Giles' Challenge
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Posted by Giles on Friday 15 September 2017

With his own unique fundraising challenge, Giles fundraised in memory of his mum.

"My mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2004 and managed to fight it and appeared to beat it but it returned in 2011. She was told that it was terminal but she was the bravest and strongest mother I could wish for and she refused to let it get her down. She started making necklaces and would sell them and donate the money to Target Ovarian Cancer. When she finally lost her battle in 2014, I decided I wanted to carry on fundraising and raise awareness in the hope that if just one person’s mother could be helped to win this cruellest of battles it would be worth it. The week after I wore a Target Ovarian Cancer pin badge to play darts in and by the next week my whole team had them on and we took about asking for donations for the badges at local darts events and in the pub - we raised over £1,000! 

A hair brained idea

It was in the pub on a Friday night in October last year that I was complaining about how I needed a haircut. A few pints later, I was challenged not have a haircut or a shave until the 28 June 2017. If I didn’t, all three friends there would donate £20 a month to Target Ovarian Cancer. I’m not a fan of a beard (I can't really grow one) and normally have short hair (I’m thinning on top) but once I was told they would sponsor me, I embraced the challenge and set about trying to raise as much as possible!

I found everyone to be generous and got customers and colleagues giving me what they could. In one shop I worked in, all the old boys clubbed together and gave me £55 which was very heartwarming. Having a JustGiving page was a useful way of keeping track of what I had raised. I also took a picture every month for my page as well as Facebook. This helped to get donations from people that wouldn’t have otherwise known about the challenge. It also got people talking about it and helped me get the message out about why I was doing it. My work has a scheme where they will match any fundraising pound for pound up to £500 - quite a few big companies do this and it’s well worth looking into!

The challenge was more difficult than I thought it would be, especially after Christmas up until around April. In April, it was my mum’s birthday and my sisters and I went away for a few days, by this stage my hair was very curly and generally out of control. They wanted to straighten my hair. At this point I was on £950 so told them when I got to £1,000 (my initial target) I’d let them straighten it! Within 5 minutes I was up to £1,000 and the straighteners were getting warmed up! 

Target Ovarian Cancer kept in touch and I found this helped keep me going and gave me extra ideas to help with my fundraising. It was good to always have a point of contact to direct any questions I had.

In the end, I was delighted to raise over £2,500 through my challenge, for a cause very close to my heart."

Whatever your fundraising idea, the team at Target Ovarian Cancer is here to help.

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