. I wanted to do something to help Taking Flight Theatre Company. I was quite baffled by how many people got into the idea.”“I got into the friendly competitive edge. You respected everyone who was participating, all of the charities and causes they were raising money for were equally important so you wanted them to do well.” “The competition got lots of people involved who I hadn’t been in touch with a while. It was a nice surprise when people you hadn’t seen in a while donated. The amount people donated was also a surprise – we had somebody donate £500!” “It got really close at the end. Beth House, one of the directors of the company got really involved. I could see emails coming through saying “we need 7 more sponsors and then we’ve done it, we’ve only got 10 minute left”. I tweeted a lot about what I was doing and put updates on Facebook too." “The fact it was so tight created a great atmosphere and built up publicity for the company. It also engendered excitement for the tour before it had even begun.” Do you know how the money raised during Local Hero was spent ? “Taking Flight are about putting on accessible performances with artistic and creative integrity. The signers for example are characters in the play. There was a deaf actor playing the role of Juliet and the audio description was integrated into the performance. All of these things push the boundaries.” “These things take time to work in during rehearsals. The money raised from Localhero was spent on creating even more accessible performance so that people can go to watch the shows who wouldn’t ordinarily think about going to watch a live performance - to ensure nobody is isolated or segregated in any.” What advice would you give to people interested in participating in Local Hero 2017? Pick something you are going to enjoy doing that can engender an appetite among the public. The more you enjoy the prospect of doing the challenge yourself the more you will be able to sell that idea to other people. Make sure you do something you can really throw yourself into and have a good time while you’re doing it – you may not do something like it again Ensure you have people around you who are supportive and as into the idea as you are. You’ve got to think about the challenge you are doing and so you’ve got to get other people to help with getting the message out. It’s very difficult to do the campaigning and do the challenge yourself – although its important to play a part in that. Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with as many people you can. You’ll be surprised how many people will support you. Enjoy the competition - the Localgiving website is really easy to use and you can view your growing sponsors . And the fact that the winners get an extra £1000 on top of what they raise is a really great incentive.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge What Makes Local Charities Unique?  
    2351 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Every year our Local Hero campaign shines a spotlight on the incredible work of individual fundraisers. This campaign sees fundraisers competing over a month to top our Local Hero leader board. 2016 saw a nail-biting race to the finish line, with fundraisers changing positions right until the last minute. Our eventual champion, Alastair Sill, secured an incredible 317 unique funders, raising over £4000 for Taking Flight Theatre Company - plus a further £1000 in prize money. We recently had a chat with Alistair to discuss what inspired him to take part in Local Hero, to find out what his greatest challenges were during the month and to gather some tips for those interested in participating in this year’s campaign. How did you hear about the Local Hero campaign and why did you choose to support Taking Flight Theatre Company? “The theatre company had heard about the Local Hero campaign and told me about it as it coincided with plans I had already been making to fundraise for them” “I have worked with them for 6 years now as an audio describer. I recognise how hard they are trying to make their work accessible to a wide audience and the difficulties they face” How did you decide upon your challenge? “I enjoy cycling and wanted to do a cycling challenge anyway. My decision to ride from the East to the west of Wales matched the tour route the theatre company were taking.” “Throughout the ride I stopped off in places they were performing to explain what the company was doing. The theatre company sent out actors to the schools before I arrived and delivered iambic pentameter workshops. I did some games involving audio description and talked about my role and explained what audio description is" What training did you do for your challenge? “I followed a hilly route quite near my house when cycling. There is also a lake quite near where I live that I cycled around. I built up to the challenge, got my stamina up and made sure I had enough supplements.” What did you enjoy most about participating in, and winning, Local Hero 2016? “I didn’t expect as many people to get behind it as they did. I wanted to do something to help Taking Flight Theatre Company. I was quite baffled by how many people got into the idea.”