Well I have to say that this has come around far quicker than I expected it to! I’ve been training for the London Marathon for nearly three months and I have another four weeks to go before race day.
When I started my training I was sure I would morph in to a super-athletic Olympic gazelle, floating through London’s streets without a care. However, in reality, the training has been a lot tougher than I ever thought it would be, and fitting it in to my schedule hasn’t been easy. I’ve had injuries and illnesses along the way, but it’s been fun learning how far I can push myself physically and mentally.
I’ve also learnt a rather impressive amount of routes around London, and can now tell you exactly how many miles (to the .001) it is from Lumos’ offices in Stratford to my house in South-East London!
This week, my role takes me to the Czech Republic to visit the Lumos team in Prague. I’ll be visiting two schools with Lumos’ Child Participation Officers, who work with children and young people who may have lived in an institution or have a disability. The officers support these young people with communication skills and opportunities so that they can talk confidently to decision-makers and have a powerful voice in policy decisions that affect their lives and the lives of other young people.
The children in class will be learning about the risks of institutionalisation from a care-leaver, and I’ll be recording their feedback to share after the lessons through infographics and imagery.
A fundraising update
Thanks to the generosity of friends, family and colleagues I’ve passed my fundraising target of £2,000.00 and have now raised £2,200.00 with four more weeks to go! Hurrah.
Donations have largely come from people I know after appealing through social media; however, I also ran a quiz night to raise extra funds which proved to be a simple way of boosting my total and offering friends a way to get involved with fundraising for Lumos without a huge financial commitment.
I’ve detailed a few ‘top tips’ below for anyone who fancies running a similar event:
- Keep it simple. It’s hard enough fitting in all the usual things that daily life throws at you. Keep the event idea simple, a quiz can just be a quiz and there doesn’t need to be several elements to fit in to the evening.
- Use an event registration service such as Eventbrite or Eventsmart to keep track of everyone who is attending. Even if you don’t have a capacity issue, it’s good to know who you are expecting on the night so that you can tailor the schedule for the evening accordingly (as a side note, these platforms are free to use if you are not charging for tickets to the event, for paid-for tickets, there is a small fee).
- Get a mate to help. I probably took this too far and had someone else deliver my quiz for me, but it really helped on the night as I could focus on mingling/telling people about Lumos’ mission and handing out things like raffle tickets and collecting entrance fees. Fundraising with friends is fun and people are often willing to give up their time for a good cause.
- Look for free event space. If you are bringing custom to the venue you choose, you’ll often be given some space for free, where possible grab this opportunity as fundraising shouldn’t be expensive!
- Make it safe and check it’s legal. Thankfully I work with the Lumos Fundraising team on many campaigns and have a good handle on what is legal (I also sit very close to them!), however I still like to ask to be on the safe side, as fundraising laws can be tricky. If in doubt, ask the team and contact them on email@example.com.
- Give people several ways to pay for entry/to take part. I set-up a text to give service through Just Giving so that people could enter via SMS if they didn’t want to pay with cash - it really helped on the night.
And lastly, for anyone who is currently fundraising for Lumos, or any other charity – and likes the idea of holding a charity quiz night, here’s a question to get you started:
Which countries in Europe have none of the letters from the word LUMOS in their names?
Thanks for the support so far, if you'd like to get in touch about raising funds for Lumos you can email my colleague Joe and me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I’ll also give you the answer to the question above).