Fundraising is hard.

It is probably the hardest thing I have ever done.

With so many worthy causes out there how do you choose who to support. Cancer research? Heart disease? Plastic pollution in our oceans? Parkinson’s disease? Disaster relief? Premature babies? Wildlife conservation?

This is by no means a definitive list, but these are just a few of the causes that have touched me in one way or another and they all deserve support. It is impossible to support them all, so how do you choose?


Cancer Research

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I spent a number of years fundraising for Cancer Research UK and I am proud to have raised over £12,000 through various events and challenges. As far as the difficulty scale of fundraising goes, Cancer Research is an easy one. Back in 1991 when my grandad died, Cancer was still whispered about and referred to as the ‘Big C’. Now in 2018, everyone has beed affected by cancer in one way or another. People donate readily because they understand it and, unfortunately, most people can relate to it.

I started to think about where the money I was raising was going and what it was being used for. The reality was that I didn’t know. Charities like Cancer Research are huge, with hundreds of staff and lots of overheads. They also have large companies like Tesco raising millions of pounds, making my contribution seem like a drop in the ocean. I realise that every little helps, but I began to think that I may be able to use my platform to do more.


Just a Drop

In 2015, when I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, I spent 5 months drinking water collected from streams, lakes, animal troughs and random water bottles left on the side of the road. When I needed to go to the toilet I went into the forest to dig a hole. I chose to live this way, but for too many people it isn’t a choice.

844 million people globally don’t have access to clean water. That’s 1 in 9 people. 2.3 billion people – one third of the world’s population – don’t have access to adequate sanitation. In 2018, that’s not ok.

In many developing countries, the primary responsibility of collecting water falls to women and children who spend several hours a day walking to find clean and safe water. This is why I choose to support Just a Drop – in the hope that if I walk thousands of miles to raise money then maybe other people won’t have to.

Just a Drop brings sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities who really need them. They are a small charity based in Richmond in the UK. They work closely with the local communities developing bespoke solutions that suit their needs and employing local workforces to implement them. All projects are lead by volunteers, and overheads are low compared to much larger charities.

Clean water empowers women and whole communities. Clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene practices – such as handwashing – change everything. The whole community has better health, children no longer die from preventable diseases caused by dirty water and a lack of sanitation, women and children no longer have to make long and dangerous journeys to the nearest source. Instead, children can spend more time in school and women can spend time working to generate an income.

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With a stable source of water in the community, food security is increased, as families can grow crops and sell the excess. Communities have better health, more stable food sources, more income and increased prosperity. They can begin to lift themselves out of the poverty trap.

Just a Drop deliver sustainable projects providing support to communities through the construction of hand-dug and drilled wells, pipelines, sand dams, rainwater harvesting systems and latrines, and health and sanitation solutions.


Remember, fundraising is hard.

It is much harder to fundraise for Just a Drop, compared to Cancer Research. In the UK (and other countries) we are so disconnected to where our water comes from. We don’t have to think about it. It flows effortlessly out of our taps, we flush hundreds of litres of it down our toilets and we spend millions of pounds buying it in plastic bottles.

It is very hard for us to relate to not having clean, safe water to drink. Nor do we have to worry about where our waste goes, after we flush it down the toilet we don’t have think about it.

I have a goal to walk 10,000 miles and therefore I also have a goal to raise £10,000 for Just a Drop (and remember, if I get eaten by a bear, I would like my just giving page to explode and raise a good half a million).

So far, together, we have raised £4,152.83 which is awesome. This is what our money has been able to provide…

 

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A mere £5 will provide a child in Uganda with safe water and sanitation for 15 years.

Donate £5 now

 

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As little as £10 will provide a person in India with safe water and sanitation for 10 years.

Donate £10 now

 

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Only £25 will provide a family in Cambodia with safe water for 10 years.

Donate £25 now

 

just a drop

Just £50 can provide 16 children in Kenya with safe water throughout their school years

Donate £50 now


Thank you all for your continued support.

 

 

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