“I got into the friendly competitive edge. You respected everyone who was participating, all of the charities and causes they were raising money for were equally important so you wanted them to do well.” “The competition got lots of people involved who I hadn’t been in touch with a while. It was a nice surprise when people you hadn’t seen in a while donated. The amount people donated was also a surprise – we had somebody donate £500!” “It got really close at the end. Beth House, one of the directors of the company got really involved. I could see emails coming through saying “we need 7 more sponsors and then we’ve done it, we’ve only got 10 minute left”. I tweeted a lot about what I was doing and put updates on Facebook too." “The fact it was so tight created a great atmosphere and built up publicity for the company. It also engendered excitement for the tour before it had even begun.” Do you know how the money raised during Local Hero was spent ? “Taking Flight are about putting on accessible performances with artistic and creative integrity. The signers for example are characters in the play. There was a deaf actor playing the role of Juliet and the audio description was integrated into the performance. All of these things push the boundaries.” “These things take time to work in during rehearsals. The money raised from Localhero was spent on creating even more accessible performance so that people can go to watch the shows who wouldn’t ordinarily think about going to watch a live performance - to ensure nobody is isolated or segregated in any.” What advice would you give to people interested in participating in Local Hero 2017? Pick something you are going to enjoy doing that can engender an appetite among the public. The more you enjoy the prospect of doing the challenge yourself the more you will be able to sell that idea to other people. Make sure you do something you can really throw yourself into and have a good time while you’re doing it – you may not do something like it again Ensure you have people around you who are supportive and as into the idea as you are. You’ve got to think about the challenge you are doing and so you’ve got to get other people to help with getting the message out. It’s very difficult to do the campaigning and do the challenge yourself – although its important to play a part in that. Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with as many people you can. You’ll be surprised how many people will support you. Enjoy the competition - the Localgiving website is really easy to use and you can view your growing sponsors . And the fact that the winners get an extra £1000 on top of what they raise is a really great incentive.   Found this blog post useful? You may also like:    Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report 2016 Big Strong Heart: Tips for your Charity Challenge What Makes Local Charities Unique?  
    Jan 23, 2017 2351
  • 16 Jun 2016
    This summer David Charles and his girlfriend, Caz, are cycling an astonishing 3000 Miles across Europe, raising funds for London based refugee charity, The Bike Project. Starting in London and finishing at the town of Gaziantep on the Syria-Turkey border, this journey retraces the route taken by the thousands of refugees who have fled the war-torn country in recent years. Along the way they will be exploring how life has changed, both for refugees and also for communities living along the migration route. Localgiving recently took the chance to chat to David about his inspiration – and perspiration! What inspired you to take on this challenge? “The inspiration for this trip came directly from the volunteer work we've been doing with The Bike Project in London. The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees so that they can travel around the city”. “Last year, we were part of a mass cycle ride to the migrant camp in Calais, donating more than 80 bikes to refugees there. That gave me the idea to cycle onwards, through France and Germany, across the Balkans to Greece and beyond, from where hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make a new life for themselves in Europe”. “I have been lucky enough in my life to be able to travel freely throughout the world, and have always received wonderful hospitality from everyone I have met, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. My support for charities like The Bike Project comes from a desire to return the generous hospitality that I have received to newcomers in my country, particularly to those who have been forced from their homes without the freedom of a passport and a ticket home”. What difficulties do you think you may face along the way? “The main challenges of the trip so far have been incredibly mundane: where to refill our water bottles, how to eat enough good food without spending too much money, when to stop for the night. Then