Ger and Sharon are life-changers.
They are dedicated to supporting the Changing Lives team in Sunderland through fundraising. They have recently completed the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge, raising over £1,000 for the project in the process.
Here, Ger tells us about their fundraising experiences and why they wanted to support Changing Lives:
“We decided that we would like to raise some money for Changing Lives’ Sunderland projects. Staff put in 110% with the clients in Sunderland, and do their best with the funding they have, but there’s little money to be able to do extra activities that can really make a difference to people.
I work at Changing Lives and am really proud to be involved with such a worthwhile charity. But I don’t see my job stopping when I leave work at the end of the day. I’m happy to commit some of my free time too, because I really believe in what we’re doing.
We set out with a target of raising £1,000 for the project, and decided to complete the Yorkshire 3 Peak challenge over the summer of 2016. It involves climbing the three highest mountains in Yorkshire in the space of 12 hours. We knew it would be a challenge. But the clients and staff at Changing Lives tackle challenges every day, and always have a smile on their faces, so we knew we could do it.
The staff team in Sunderland got involved with the initial fundraising ideas. They hosted a Christmas Fayre, selling homemade jewellery and decorations, and a cake sale at Changing Lives’ annual staff conference.
Sharon also organised a 12-hour bike relay outside a local coffee shop that we have a good relationship with – they often donate food to our Sunderland team. In just that day we managed to raise £180, and it was also a great warm up for our big challenge!
We began training for the Yorkshire 3 Peaks around six months before the event. We bought activity trackers and I started going to the gym to prepare. I hadn’t done anything like this since my Army days 25 years ago!
We took part in local recovery walks as part of our training, which are walks for people overcoming addictions and their supporters. The Gateshead Recovery Walk is actually the longest in the country at just over 16 miles and we enjoyed taking part.
We also had the idea of selling space on our t-shirts to local companies to advertise, to raise some extra money on top of the sponsorship from the challenge. I approached several companies and we had a great response. The money raised this way helped us secure our target of a grand.
Over the August Bank Holiday 2016 we managed to complete the Yorkshire 3 Peak challenge, in 11 hours and 23 minutes. It was a fantastic experience, despite Sharon injuring her knee in the process!”
Would you like to have a fundraising adventure like Sharon and Ger, and Change Lives in the process? Get in touch with our Fundraising Team!