Preparations for the Great Arctic Fundraising Adventure have got into full swing this week — and hardly a minute too soon.
Donations via the Just Giving page have reached £220 this week. It might seem like a slow start, but that’s 5 donations — including one from someone who is a little bit a personal hero of mine, Peter Lubbers. The man does it all — ultra-marathons, bungee-jumping, skydiving — and still finds the time to be an expert on HTML5.
Corporate requests for sponsorship have so far been met with polite declines. From a sports marketing perspective, I also approached several brandsto see if they would get behind “The Flat Footed Adventurer”, with much the same level of success. Adidas have told me that while Macmillan Cancer Support are one of the charities they are supporting this year, they can’t support me “due to resource & budget limitations”. Animal — without a doubt one of my own favourite brands — agreed that Macmillan Cancer Support are a great cause, and like so many others the friendly press office contact had seen first-hand their work, and said on a personal level he “supported” any charity fundraising for them. However, like so many others, Animal have to draw a line somewhere. In this case, I was told normally they offer goods to raffle off or to support in any event that ties in with their core of surf, board and bike sports. However, dog sledding doesn’t count as one of their core board sports — although it involves snow. As they say, there has to be a line somewhere.
Among the other responses I have had included a no from the office of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. As a publicly funded organisation and a strategic body for London, I am told the Greater London Authority is not in a position to assist individual causes, no matter how worthy they might be. As “sorry, no” responses go, while it may be entirely copy/pasted, there’s very little you can argue with in it.
I have not had any kind of response from the press offices of London’s various transport services, nor from my local MP.
In a more positive light, the organisers of the Hacker News London Meetup made an announcement to their members about my Arctic Fundraising Adventure ahead of this month’s meeting, and I was given a very kind donation by the organiser of the London Java Community.
Outside of fundraising, I was generously given a free personal training consultation by Matt Wolstenholme this week — Matt has a variety of fitness qualifications and bags of experience under hsi belt (as well as being a talented sports writer), so I considered myself very fortunate to get an exclusive consultation with him. Although I am sore today, and noticeably out of shape, I found I’m not nearly as disastrously unfit as I had thought I was — but this could just be as a result of Matt’s motivational style. If you’re in London and want a personal trainer, Matt comes highly recommended by me — and hopefuly, if finances allow, I will be able to see Matt on a regular basis for more personal training. With his help, I have no doubt that in no time I will be fit for chasing huskies and pushing sleds uphill.
So , where does this leave me? I consider this some of my first steps along the road — I have made a start on fundraising, but there is an awful lot more to go. I have also had one personal training session, the first of many more hours of fitness training. From here, we can only go up. There needs to be more donations, which will surely come as a result of more effort to find the donations — so there must be more emails written and more contacts made. I also need to start some traditional supermarket collections.
I should also get a proper press release written, since all contact with the Docklands newspaper was met with a resounding silence.
In the news his week was a report that Four in 10 Britons will get cancer. According to the Guardian, “Figures obtained by Macmillan Cancer Support show that 42% of Britons had cancer before they died – compared with around 35% a decade ago. The study, which analysed data from 2008, also revealed that 64% of cancer sufferers will eventually die from the disease.”
It reminds me of why I am doing this trip in the first place. You can donate to my Great Arctic Fundraising Adventure here. Adventure is out there!