yesterday I got bitten by a tick and now I'm panicking that I've got Lyme Disease! But in truth the only real challenge was committing to the ride, giving up our flats and leaving. Everything else is just logistics. What training have you done for the trip? “We both cycle a lot in London because public transport is so expensive. While I have done some bike touring before, Caz had never cycled more than 20 miles for two days in a row before this trip!” “Neither of us are what you'd call ‘serious cyclists’ - for us, it's just the easiest way of getting around. I believe that if you can cycle a mile to the shops, then you can probably cycle two and three miles. Keep turning your pedals, put those miles together and you've got a 2,500 mile tour across the continent!” What would you say to persuade or inspire other people to fundraise? “I've only ever fundraised like this a couple of times in my life - it simply must be a cause that you passionately believe in. “The Bike Project makes a really positive, visible difference to people's lives - not just for the refugees who come to the workshop and go home with what the suffragettes called 'freedom machines', but also for people like me, who come to help fix up the bikes and learn so much from both mechanics and refugees.” How can people follow your journey and donate? You can follow our journey on www.davidcharles.info or @dcisbusy on Instagram. People can donate to David here: CyclingSyria   Interested in finding out how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep A Week of Welcome: Refugee Week 2016    
    2058 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • This summer David Charles and his girlfriend, Caz, are cycling an astonishing 3000 Miles across Europe, raising funds for London based refugee charity, The Bike Project. Starting in London and finishing at the town of Gaziantep on the Syria-Turkey border, this journey retraces the route taken by the thousands of refugees who have fled the war-torn country in recent years. Along the way they will be exploring how life has changed, both for refugees and also for communities living along the migration route. Localgiving recently took the chance to chat to David about his inspiration – and perspiration! What inspired you to take on this challenge? “The inspiration for this trip came directly from the volunteer work we've been doing with The Bike Project in London. The Bike Project takes second hand bikes, fixes them up and donates them to refugees so that they can travel around the city”. “Last year, we were part of a mass cycle ride to the migrant camp in Calais, donating more than 80 bikes to refugees there. That gave me the idea to cycle onwards, through France and Germany, across the Balkans to Greece and beyond, from where hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make a new life for themselves in Europe”. “I have been lucky enough in my life to be able to travel freely throughout the world, and have always received wonderful hospitality from everyone I have met, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. My support for charities like The Bike Project comes from a desire to return the generous hospitality that I have received to newcomers in my country, particularly to those who have been forced from their homes without the freedom of a passport and a ticket home”. What difficulties do you think you may face along the way? “The main challenges of the trip so far have been incredibly mundane: where to refill our water bottles, how to eat enough good food without spending too much money, when to stop for the night. Then yesterday I got bitten by a tick and now I'm panicking that I've got Lyme Disease! But in truth the only real challenge was committing to the ride, giving up our flats and leaving. Everything else is just logistics. What training have you done for the trip? “We both cycle a lot in London because public transport is so expensive. While I have done some bike touring before, Caz had never cycled more than 20 miles for two days in a row before this trip!” “Neither of us are what you'd call ‘serious cyclists’ - for us, it's just the easiest way of getting around. I believe that if you can cycle a mile to the shops, then you can probably cycle two and three miles. Keep turning your pedals, put those miles together and you've got a 2,500 mile tour across the continent!” What would you say to persuade or inspire other people to fundraise? “I've only ever fundraised like this a couple of times in my life - it simply must be a cause that you passionately believe in. “The Bike Project makes a really positive, visible difference to people's lives - not just for the refugees who come to the workshop and go home with what the suffragettes called 'freedom machines', but also for people like me, who come to help fix up the bikes and learn so much from both mechanics and refugees.” How can people follow your journey and donate? You can follow our journey on www.davidcharles.info or @dcisbusy on Instagram. People can donate to David here: CyclingSyria   Interested in finding out how you can support Refugees and Refugee groups through Localgiving?  Why not read these blogs: The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep A Week of Welcome: Refugee Week 2016    
