Taking on a physical challenge is a fantastic way to raise money for a charity you care about, while also giving yourself an amazing adventure. Perhaps you need a little push or some inspiration to take the leap and sign up for that run/climb/swim/cycle you’ve been considering.
That’s why we reached out to past PASIC fundraiser and adventurer Charlotte Mawhood. We wanted to find out more about her challenge, including the highs and the lows (literally) and ask if she has any pearls of fundraising wisdom to share with inspiring adventurers.
Why did you decide to take on a challenge?
Firstly, I am not, and never have been, an athlete. Preferring the company of friends, perhaps with a glass or two of something. However, having reached my fifties I was determined to set myself some challenges!
“The idea was conceived during an afternoon with my great friend and fellow fundraiser Alison Bell. Before we knew it we were signed up for a week-long hike through the deserts and mountains of Jordan requiring a £3,000 charity fundraise to take part.
“The motivation was easy – we wanted to raise money for PASIC because a close friend’s daughter had died of cancer, aged just ten. We’d both witnessed the devastating impact childhood cancer can have on a family and wanted to give back to the charity that helped our friends during such a difficult time.”
“Raising the funds, and then of course the challenge itself, was less easy – but also well worth it!”
Part 1: Raising the funds
“Alison and I adopted slightly different approaches to our fundraising – Alison opted for several smaller events, while I wanted to raise the full amount by holding just two larger events.
“The first of my events was a clay pigeon
shoot at Lakeside Shooting in Loughborough. This event was kindly sponsored by Inchcape Lexus.
There was a huge amount of organisation upfront and a lot of stress leading up to it. But with the benefit of hindsight I needn’t have worried. The day proved to be a great success with fabulous weather and great spirit from all involved.
“The second event was held at home, where I hosted a garden party with various stalls selling jewellery, clothing, plants and garden furniture.
“And so part 1 of the challenge was complete…”
Part 2: The challenge itself
“I think I was a bit blasé about the prospect of the trek initially.
“Thankfully, on a wet day on holiday in North Wales my husband proposed the idea that we climb Snowdon as it would be a good test of my fitness in preparation for Jordan.
“’Not a problem’ I thought, stuffing a chocolate bar into my mouth for ‘energy’ purposes of course, before we set off…
OH MY GOD how very wrong I was! Possibly one of the hardest and scariest days of my life as I was reminded that Snowdon is indeed a mountain.
“It was wet, windy, and foggy… as are my memories of reaching the summit where I had to climb the final few steps only to get a bit of vertigo and come down on my bottom.
“Anyway, it spurred me on and I did a lot more walking after that as our departure date loomed.
“To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect in Jordan – this sort of trip really isn’t my kind of thing. But thankfully I followed the guidelines for packing properly, raiding my daughter’s Duke of Edinburgh kit to prepare myself with items I never thought I’d ever see myself wearing!
“The calm before the storm was a nice hotel and the amazing experience of ‘swimming’ in the Dead Sea.
What was to follow was a truly unique experience – there was a daily
hike through desert and/or mountains, often with what looked like near sheer drops either side of us.
“It was hot–very hot. And it was hard. But it was fabulous at the same time because like us there were many people outside their comfort zone all on a similar mission to do something amazing to raise money for a cause that was important to them.
After six days we achieved our goal and made it to the end. But more than that, we made a lot of friends, and at the same time did something which tested ourselves, whilst raising money for a charity dear to our hearts.”
Have you been inspired?
Whether you’re trekking through the deserts of Jordan or doing laps of the garden, we hope Charlotte has shown that you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to take on a fundraising challenge for PASIC. All you need is some motivation, some fundraising ideas and lots of enthusiasm!
This summer we’re encouraging fundraising heroes to take on a challenge #4the400. At any one time PASIC supports around 400 families facing childhood cancer in the East Midlands. So we’re asking supporters to keep these families in mind and do it for them.