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What’s the latest with the Flat-Footed Adventurer?

Having drawn a blank on corporate sponsorship, and come away empty-handed from any recent sharing of this blog, I have stepped my campaign up a gear. This trip is not going to beat me before it has even begun.

On the advice of a gentleman by the name of Nick, I have contacted the legendary Ben Fogle — who as an adventurer is perhaps best known for his participation in the inaugural South Pole Race. Will Ben Fogle be able to give me any advice on preparing, fitness, publicity or raising even the paltry sum that is the trip deposit? Will Ben Fogle even read my email, let alone respond? You, dear reader(s), will among the first to know.

I have also been advised that I should seek medical opinion on if it is even advisable that I make this trip, given the accident I had before my Peru trip. One should always consult a doctor before embarking on a new fitness regimen, but how many of us ever actually do? I certainly never do, and don’t recall when I last saw a doctor — other than the recent trip to see one in France when I broke my collarbone snowboarding. Yes, I am accident prone and clumsy. Yes, these two things plus dog sledding in the wilds of the Arctic Circle might lead to calamity. But will that put me off? Hells, no. Just the same, I feel I should at least tell my doctor of my plans and give him a chance to object.

Other than contacting adventurers-turned-Gardener’s-World-presenters, I also have made contact with the editor of a local newspaper. In exchange for their financial support — either of the trip deposit or a larger sum towards the fundraising total — I will provide them with content. How much content will be discussed with regards to how much help they can give me. Once again, I am filled with suspense. Will the editor read my email? Will he file it in the tray marked “bin”? Or will he think it’s a good idea and make contact? I have given first refusal to this particular newspaper — if I don’t get a repsonse, or get a response in the negative, then I will widen it out to other newspapers instead.

Until I can pay this deposit and sign up, I am kind of stalled — the usual recipes for charity fundraising don’t apply until I actually am fundraising for the charity. At which point, there will be requests to collect outside supermarkets, in Tube stations, and anywhere else I can think of.  But there needs to be action, so the first action is keep making contact with people who might be able to help.

Even if you’re reading this, you can help. You might not be able to donate money, or your services as a fitness trainer or native Norwegian speaker, but you can still help. I need people to help me organise events, I need people to help me get publicity. I need people to keep me motivated, to say “you’re doing great!” or “Must try harder!” (as all my school reports used to say).

In the words of John Hegley: “I need you like a lookalike needs somebody to look like”.

>Autumnal update

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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!