    Jun 16, 2016 2058
  • 29 Apr 2016
    "I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again" - Dawn Prior When Dawn Prior was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer in December 2015, few would have blamed her for reneging on her promise to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  But Dawn is different.  In May, despite still going through a course chemotherapy, Dawn will be making the 5 day, 6000m trek up Africa’s highest peak. Dawn and her fellow intrepid trekkers will be climbing Kilimanjaro in support of the Bath based charity, Sporting Family Change. Sporting Family Change use sports to empower and inspire local families. Dawn first agreed to make the climb last September. “My brother-in-law runs Sporting Family Change, he was trying to get a group of people to go up Kilimanjaro. My sister was doing it and it seemed like a great opportunity, so I thought, “Let’s give it a go”. However, just two months later Dawn received her shattering news. “Obviously I was devastated... It really didn't sink in at first - people began talking to me about critical life insurance, cutting down work etc. Then I thought, let’s get on with it! bang- wallop- let’s get it sorted and let’s get on with life!” When Dawn told the medical professionals that she had made her mind up to continue with the climb they were amazed. “They look at me as if I was mad! The Doctors say 'go for it!'; The cancer nurse looks at me as if I was crazy.” Dawn is realistic about the huge challenges ahead – both in terms of her health and her climb. “I am worried about my breathing – this is concerning me for Kilimanjaro. Whether I make 2 days or I make the full 5 days, you can be sure I’ll be giving it a go – I understand a lot of (the challenge) is mental and I am  quite mentally strong.” “My life in some ways is on hold, but in some ways it is not because I am determined to go off and do Kilimanjaro. I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again.” Dawn hopes that her positive attitude and determination can be an inspiration to other people : “I accept the diagnosis but I don’t accept the verdict, once you accept the verdict you’re on a downhill slope. I didn't want to use the cancer card but this is going to be a huge challenge for me because I am undergoing chemo while doing it. I hope I can inspire other people". You can donate to Dawn here and to find out more about her cause, Sporting Family Change, here.       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha  The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy    
    2146 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • "I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again" - Dawn Prior When Dawn Prior was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer in December 2015, few would have blamed her for reneging on her promise to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  But Dawn is different.  In May, despite still going through a course chemotherapy, Dawn will be making the 5 day, 6000m trek up Africa’s highest peak. Dawn and her fellow intrepid trekkers will be climbing Kilimanjaro in support of the Bath based charity, Sporting Family Change. Sporting Family Change use sports to empower and inspire local families. Dawn first agreed to make the climb last September. “My brother-in-law runs Sporting Family Change, he was trying to get a group of people to go up Kilimanjaro. My sister was doing it and it seemed like a great opportunity, so I thought, “Let’s give it a go”. However, just two months later Dawn received her shattering news. “Obviously I was devastated... It really didn't sink in at first - people began talking to me about critical life insurance, cutting down work etc. Then I thought, let’s get on with it! bang- wallop- let’s get it sorted and let’s get on with life!” When Dawn told the medical professionals that she had made her mind up to continue with the climb they were amazed. “They look at me as if I was mad! The Doctors say 'go for it!'; The cancer nurse looks at me as if I was crazy.” Dawn is realistic about the huge challenges ahead – both in terms of her health and her climb. “I am worried about my breathing – this is concerning me for Kilimanjaro. Whether I make 2 days or I make the full 5 days, you can be sure I’ll be giving it a go – I understand a lot of (the challenge) is mental and I am  quite mentally strong.” “My life in some ways is on hold, but in some ways it is not because I am determined to go off and do Kilimanjaro. I want to be at the top with my sister, my brother-in- law and friends - I may not have this opportunity again.” Dawn hopes that her positive attitude and determination can be an inspiration to other people : “I accept the diagnosis but I don’t accept the verdict, once you accept the verdict you’re on a downhill slope. I didn't want to use the cancer card but this is going to be a huge challenge for me because I am undergoing chemo while doing it. I hope I can inspire other people". You can donate to Dawn here and to find out more about her cause, Sporting Family Change, here.       Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    5 free tools to share your organisation's story by Nisha Kotecha  The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy    
