As someone who runs for fun (surely an Oxymoron?) I’ve never been bothered about running for a charity or raising funds by – as I used to see it – asking people to pay money while I was just doing what I normally do.
As the Kielder Marathon gets closer, October 17th, I’ve started to see it differently and realised that it’s a brilliant opportunity to make a difference and actually do something to help a worthy cause. Several friends have asked who I was raising money for; it’s almost a given that nobody would put themselves through the effort without a more significant aim than achieving a personal goal. The marathon takes place around the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe, in the the biggest man-made forest in Europe and will be tough but incredibly beautiful. See the video
Over the last couple of days, prompted by the remarks of a good friend I’ve decided I wanted to raise money for a worthy cause and after that, the choice of Charity to support was easy. The Calvert Trust at Kielder does a fantastic job in helping children and adults with a range of disabilities to enjoy outdoor adventure with some superb facilities in an area of outstanding beauty. The Trust enables disabled people and their carers to stay for a holiday or short break and take part in a whole host of exciting and challenging activities.
Not only is the Trust local to the Marathon venue but my Dad was also one of the Trustees when it was originally set up over 25 years ago. A wheelchair user after contracting polio at 33, he was in inspiration to many, always looking at all the things he could do without worrying about those he couldn’t. Sadly he died in 1998 but he would have approved of the Kielder Marathon and be proud of the excellent work done at The Calvert Trust.
The Just Giving website makes the whole process of making donations so much easier than I ever remember. Gone are the days of asking people to sponsor you a few pence per mile and then having to chase up the money when the event’s over. It took me a few minutes to set up a page, describe what I was doing and why and I can now send details to everyone I know and that message can be passed on to anyone who may have an interest and who feels it’s a worthy cause to support.
Donations qualify for Gift Aid, the Charity gets publicity, payments are made up front and I’ll be running with a new sense of purpose, knowing that all those who’ve donated will be spurring me on. If you know someone who is disabled, or simply wish to support what The Calvert Trust do, then please either donate or forward this on to someone you know who could be interested. It’s so much easier than rattling the collecting box.