On the Sunday of this week, I actually woke up doing my thing for charity. Enough said (for now at least – read more in my feature below).
We’re six weeks in (and in real time, I’m nearly 3 full months in). If you feel even slightly inspired, please get involved and do something for charity too! I am happy to give advice on different projects you can help out on, within a charity that will suit your interests, so please send me a tweet or a direct message on Twitter – @AshleyPetrons
- Monday 11 March – Ate a ‘Chiefs burger’ at local restaurant, Urban Burger – 50p of every burger goes to the Exeter Foundation. I’d like to point out that this burger is named in honour of the Exeter rugby team, and is double the size of a regular burger – it nearly killed me! The things I’m willing to do for charity, honestly!
- Tuesday 12 March – Donated to Action for Children for someone who requested a donation for running the London Marathon. The request for donations came at a networking event I attended. This was a great approach to getting more donations, as this person appeared at the event full of suits and smart attire, in their running gear, with a big box to collect donations. Genius.
- Wednesday 13 March – Asked for donations for the YMCA Sleep Easy event happening on Saturday, and beat my small target – raised nearly £100 for the Exeter YMCA (I’m saving my big target for Three Peaks. More on that another time!)
- Thursday 14 March – Put myself forward to volunteer at the Rowcroft Hospice Sleep Walk event.
- Friday 15 March – Saw to my shopping urge by scouring the charity shops to find a couple of things I needed. Ended up buying the bits I needed in the Age UK shop. It’s actually pretty fun to shop and feel able to do some good at the same time – give it a whirl and visit your local charity shop, which you can locate using this nifty charity shop finder.
- Saturday 16 March – Come rain, shine…or hail, I am truly committed to seeing this challenge through. On this Saturday I marshalled at the Hopiscare Men’s Walk in the biggest hail storm of the year so far. Let’s say the mud covered men very much deserved their pint and pasty at the end of the event – the weather was bonkers!
This was also the evening that the YMCA Sleep Easy started…
- Sunday 17 March – …Sleep Easy finishes. Succeed in waking up doing something for charity! FYI, this event raised £23,630.99. Wow. See feature for more details.
Feature: Sunday 17 March
As I indicated in my last post, I hold my hands up and admit that I avoided signing up to this event for as long as possible. I couldn’t, however, shake the niggle that it was so mad, I should probably give it a go.
I was actually pretty nervous at the prospect of sleeping out on the streets – something that was 100% out of my comfort zone.
I (obviously) survived the night, and even managed to get, I reckon, a good 4-5 hours sleep…until a car alarm went off at around 5am.
I enjoyed a rousing speech by the organiser at about 6:30am, who gave us the running total raised. I was then given a certificate, and bundled home where I crawled into my nice warm bed with a whole new level of appreciation.
In hindsight, I can only say (and I apologise if this is a bit cheesy), I feel honoured to have been able to take part in an event that allowed me to get so close to the reason why we were even bothering to raise money in the first place. Not many charities are able to facilitate this level of perspective, and let’s say it was a real eye opener. It was cold, wet, and uncomfortable. Pretty much everything you’d imagine sleeping on the streets would be – and yet some people have to do it every single night.
Would I do this event again? You bet!