    Apr 29, 2016 2146
  • 25 Apr 2016
    Wendy Richmond, 80, is no ordinary granny.  Far from the TV and slippers, Wendy prefers to spend her time proving that age is not barrier. To celebrate her 80th birthday Wendy carried out a zip-wire descent among the snowy mountains of South Wales, raising funds for The Acorn Cancer Support Group . This zip-line challenge was a birthday present from Wendy’s family, who have gotten very used to her thrill seeking birthday requests. In recent years Wendy has been wing-walking, parachuting, outdoor and indoor ballooning and zip-lining. Each time she has been raising funds for charities that are close to her heart. What made Wendy start taking these challenges? “I’ve always been interested in planes. I saw a film a long time ago about wing walking and I remember thinking “I want to do that” but I never ever thought I’d be able to do it. Then, my family bought me this as a present for my 70th – They know what I like!” “I loved wing-walking – it’s the freedom – it was as if I had the will to fly.   You couldn’t see the plane as you were standing on the wing.  It was just an amazing feeling!  It’s absolutely out of this world, more than I ever expected it to be.” Why Acorn Cancer Support Group? Acorn Cancer Support Group, a small charity in St. Ives,  has made a big difference to Wendy’s life. Wendy sees this as a great way of giving back: “I had breast cancer 7 years ago.  A friend of my sons persuaded me to go. You don’t talk about cancer unless you want to. They take us out for meals and trips down the river – it’s just a beautiful place to go.  So relaxing – I love it”. A very proud family Wendy says that her family are “very proud” of her for her age-defying escapades.  Infact, the adventurous gene seems to have been passed down. Wendy’s son, Karn, was happy to take up the challenge when Wendy was too ill to complete the higher zip-wire in Wales.  Morever, Wendy’s grandchild is currently planning to walk over the 02 in London!     Has the time come for Wendy to put her feet up? “Well, I’m 80 now… but If I see a challenge I like, and I think I can do it, then maybe I will!” To donate to Wendy please go HERE,  and to find out more about Acorn Cancer Support Group  HERE   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroStorytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    2133 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Wendy Richmond, 80, is no ordinary granny.  Far from the TV and slippers, Wendy prefers to spend her time proving that age is not barrier. To celebrate her 80th birthday Wendy carried out a zip-wire descent among the snowy mountains of South Wales, raising funds for The Acorn Cancer Support Group . This zip-line challenge was a birthday present from Wendy’s family, who have gotten very used to her thrill seeking birthday requests. In recent years Wendy has been wing-walking, parachuting, outdoor and indoor ballooning and zip-lining. Each time she has been raising funds for charities that are close to her heart. What made Wendy start taking these challenges? “I’ve always been interested in planes. I saw a film a long time ago about wing walking and I remember thinking “I want to do that” but I never ever thought I’d be able to do it. Then, my family bought me this as a present for my 70th – They know what I like!” “I loved wing-walking – it’s the freedom – it was as if I had the will to fly.   You couldn’t see the plane as you were standing on the wing.  It was just an amazing feeling!  It’s absolutely out of this world, more than I ever expected it to be.” Why Acorn Cancer Support Group? Acorn Cancer Support Group, a small charity in St. Ives,  has made a big difference to Wendy’s life. Wendy sees this as a great way of giving back: “I had breast cancer 7 years ago.  A friend of my sons persuaded me to go. You don’t talk about cancer unless you want to. They take us out for meals and trips down the river – it’s just a beautiful place to go.  So relaxing – I love it”. A very proud family Wendy says that her family are “very proud” of her for her age-defying escapades.  Infact, the adventurous gene seems to have been passed down. Wendy’s son, Karn, was happy to take up the challenge when Wendy was too ill to complete the higher zip-wire in Wales.  Morever, Wendy’s grandchild is currently planning to walk over the 02 in London!     Has the time come for Wendy to put her feet up? “Well, I’m 80 now… but If I see a challenge I like, and I think I can do it, then maybe I will!” To donate to Wendy please go HERE,  and to find out more about Acorn Cancer Support Group  HERE   Found this Blog useful? You may also like:    Dawn rises over Mount KilimanjaroStorytelling Tips for Charities by Becky Slack The Refugee Crisis: make a difference on your doorstep    
