>New year, more donations

Updates have been on the ground lately, but you will all hopefully be pleased to hear how the fund-raising is going.

To date, the current total is standing at a huge £2,170 — a massive thank you goes out to all the readers of this blog who have donated online and/or sent me cheques! I really would not be able to do this without your help!

I am not there yet, though, and am still trying to find the remaining £1,200 of the minimum I need to raise — and see no reason to stop at the “minimum”. I know times are hard for all of us, but please if you are able to give anything at all, all donations are gratefully received.

There are plans in the pipeline for another Essex fund-raising event before my departure, so watch this space for more information there.

Otherwise, you will be pleased to know that I am training hard — usually hitting the gym 5 out of 7 days, and sometimes twice a day. I’m working on a range of things, from my core strength and balance, to strength training and cardiovascular workouts.

I have recently sent out letters to local hiking and camping shops in the hope they might be generous enough to help out with some of the equipment I need, although there have been no responses as of yet. Either way, I hope to be in possession of a pair of hiking boots next weekend as a birthday present, unless one of the stores stumps up a pair first.

More updates soon — as ever, please keep donating and keep inviting your friends to read — and thanks for all of your support!

>Autumnal update

Recent donations have now topped the £500 mark — particular thanks go to Amanda’s colleagues, Mik and Adil who carried me over the £500 milestone.

In other news, it’s been a good week for publicity. Coverage to date has appeared in the Basildon Echo newspaper, the Chelmsford Weekly News, online on the ThisIsEssex web portal and the South Woodham Focus. Coverage will also be appearing in next week’s Essex Enquirer.

Our fundraising quiz night raised a total of £113 — thanks to everyone who came along and contributed, it was a lot of fun and exceeded expectations. Special thanks goes to Howard Carter for donating his time and services on the night!

In other news, a sponsored dress-down day and Halloween pumpkin competition in work have added another £47 to the fundraising total. Altogether, this brings the current total up to an impressive £695. The Essex Chronicle took an interest in the pumpkin story, so kindly gave me some more coverage there.

We will be planning more events in the near future, including hopefully a fundraising evening in London, so please keep an eye open for updates, keep visiting, keep inviting your friends to read and keep the sponsorship coming! My current aim is to reach £1,000 by Christmas — but I need all of your help to achieve this.

Thanks again to everyone who has donated to date and helped support events, but most of all thank you all for showing your support here!