St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is about to start renovation works on all their children’s wards and they have asked the Christian Blandford Fund to assist with both ideas and financing. This could be the biggest and most important project we have supported and will directly help thousands of sick children every year. The children’s wards badly needed renovation when Christian was a frequent visitor ten years ago, and very little to improve them has been done since. We have not been able to help until now because there has always been a long term rebuilding plan which, frustratingly, never materialised. We now have the green light to go ahead and make some significant changes.
We have been looking at some fund raising ideas and would really appreciate your feedback on this idea.
Earlier this year, Claudia took part in a triathlon in the Lake District which entailed a 2 mile open water canoe, an 8 mile bike ride which included the very tough Honister Pass (most people got off their bikes and walked this part!), a 7 mile trek up Haystacks followed by another 13 mile bike ride cycling through some of the most beautiful parts of the Lake District.
Along with her 12 team mates, they raised £14,000 for charity and had an absolutely incredible weekend. Claudia and the rest of the trustees think this would be a fabulous event for the Christian Blandford Fund. If we could get 70-100 people involved, it would be a lot of fun, we’d all get fitter training for it and we could raise a significant amount of money for a well targeted project.
The problem is that an event like this is not possible to organise on the cheap. In order for it to be safe for all those taking part, it requires route marshals, support vehicles, instructors, first aid staff; hire of bikes, canoes and insurance. We have asked Skyline events, who organised the last one Claudia attended to quote for an exclusive event for the Christian Blandford Fund.
The event will cost the charity, depending on numbers, about £330 per person. Anybody that attends would also have to make their own way to the Lake District and pay for their accommodation and meals while they are there. Skyline and us will be very happy to help you find rooms and we hope to be grouped in a one or two hotels with preferential rates. The plan is to travel up Friday night & have a chilled evening as it’s an early start on the Saturday. Saturday night, after the triathlon, we hope to arrange a celebratory dinner and a fun night with as many of the attendees as possible.
We do not believe in expensive events where a large part of the money raised goes to pay for the participant to have a great weekend. This leaves us with a dilema: is it possible to have the event such as this and maintain our charity ethos where money that is donated goes directly to help those that need help and not on staff salaries and expenses?
The conclusion we have come to is that the cost of the event has to be covered by the participant and the gift aid on any amount they raise. So for example, having a £150 registration fee for the participant who would then have a fund raising target of £900, the gift aid on the money raised plus the registration fee would cover the costs. This means 100% of anything donated would go to the help sick children in hospital. People could, of course, pay the full amount of the event without having a fund raising target at all.
We would really appreciate your help with this, for it to work we’ll need at least 70 people who attend and fund raise. We are torn as we feel this event could be amazing, but do not want to exclude anybody by the entry fee or fund raising target. We would love to hear your feedback. If you have read all this and are excited a the prospect of joining us in May 2018 for a weekend of walking, cycling, canoeing and no doubt lots of giggles, then please tell us. Similarly if you feel that the joining fee and/or fund raising target is too high, we want to know.
Please either reply by email or we welcome a public discussion on our Facebook page where this post will also go.