    Apr 25, 2016 2133
  • 19 Apr 2016
    Well, what a week it’s been for our Local Heroes!  Just as the leading pack seemed to be breaking away, we saw a sudden surge of support for new fundraisers.  Still lighting the way is Jordan Ignatius with his 5k per day challenge.  Jordan has so far accumulated 87 unique sponsors – quite a feat! Will our top prize be going to Jordan’s Reaching Higher Football Academy? Racing into second place is Tracey Avey who spent the night of 15th April sleeping rough for Street2Homes.  Just behind Tracey, in third place, is Laura Runham who is raising funds for Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue in memory of her late grandfather. With so much changing on the leaderboard in the last week alone, it’s difficult to make any real predictions.  So, it’s all to play for as as we enter the final stretch of the race to be our Local Hero 2016 champion. With so many heroes to highlight, choosing who to feature is becoming harder and harder.  Here are four fundraisers who have raised the office cheer this week:   And it burns, burns, burns! The walk of fire  On April 14th, the members of Imara walked an impressive six metres for their cause.  Six metres that is on hot coals burning at 1236 degrees fahrenheit!   Walking the wall Foster Morton has recently followed an 84 mile walk along a roman wall up with a 2 day cycle home. Inspired by his grandson, who was recently born with severe epilepsy, all funds will be going to Smile for Life Children’s charity. A love of the Open water  Louise Eaton will be taking part in the Great East Swim at Alton Water Reservoir on 18th June. Louise is raising money for Suffolk Accident Rescue service. SARS supported her during a tragic accident 20 years ago this year. Dreams of para-para Parachutes Dayne Britten suffered a brain trauma at 23 which saw him spend 30 days in Hospital.  His passion for supporting other brain trauma survivors has  inspired him to take this leap, through which he will be raising funds for Headway Milton Keynes.   Bern-t food Bernie Lally and his family are buying no food for a fortnight! Dont' worry though - they'll still be getting-their fill. They'll be eating food that would otherwise go uneaten, supplied by Elsie's cafe (pay-what-you-feel. rescued food specialists). Bernie & co will be cooking creatively and sharing pictures of their rescued food creations. Donations will go to Fruitful Abundance, the charity that runs Elsie's cafe.  We’re want to hear your stories! If you have a fundraising tale that needs telling get in touch today! Happy fundraising local heroes!     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:      The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy   Dawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    1789 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • Well, what a week it’s been for our Local Heroes!  Just as the leading pack seemed to be breaking away, we saw a sudden surge of support for new fundraisers.  Still lighting the way is Jordan Ignatius with his 5k per day challenge.  Jordan has so far accumulated 87 unique sponsors – quite a feat! Will our top prize be going to Jordan’s Reaching Higher Football Academy? Racing into second place is Tracey Avey who spent the night of 15th April sleeping rough for Street2Homes.  Just behind Tracey, in third place, is Laura Runham who is raising funds for Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue in memory of her late grandfather. With so much changing on the leaderboard in the last week alone, it’s difficult to make any real predictions.  So, it’s all to play for as as we enter the final stretch of the race to be our Local Hero 2016 champion. With so many heroes to highlight, choosing who to feature is becoming harder and harder.  Here are four fundraisers who have raised the office cheer this week:   And it burns, burns, burns! The walk of fire  On April 14th, the members of Imara walked an impressive six metres for their cause.  Six metres that is on hot coals burning at 1236 degrees fahrenheit!   Walking the wall Foster Morton has recently followed an 84 mile walk along a roman wall up with a 2 day cycle home. Inspired by his grandson, who was recently born with severe epilepsy, all funds will be going to Smile for Life Children’s charity. A love of the Open water  Louise Eaton will be taking part in the Great East Swim at Alton Water Reservoir on 18th June. Louise is raising money for Suffolk Accident Rescue service. SARS supported her during a tragic accident 20 years ago this year. Dreams of para-para Parachutes Dayne Britten suffered a brain trauma at 23 which saw him spend 30 days in Hospital.  His passion for supporting other brain trauma survivors has  inspired him to take this leap, through which he will be raising funds for Headway Milton Keynes.   