Fundraisers didn’t let lockdown stop them from tackling a host of challenges, including covering the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again in aid of The Red Hen Project.
The 100×100 Challenge invited people to come up with ways to raise £100 each towards Red Hen’s target of £10,000. The grand total raised was over £13,200, which will support the charity’s work with children and their families in north Cambridge to help them thrive at school.
Among the people taking part was Red Hen trustee Bobby Ford who encouraged a team to undertake a school run with a difference. They pedaled virtually the distance from Cambridge to Cullivoe Primary School on the island of Yell in the Shetlands, the northernmost primary school in Britain, covering 1819.4km and raising £670.
Bobby said: “The team were great and all really pleased to raise the amount they did for such a great cause. It was just the challenge we all needed too during lockdown. In the end, we cycled enough miles to get to (virtually) the southernmost school in Jersey on the route home!”
John Stead was the most successful individual fundraiser with a massive £1800. He ran a half-marathon in an impressive 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Dani Guy seems to have worked the hardest, not only running four marathons in the four weeks of March, but she also delivered core strength exercise classes every Saturday in the same month!
Intrepid wild swimmers Helen Mulligan and Antony Quinn raised over £300. Helen swam at least 100m once a week in the River Cam (started on Christmas day) whatever the conditions – snow, ice, rain, sun, wind. Anthony swam 5km between January and March. No wetsuit, no flippers, just good old-fashioned swimming trunks, and a woolly hat!
A group of 27 friends of Red Hen trustee Sophie Evans raised more than £3,000 by running, cycling and swimming the equivalent of travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and back again!
Sophie said: “There was great competition between two teams. In the end, both managed to complete more than 3,000 miles. One highlight was the virtual Burns Night party, one of our team members played the fiddle, and another called the moves, lots of chaotic fun!”
Another fundraiser was Milton-based sports therapists Headstart, who offered 60 people online health MOTs in return for donations, raising £280, while Tilly Gomperts sold her artwork and ran 23km on her 23rd birthday, bringing in £236.
One of the more unusual challenges was an experimental drawing workout organised by Sheila Ceccarelli raising just under £500. Jane Dominey donated money for each vegetarian meal she cooked from recipes suggested by her friends.
The charity’s fundraising champions Jacqui Davidson and Andrea Clamp possibly created the most fun challenge – wine tasting, and they raised £500 with the help of Cambridge Wine Merchants.
Trustee Miranda Gomperts, not only came up with the idea of the spring challenge, but led the ‘Red Hen Runners’ team raising more than £1,600.
Miranda said: “When we had the idea for the Challenge part of the rationale was to make it available to as many people as possible, not just the runners and cyclists! Little did I know what a fabulous diversity of activity would be dreamed up by our friends and neighbours in support of The Red Hen Project. It really shows how people care and how they have come together through these difficult months. Thank you so much to all who have made the Challenge such a success and made a real difference to the children the charity supports. I am looking forward to next year and excited by the prospect of even greater creativity that will come from it!”
Red Hen’s family workers support parents and carers one-to-one in their home for an average of 6 months. This includes improving school attendance and educational performance; increasing empowerment and participation of hard-to-reach families; and improving social integration, access and participation in the community.
Sarah Crick, Project Lead at the charity said: “Thank you to all our brilliant fundraisers. This money will go towards vital services including intensive support from our family workers, deliveries of practical help including food and essentials, providing emotional support, our regular drop-in families where families can access help and support.”
HOT OFF THE PRESS: Red Hen has secured 20 places in the Cambridge Half Marathon. If you’d like to run for us please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A huge thank you to each and every one of our Spring 2021 challengers:
John Stead, Miranda Gomperts, Dani Guy, Sheila Ceccarelli, Andy Clements, Barry Shapiro, Fabian and Tilly Gomperts Willis, Sarah Bolt, Annemarie and Fionnua Donovan and Mary-Clare Smiley, Bobby Ford, Kate, Hugh and Lizzie Molloy, Helen Mulligan, Andre Kramer, Natalie Bicheno, Kate Swindlehurst, Sam Skeaping, Antony Quinn, Jane Dominey, Nadine Grauer, Jane Dominey, Annabelle Deakin, Catherine Morris, Lisa Armitage, Christine O’Reilly, Diane Rawlins, Dora Parreira, Flora Sheldon, Helen Arnold, Helen Forbes, Geraldine Ellis, Gill Haughan, Jane Carmichael, Jess Pearson, Jesse Evans, Lily Morris, Mary Hall, Rachel Telfer, Rebecca Merriman, Sarah Upjohn, Tim Evans, Kathy Whiting, Zoe Oram, Pippa and Sophie Evans.