Last year, funeral director Jason Price organised a team of 10 to do the Three Peaks Challenge and, in the process, raised £6,000 for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children. Here's Jason's story:
I’d got to the age (42) where I really wanted to give something back, so, last year, I took part in every Newlife fundraising event, from charity car washes to sales of cakes, books, clothes and jewellery. Plus, there was my individual sponsorship. But I also wanted to organise as many people as possible to do one big final event, which is how the Three Peaks Challenge came about.
During the challenge, the conditions on Snowdon and Scafell were horrendous. I was in a lot of pain and lost both big toenails as a result, but we raised £6,000. This money paid for a specialist wheelchair for a disabled teenager. And when I saw how this completely changed his life, it put my pain into perspective.
My advice to would-be fundraisers is that it’s all down to the planning. Make sure you can achieve what you set out to do, including doing the challenge itself! Make sure, too, that you can commit the time and effort to fundraise and train. It takes over, and you have to juggle work and home life; fortunately, my wife, who was pregnant at the time, was very understanding!
It was a manic year and, if anything, the Three Peaks was the easy bit. We had great team spirit, and everyone wants you to succeed. It gave me a massive sense of achievement – the buzz I got from making a difference is brilliant – so now I’m hoping to kayak with a friend for 100 miles along the river Thames in two-and-a-half days – and to raise a further £5,000.
If you'd like to support Jason’s efforts, visit his 100 Mile Thames Challenge Justgiving page.
Doris Cecily Long, MBE, believes in going to great lengths (or heights!) to raise money for charity. And this summer, she is attempting to break her own Guinness World Record as the oldest abseiler by descending from the top of Portsmouth’s 170-metre Spinnaker Tower on her 100th birthday.
I discovered my love of abseiling well into my 80s. I first had a go during a holiday on Hayling Island. I then saw an appeal by a local charity for abseilers, so I signed up. Since then, it’s became a bit of a habit!
I can’t remember how long I’ve been fundraising – 10 years or more. I’ve raised around £10,000 for the Rowans Hospice, which is a wonderful place and a marvellous charity, as well as funds for my local hospital and Guide Dogs for the Blind. Last year my 10-year-old great-granddaughter joined me and now she wants to do more!
As well as fundraising, I’ve always volunteered because it’s nice to help others. I like meeting people and this is a great way to do it.
Thanks to my charity work, I won a Pride of Britain award in 2009, I’ve been to 10 Downing Street for tea and met the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
A couple of years ago, TV and radio presenter Chris Evans even joined me on an abseil. He was so nice.
I enjoy life and always say that getting old is a case of mind over matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. My tip for anyone who’s fundraising is to always ask people to help you. They usually will, if you ask.
James Haldene, 34, has worked as a Wildlife Trust membership manager for the past year. He has been working in fundraising roles since 2006.
I’d come to realise how important it was to feel fulfilled at work. Raising money for something you believe in is a great way to make a living, and knowing that your efforts have helped real, positive change is incredibly fulfilling. It can even become quite addictive – you never feel that the job is done, and you always strive to improve on the last success.
My take on fundraising is membership. Membership is all about strength in numbers – lots of people all doing something relatively small but collectively achieving something big. My challenge is to communicate those big achievements. It’s very easy to think, “How can my £3 a month change the world?” But, along with everyone else’s £3 a month, it has very tangible results. I try to convey the bigger picture and bring the end result to life. Having lots of members giving £3 a month allowed us to comment on planning applications to ensure local wildlife was protected. Without those members, that work would not have happened and that wildlife would have suffered greatly.
The world of fundraising has become sharper and more proactive as a result of the recession. Charities are hit hard when their supporters have no money, and weathering the storm through some tough years has been a massive challenge. We’ve all had to work much harder at maintaining funding streams and we’ve done a fantastic job, which is very satisfying. ‘If you’re keen to be involved in fundraising, always start with something you believe in. If there’s something that gets you fired up and talking with genuine passion, you’re most of the way there. Fundraising is just about translating that passion into something real, and that has a tangible, measurable outcome. What could be better than that?’