Bern-t food Bernie Lally and his family are buying no food for a fortnight! Dont' worry though - they'll still be getting-their fill. They'll be eating food that would otherwise go uneaten, supplied by Elsie's cafe (pay-what-you-feel. rescued food specialists). Bernie & co will be cooking creatively and sharing pictures of their rescued food creations. Donations will go to Fruitful Abundance, the charity that runs Elsie's cafe.  We’re want to hear your stories! If you have a fundraising tale that needs telling get in touch today! Happy fundraising local heroes!     Found this Blog useful? You may also like:      The Sky is the limit for daring Granny Wendy   Dawn rises over Mount Kilimanjaro  
    Apr 19, 2016 1789
  • 13 Apr 2016
    We’re coming up to the half way mark of Local Hero 2016 and the race is on a knife-edge.  Who will make the cut? Leading the way today is Jordan Ignatius, igniting us with his 5K challenge. Jordan is fundraising to bring his youth team, Higher Reach FC,  to France for a summer football tour. Hot on Jordan’s heels is Dawn Prior who will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Sporting Family Change.  Dawn’s moving story is an inspiration to us all. Just a few paces behind Dawn we have Noah Stanton running a half marathon for Leeds Carers and Suzy Hands skydiving in Dubai for Alzheimers Dementia Support. Check out our leaderboard HERE. With over two weeks to go there is still plenty of time for the table to turn! Of course, it’s not only our leaders who are doing amazing things this April.  This week’s featured heroes are: 10 Marathons in 10 days! Easy-Stevie! Steve Rulton, 54, only started running 18 months ago – now he’s planning to run 10 marathons in 10 day in aid of Suffolk Accident Rescue Service.   Milton Keynes YMCA is running a “Sleep-Easy" on 22nd April. Fundraisers will spend a night sleeping rough to highlight the issue of youth homelessness. Check out the pages of Ayesha, Ami, Katie, Keith  and many more!   Crossing the Tyne, on a line, a zip-line!  Paula Wright will be Zipping across the Tyne bridge on April 16th to raise funds and awareness for Escape Family Support   Leon McLeggan, fundraising for SAFE! Support for Young People Affected by Crime, promises “special moves” at the finishing Line of the London Marathon! Send us your pics Leon!         On April 10th Wendy Richmond showed us all that age is no barrier. To celebrate her 80th birthday Wendy carried out a zip-wire descent on the longest wire in Europe and fastest in the World - soaring five hundred feet in the air at speeds up to 100mph over a distance of a mile! Wendy is fundraising for The Acorn Cancer Support Group.     We’re always eager to hear your stories.  So, if you have a fundraising tale that needs telling get in touch today! Happy fundraising local heroes!        
    1855 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • We’re coming up to the half way mark of Local Hero 2016 and the race is on a knife-edge.  Who will make the cut? Leading the way today is Jordan Ignatius, igniting us with his 5K challenge. Jordan is fundraising to bring his youth team, Higher Reach FC,  to France for a summer football tour. Hot on Jordan’s heels is Dawn Prior who will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Sporting Family Change.  Dawn’s moving story is an inspiration to us all. Just a few paces behind Dawn we have Noah Stanton running a half marathon for Leeds Carers and Suzy Hands skydiving in Dubai for Alzheimers Dementia Support. Check out our leaderboard HERE. With over two weeks to go there is still plenty of time for the table to turn! Of course, it’s not only our leaders who are doing amazing things this April.  This week’s featured heroes are: 10 Marathons in 10 days! Easy-Stevie! Steve Rulton, 54, only started running 18 months ago – now he’s planning to run 10 marathons in 10 day in aid of Suffolk Accident Rescue Service.   Milton Keynes YMCA is running a “Sleep-Easy" on 22nd April. Fundraisers will spend a night sleeping rough to highlight the issue of youth homelessness. Check out the pages of Ayesha, Ami, Katie, Keith  and many more!   Crossing the Tyne, on a line, a zip-line!  Paula Wright will be Zipping across the Tyne bridge on April 16th to raise funds and awareness for Escape Family Support   Leon McLeggan, fundraising for SAFE! Support for Young People Affected by Crime, promises “special moves” at the finishing Line of the London Marathon! Send us your pics Leon!         On April 10th Wendy Richmond showed us all that age is no barrier. To celebrate her 80th birthday Wendy carried out a zip-wire descent on the longest wire in Europe and fastest in the World - soaring five hundred feet in the air at speeds up to 100mph over a distance of a mile! Wendy is fundraising for The Acorn Cancer Support Group.     We’re always eager to hear your stories.  So, if you have a fundraising tale that needs telling get in touch today! Happy fundraising local heroes!        
