Sunday 22 December 2013

Raleigh International - ICS Fundraising

Nicaragua - Raleigh International 

Thanks for visiting my fundraising blog page! Here I will be detailing my attempt to fundraise £800.00 for Raleigh International in order to make my expedition possible. I will be taking part in personal challenges and crazy physical feats in order to earn your sponsorship. 

I'll be very, very grateful for any sponsorship that you can provide me with. £800.00 is a high target for me and I'll be truly thankful to everyone who has taken time out of their day to help make my ICS placement possible.

To give you a taster of what I have in mind, I have plans to:
Climb up Mount Toubkal in Morocco (4,167M) in May. (The highest I have ever been is 1085M for Mt Snowdon!)

- Devise/take part in personal challenges (e.g. I've never vegetarian before, I could be vegan/vegetarian for a time period or live on £1 a day)

Bake things. Make things. Sell things. The list is endless! 

Nice incentive #1:
- For everyone who sponsors me, I will put your name in a hat. At the end of (hopefully) reaching my target, I will be picking out a random name and the lucky winner will get a nice present/I'll bake you a cake. 


Friday 3rd May 2013: The first day I advertised my JustGiving page via social media. I attracted no sponsors via friends and I think the main reason was attributed to having a empty page. No-one wanted to break the ice.
I decided to get the ball rolling by donating my night's waitressing wages at £18.57. I was a little disheartened at the start, having received no sponsors from my close friends/family. I realised that JustGiving is one of those "oh that looks good, I'll sponsor them later" type things. Persistent advertising is the key :).

Thursday 8th May 2013I created a PDF file and I asked my sister if I she could email it around her colleagues. I didn't expect anything/much at all. At lunch-time, I received a flurry of emails indicating donations on my page. 
I felt such an intense burst of joy that strangers who didn't know me sponsored me to help me go to Nicaragua. It reminded me of the generosity of people. I sent Thank You emails to all the employees who helped me accumulate a further £75.00 on my page.

8th May 2013: Nearly a third to my target of £800.00!

14th May 2013: With less then 10 days to go until my trek on Mount Toubkal, I advertised my JustGiving page a few more times via social media. Ekene (from Dealogic) sponsored me £50.00 bringing me a lot closer to my target. 

In the beginning, I was worried about the prospect of fundraising £800.00 as it is a lot of money. Fundraising has brought to light how incredibly generous people can be. I've had best friends with no money sponsor me. Student friends with no money contributing what they could. Even school acquaintances whom I haven't seen in 5+ years sponsoring my page. It brings me so much joy to read the "someone's donated on your page" email. It reflects more than just money. The act ingrains selflessness, generosity and kindness and I'm always extremely grateful to everyone who's sponsored me to help me make ICS possible. 

17th May 2013: Late night baking session today after City Year, homework club and tutoring. My baking skills are not great, but I do try! :). Thank you again Dealogic for the sponsorship help. 

Small token of appreciation 

4th June 2013 : Back from Morocco after my hike up Mount Toubkal (4,167M)! It was an amazing feeling at the summit and its a experience I definitely want to repeat again on even more challenging mountains. On the fundraising front, my page has been really quiet for the past few weeks with a few donations here and there. On May 22nd 2013 I sent a email to my old school, Helenswood, in hope that I could gather a few donations from former teachers, but without any luck. 

Tuesday 28th May 2013 - Summit of Mount Toubkal :)

I'm going to try dip into a few more of my networks by sending a email to the City Year staff and to my mentor at Burberry, in hope that I can get closer to my target. I've been fundraising for one month now with £423.57 out of £800.00 raised.

7th June 2013: Today I applied for a "Jack Petchey" Volunteering grant of £250. I am currently £366.43 off my fundraising target and I do feel a little like I've exhausted my network. Sometimes I feel bad asking student/volunteer/poor graduate friends for sponsorship as they themselves don't have a lot of money. I'm going to dip into further external methods for funding my Nicaragua trip with Google as my biggest help :). 

