With donations and fundraising activities playing a key part in supporting the incredible work charities and organisations do, it had long been a goal of mine to complete a challenge and represent a particular charity. After researching and hearing about the fantastic work Mind do in supporting people with mental health problems, I was in doubt that I wanted to do something for them. In today’s post, I’m going to talk about my own experiences of fundraising so far and what I hope to do in the future!
Having scrolled through the Mind website and coming across a number of possible fundraising challenges, I made the very impulsive (and some would say stupid) decision to sign-up for a midnight hike up Snowdon, Britain’s 2nd highest mountain. As someone with no experience of hiking, let alone up a mountain of such scale, members of my family and friends thought my decision was a “moment of madness” and one that required more thought. Although it was a quick decision, I’ve always relished a challenge in life and so I was in doubts that it was what I wanted to do!
Once signed-up and all the minor details were sorted, I had the challenging task of raising £400 to contribute to the team total. To begin with I had a flurry of self-doubts and worries that my target would not be reached, however my fears were soon eradicated. I’d hoped for a few small donations from friends and family but nothing on the scale of which I actually received. In just over 2 months time, an incredible £683 was raised, 100% of which went directly to Mind. Yes that’s right, £683!! Even now I still cannot believe the sheer generosity of so many people, all of which I have a lot to thank for.
Fast forward to 20th May 2018; the day of the hike had finally arrived. All my hard work training had prepared me for this point and I was ready to climb Snowdon. Part of the appeal of this trek was the team environment and it was fantastic to see to so many people be a part of this. 75 people with different stories. Different experiences. Different backgrounds. However 75 people with all the same aim: to climb Snowdon and to raise awareness of mental health problems through representing Mind. Brought together through unique circumstances and an experience we’ll never forget, we were all able to meet like-minded people and it’s always a pleasure to do that.
While the hike itself tested me to the peak of my mental and physical toughness, I felt time passing by pretty quickly. People who had just met were sharing the most personal details of their lives and that created an environment of honesty, understanding and basically just one where everybody could be themselves without feeling judged- and that’s pretty rare! Not only did I feel almost completely at ease but the sense of achievement and satisfaction I felt was unprecedented. I managed to climb Snowdon, raise an incredible amount of money and top it all off I shared the adventure with many other amazing people too!
It had originally only been a target of mine to do one challenge but that soon changed. My experience of Snowdon certainly ‘wet the appetite’ and I was raring to go and represent Mind once again. The decision this time: A 12 hour hike in the hills of Cornwall, beginning at the famous Eden Project. What’s the point in going easy?
Much to my disappointment, my opportunity to participate was taken away after my flight to Newquay was cancelled last-minute. The initial emotions I felt were ones of shock, anger and frustration, however I was all the more determined do something else. Something that would really motivate me!
Having previously opted for a 12 hour hike, I this time decided to up the stakes and select a 24 hour hike on the Isle of Arran as my challenge. It may seem a ridiculous decision to again increase the difficulty of the challenge, however I wanted to “push myself”. As we speak, the hike is just under six months away and I want to use this valuable time to raise lots of money and prepare myself mentally and physically as best as I possibly can.
For anybody considering taking on a challenge of their own, especially with Mind, I’d highly recommend it. It’s an experience of a lifetime and one you’ll definitely never forget. Go ahead and get signed up! What are you waiting for?
To donate to my fundraising page and contribute to an incredible cause, please visit the link below. Any donations would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for reading,