I’d like to share with you a challenge I’m about to not only organise, recruit for and run when it happens, but take on myself. I will be raising funds for Sailors’ Society and undergoing the hardships of the challenge alongside my fellow recruited participants.
There are two reasons I will be doing this: firstly, I believe in the amazing work the charity does and I want to contribute more than just coming to work. And the second is a more selfish professional reason. How can I truly manage those fundraising for the events I hold without having experienced the full process myself?
So, during the event recce, standing on the shores of Loch Ness in the beginning of February, frosty grass crunching beneath my feet, I looked into the eyes of the beast and vowed that I would complete the challenge and feel every ache, obstacle and blister of my fellow challengers.
I couldn't help but be swept away by the raw beauty of the Scottish highlands, and felt a renewed vigour that I, Bex, could take this on and canoe 60 miles in four days along the Great Glen, camping along its shores each night, exhausted from the 21 miles or so I have completed that day.
My largest worry is probably every challenger’s real fear… it’s not the challenge itself – that's so far away, worry about that later, right? No, despite my job role, the most intimidating bit about this challenge is hitting the fundraising target.
So I've began to plot a strategy of how I will reach the largest personal target I've ever raised.
Social media features heavily, but not only do I want to involve my friends, family and colleagues in the challenge, I want to involve my fellow participants in my journey and begin the sense of team before we've even begun. I plan to share my journey, tips and techniques through a number of entertaining videos, pictures, blogs and other digital diaries so that my fellow challenge fundraisers don't feel quite so isolated in their endeavours.
I mean that's one of the points of Sailors' Society, to provide a lifeline to help those living in isolation away at sea. Perhaps I can gather some great words of wisdom from our volunteers who visit the ships and keep communication channels open to those who may feel so alone, suffering depression and other stirrings of mental illness.
I also want to provide everyone who is following my journey with a regular reminder as to why I'm doing it. If you've signed up to a challenge before, have you ever felt disconnected to the cause or forgetful of why you're doing it? I'm lucky as I'm surrounded by the reasons every time I come to work, but I'm suddenly mindful of those who do need something and I’ll feature this in my motivational content.
So here is my pledge and I’m asking for your support. Those of you who know me, know I’ve got very long and silky hair which for years I’ve flaunted and enjoyed greatly. If I hit £1,000 by the 31st of July then I will cut this off and donate it to a cancer charity to make a wig for someone else to enjoy and bring some happiness in a time of difficulty. If you know of a charity that can make this possible please tag them in this blog, or share it with them.
I’d like to say a huge and hopeful thank you for reading and supporting me in my endeavour.
You can find out more about the Loch Ness Challenge here.