12th June 2013: Today I used a free period at school to google through various grant/charitable organisations for finding sponsorship. I found very few organisations where I fit the criteria for applying for a grant so I've got all my eggs in one basket for the Jack Petchey application. 
I also used a free evening to write everyone's name on a piece of paper and put them all in a hat. My fundraising deadline is 30th August and I will pick out a winner live on video and post it on this blog page! :)

Hat raffle :)
24th June 2013: Lack of updates due to lack of donations lol. I'm still remaining high spirited and I have my fingers crossed for the Jack Petchey grant. I have 2 plans in the pipeline: on Friday 28th June I will be holding a cake sale at the City Year office. Last week, I attended a 'Public Relations' training, and I plan to submit an article to a local newspaper in order to raise publicity for ICS/fundraising. 

29th June 2013: During our 'Leadership and Development Day' at the City Year Office, I held a cake sale at lunch-time for fundraising. Matt and Chelsea helped me bake and I made a total of £31.50 on the day, bringing my total up to 59%.  

Chocolate krispy squares, banana cake, cupcakes, chocolate & aubergine cake and white chocolate and raspberry cake (0.50p - £1.00).

15th July 2013: I'm back from a inspirational pre-departure training with Raleigh International! For the 3 days, we covered topics such as development goals, teamworking, medical/kit briefing and team tasks that helped us unravel topics such as cultural norms and how to deal with team conflict. I'm full of renewed passion for the placement, although there are a lot of rules in place, I can't wait to go.

Met a bunch of lovely people :)
18th July 2013:  I was cc'ed into a email today from Jack Petchley Application, asking for a reference from my City Year team leader, Joey. FINGERS CROSSED! If I manage to get this grant, I'll only be £30.00 off my final fundraising target.

18th August 2013: I'm back! I spent the past 3 - 4 weeks volunteering in South Korea, in an English summer camp. It was a wonderful experience, and I came home to a letter from Jack Petchey...

I was SO SO happy that the application was successful! In all honesty, I was expecting the worse. I thought I would come back home and I'd have to fundraise the final £280.00 in 12 days (30th August deadline).

I'd like to Thank everyone so much who helped me reach the £800.00 target. Genuinely, words alone cannot express my gratitude for every donation that everyone made, I love you all :).

£850.00/£800.00 raised (106%, yay!)

Post Nicaragua

I'm back after 10 weeks in Nicaragua! It was a wonderful experience, I was placed in 'Charlie 1' in El Cacao, North Western Nicaragua, where our project focus was Natural Resource management. Overall we:
  • Formed a active Women's and Youth group that will continue after Raleigh.
  • Extended and repaired the water system. The water access has increased from 28 houses to 45 and we installed over 10 new taps.
  • Made 28 new vegetable plots for families, gave out seeds and organised a training from a local partner, the co-operative, on how to maintain them.
  • Constructed 14 new eco-ovens.
  • Hosted x2 Community Action Days (healthy eating and community painting)
  • Held 10+ school sessions on environmental issues such as waste management, recycling and water conservation. 
  • Built x2 new eco latrines, one for the school and one for the community centre. 
  • Renovated the community centre by painting the inside and outside and installing electricity with the help of the local people. 

It was long working days, but the placement was incredibly rewarding and I was with a lovely group of people. I'd like to genuinely thank everyone for sponsoring me again, I brought x3 bags of organic Nicaraguan coffee and I will do a name raffle soon. 

During our project, our team were assigned to make a video on vegetable plots. A copy of the video is below:

I've drawn names out of the hat, and the winner of the bags of Nicaraguan coffee are...

  • Helen W
  • Debora M
  • Joey C!
Congratz guys! I'll try get the coffee to you soon. I am working on a new blog post detailing all the work we did in Nicaragua for my 'Action at Home' project, I will keep everyone posted. Thank you again to everyone who helped me reach my £800 target. 

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