    Apr 13, 2016 1855
  • 07 Apr 2016
    And they’re off!! We’re just one week into our Local Hero campaign and the race is already heating up. Our early front runners were Emily Lynn fundraising for Always a Chance and Richard Jennings fundraising for Berkshire Youth, both of whom recently ran the Reading Half-Marathon. However, a recent surge in support has seen Martin Green edging ahead for the Riff Raff Society. Jockeying for position in the following pack is an exciting array of runners, riders (and rough sleepers) Take a look at our leaderboard now to keep up to date with any changes. As well as updating you on our leaders, each week during the campaign we’ll highlight some of the fundraiser pages that have caught our eye.  This week’s featured heroes are: A group of intrepid fundraisers are climbing up Kilimanjaro for Sporting Family Change!  Now that’s dedication - Kila la kheri! After a drunken promise,  Roger and Lee have found themselves walking coast to coast walk across England - 195 miles from the west coast town of St Bees to  Robin Hood's bay in aid of Charlotte's Brightside CLC. Keep up with their journey on twitter. Alistair is winging his way across Wales on his bike for Taking Fight Theatre Company. From Cardiff to Haverfordwest West – We wish you all the best! Carole Hickey is walking an extraordinary 800 Miles across Spain! This will take her from Seville in the south of Spain to Santiago de Compostela in the north.  Her funds are going to Suffolk Accident Rescue Service. On World Autism Day, Grace Wild and the amazing kids at  Helping Hands carried out a walk around the Peace Gardens in Sheffield. If you’ve got stirring story or a creative challenge why not get in touch! Until then, happy fundraising!       Images (top to bottom): Berkshire Youth Shoes, Fundraising for Sporting Family Change, Carole Hickey preparing for her spanish adventure  
    1537 Posted by Lewis Garland
  • And they’re off!! We’re just one week into our Local Hero campaign and the race is already heating up. Our early front runners were Emily Lynn fundraising for Always a Chance and Richard Jennings fundraising for Berkshire Youth, both of whom recently ran the Reading Half-Marathon. However, a recent surge in support has seen Martin Green edging ahead for the Riff Raff Society. Jockeying for position in the following pack is an exciting array of runners, riders (and rough sleepers) Take a look at our leaderboard now to keep up to date with any changes. As well as updating you on our leaders, each week during the campaign we’ll highlight some of the fundraiser pages that have caught our eye.  This week’s featured heroes are: A group of intrepid fundraisers are climbing up Kilimanjaro for Sporting Family Change!  Now that’s dedication - Kila la kheri! After a drunken promise,  Roger and Lee have found themselves walking coast to coast walk across England - 195 miles from the west coast town of St Bees to  Robin Hood's bay in aid of Charlotte's Brightside CLC. Keep up with their journey on twitter. Alistair is winging his way across Wales on his bike for Taking Fight Theatre Company. From Cardiff to Haverfordwest West – We wish you all the best! Carole Hickey is walking an extraordinary 800 Miles across Spain! This will take her from Seville in the south of Spain to Santiago de Compostela in the north.  Her funds are going to Suffolk Accident Rescue Service. On World Autism Day, Grace Wild and the amazing kids at  Helping Hands carried out a walk around the Peace Gardens in Sheffield. If you’ve got stirring story or a creative challenge why not get in touch! Until then, happy fundraising!       Images (top to bottom): Berkshire Youth Shoes, Fundraising for Sporting Family Change, Carole Hickey preparing for her spanish adventure  
    Apr 07, 2016 1537