I feel like choosing a charity is a decision for life. Often, those who raise money for charities regularly, pick one that means something special to them and they continue to provide support to that charity on every endeavour they undertake.
Nine years ago, I embarked on another kind of challenge. I was 16 years old (pictured above. Why, oh why did I ever cut off that hair?) and I decided I wanted to raise money for a local children’s hospice who had supported some close family friends look after their young son – to whom my Mammy was godmother. I gathered the troops at my secondary school and we put on a talent show. We raised £2000 for Butterwick Children’s Hospice and the Rainbow Trust. It was one of the biggest achievements of my life. I don’t want to go into too much more detail, but you can read about it here.
Now with #25at25, I’m attempting to raise more money for Butterwick Children’s Hospice. Based in Teeside, the hospice provides care for terminally ill children and their families, but it costs £900,000 to run this incredible centre and the hospice relies on charity donations to keep going. They aim to create a “home away from home” for babies, children, teenagers and the families of those who have to turn to Butterwick for support.
The hospice has a playroom, complete with a TV, DVD’s, musical instruments, a vibrocoustic bean bag (this sounds AWESOME – it can be connected to a sound system and then vibrates to the beat enabling the kids to feel and hear the music through the bean bag) and a massive dining table for everyone to enjoy meals together. There’s also a hydrotherapy pool, a sensory garden, a craft room and a multi sensory room. The facilities are endless.
It’s always been the multi-sensory room which I loved the idea of. Fibre-optic lights, coloured spotlights, a discoball, an infinity light tunnel and bubble tubes all help to stimulate sensory awareness and help the children relax and unwind.
I know a lot of the challenges I’m doing aren’t exactly deserving of sponsorship (a lot of them are just jollies), but I do think some of them are. The Great London Swim (which I’m increasingly becoming more and more concerned about and we’ve still got 6 months to go!) is the most obvious of which, but I feel like swimming the lidos, running the Colour Run, performing ten random acts of kindness, and of course the challenge to raise money in itself might be worth a spot of sponsorship. I’m also aiming to run a 10k for Butterwick before my 25th year is out.
Butterwick is a charity I care wholeheartedly about and I will continue to fundraise for them long after I turn 26. If you want to, you can donate to them via my JustGiving page here. Even if you don’t want to sponsor me, I think taking a charity into your heart and fundraising for it can only be a good thing, so maybe take this opportunity to donate to another charity of your choice. There’s hundreds out there and it’s just about choosing one that matters to you.
And I’ll leave you with this magnificent performance from Sammy Davis Jr of Mr Bojangles. Happy 3rd March friends