Sat 11th and Sun 12th August
I am still going to watch the weather conditions at the time. It makes sense to stay flexible over the dates and move it back to September if the weathermen's predictions come true but, for now at least, I'm working towards the 11th August for the day 1 outward journey. That leaves me with just 10 weeks from the time of writing to be up to speed and distance with my training but more importantly, just 10 short weeks to get the charity fund built up.
The 'Vital Statistics' from the end of May showed each statistic increasing, but the fundraising chest, at £351, 7% of the £5000 target, had the smallest month on month increase. So, while the £5000 is only an aim, of all the statistics being worked on, it's clear that fundraising has to be my key focus over the next 10 weeks, with my personal preparation coming a close second. So with that in mind, this could be the most important post I've written so far for The Long Push blog, after the first post that got me started. So here we go....
It doesn't take a genius to point out that we are in tough financial times. Which is why I can do it! Every time we turn on the TV we are subjected to different campaigns as charities compete for our hard earned cash. Likewise, we've all dodged 'chuggers' (charity muggers) on our high streets, when all we want to do is negotiate from one end of the road to the other! So I realise it's not easy to find money to donate. With this in mind, I wanted to let you all know what is being done here at The Long Push to generate donations to the charity fund, and also give some ideas of ways that you can make it easier to donate without affecting your own pocket too much.
The Good News - I'm going to write a full post about this when I have the full details but, the mother of one of my friends rallied the troops at the retirement block she lives in and held a garden fete at the block for the Queens Diamond Jubilee here in the UK in June.. Part of the proceeds were going to go towards The Long Push/Families Connected. Pat and her husband Brian did SO much work in advance of this, without my knowledge, and I'm going to write a more extensive post and thank you in the near future, but the result was...fantastic.
£130 towards The Long Push charity fund! But....it gets better. The management company of the block agreed to DOUBLE whatever was generated, so the fete generated a total of £260 towards the charity fund! Like I said, a more extensive THANK YOU to everyone who helped or donated coming soon, but really, that is just awesome!
The Not-So-Good News - So far, the corporate sponsor letters have failed to generate any donations, which is a shame. I'm not going to name names, there's no point in that. I'll just be continuing to send letters out to national companies, and post them through local business doors, in the hope that more donations will come. You can be sure that at least 5 of these a week will be going out over the next 10 weeks, so that's at least 50 corporate sponsors made aware of The Long Push 2012. Hopefully the June and July vital statistics posts will show the benefits of this work.
So what else is happening?
- The new yellow Long Push flyers and posters continue to go out in towns and villages along the route. I went to 'Southport Fun Fest' on Sunday 10th June, specifically to hand out flyers and do as much promotion as I could. Even did an interview over the mic on our local radio stations bus! All gotta help.
- I've had an article promoting The Long Push 2012 published on the intranet system in my work place now. (I've had to wait until some colleagues bike ride charity event was finished with). This was followed by a blanket e mail to all staff and, as a result, the first few work colleagues have put their names down with pledges of sponsorship now. This should build over coming weeks.
- Local press releases at the Southport and Fylde coast ends of the route should be going out by early next week, with press releases going to other towns along the route over the coming weeks.
- I've been invited into one Primary school to talk to the children about The Long Push, with the hope that the children will generate some donations via a 'mufty day' or some other event. All other local schools are being visited with posters and background information this week. There are just 4 weeks before the end of term.
Like I said earlier, these are tough times for all of us moneywise, but here are some suggestions of ways you can donate:
- Firstly, anyone can donate any amount they wish at anytime, just by visiting www.justgiving.com/TheLongPush
- Donate by text for no charge! Donate either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. To make a text donation of £1 do the following: Text LFAA50 £1 and send it to 70070 You will receive a confirmation text that your donation to Families Connected has been made. To make a higher donation just swap the £1 for whatever else you would like to donate. Imagine if everyone who had clicked on the blog page donated £1 this way. That would be over £4000 itself!! So every £1 donation counts.
- Start a 'Penny Jar'at home, your work place, school, scouts or social club. Save all your 1p's, 2p's and 5p pieces from now until the end of July and lets see who can donate the highest figure. You'll find the amount soon mounts up, rather than having to find the same amount in one go. I've got a 'Penny Bottle' going myself. Once full you can take it to a supermarket with 'Coinstar' machine (such as Asda) to help you add it all up and change it into notes. Then just donate the figure at www.justgiving.com/TheLong Push
- Donate £1 per mile of any training rides between now and the full 100 mile ride. Training rides vary from 4 miles to half distance, 50 miles. So there's a distance for everyone to afford.
- Watch out for D-Days ('D' For Donation) such as text donating £1 on the 1st day of the month etc.
More fundraising ideas will be promoted on here and on the facebook page over the coming weeks, but please feel free to suggest any others.
Finally for this post, my great thanks to all who have already donated any amount or item which has been raffled, sold etc and generated a donation towards The Long Push 2012/Families Connected. I would also like to thank the Sponsors who have contributed hardwear/Product to be used on The Long Push 2012 journey itself: