The fourteen-mile sponsored walk in aid of Moorfields Eye Charity will be taking place on 4 March this year (yep – that’s this Sunday!). I should probably explain that there is also a four-mile option available, and both walks start at Moorfields Eye Hospital and finish at the London Eye. My sister and I have taken part in this for the past two years. The first time, we said we’d only do it once, but we had so much fun that we did it again in 2017 as part of a team, the RD Ramblers. (If you head to my Contents page and look under the heading, ‘Eye to Eye 2017’, you can read more about our efforts last year, including stories from each of the team members.)
Both walks were great fun in different ways. They were also hugely satisfying if also somewhat knackering. However, we decided to give it a rest in 2018. The main reason for this was that we felt we couldn’t keep pestering people to sponsor us. There are so many worthy causes and these days everyone wants your hard-earned dosh for one or another of them. Unlike Theresa May and her magic money tree laden down with fruit for the DUP, we’re well aware that most people don’t have such a horticultural delight growing in their back gardens and all that sponsor money is willingly donated by generous supporters.
Of course, we could have taken part this year just to show our support for Moorfields and not worried so much or tried so hard to raise as much dosh as possible. But frankly, if I’m going to walk fourteen miles in one go, I want to feel as if I’ve accomplished more than the acquisition of blistered feet and aching limbs. In all honesty though, the day itself, although physically exhausting, isn’t as challenging as the fundraising part of it beforehand.
It’s not just a case of simply setting up a JustGiving page and sitting back while the sponsor money rolls in. Successful fundraising requires a good JustGiving page, explaining what you’re doing and why, but keeping it succinct. Then it’s about letting people know what you’re doing, but not in a “Give us all your cash!” kind of way. It’s about who you tell, and worrying about whether to include work colleagues or whether that’s too cheeky. Then, of course, it’s about reminding people and hoping that the gentle prods don’t come across as an irritatingly insistent rattle of a charity bucket. It’s about wondering why that person you thought you could rely on hasn’t sponsored you yet, and whether your friends are rolling their eyes in annoyance as they quickly across past the link to your JustGiving page on Facebook, which you’ve just posted for the twentieth time that month. It’s about wondering whether the person who told you to keep reminding them to sponsor you really actually meant it or whether they have no intention of sponsoring you. However, despite all that, it is all worth it when you manage to raise a decent amount for a charity as worthy as Moorfields.
In 2016, my sister and I raised £1,676.00 plus £275.00 in gift aid. In 2017, our little team of five people and two dogs raised £2,239.03 plus £318.25 in gift aid. That’s a grand total of £4,508.28. Not bad, eh?! As well as that, we’ve also raised over £400 for Moorfields Eye Charity from our two Twinkles at Twilight events. So I think we deserve a bit of a rest this year. Or more to the point, our supporters deserve a rest! We won’t be chilling out for too long though, as we have another fundraising project in the pipeline which we’re hoping to crack on with.
In the meantime, two of my eye buddies are taking part in Eye to Eye 2018, so if you have any spare pennies down the back of the sofa, it would be fantastic if you could donate them to either Melissa, at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melissaholmes2018 or Alex, at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alexandra-bright1. They’ve both really been through the mill with their eye issues and both of them have lost a good deal of sight as a result. They could be walking fourteen miles through the snow and ice the way things are going! Eye to Eye with the Beast from the East! 😮 Surely that’s worth a fiver or so..?