Yesterday saw the final event in our year-long fundraising efforts on behalf of Help for Heroes. As a way of wrapping up I thought it would be a good idea to catch the Christmas shoppers (wrapping – Christmas – geddit? Oh, never mind) as they shopped ’til they dropped at East Kilbride Shopping Centre. I thought repeating our January spinfit challenge in the heat of the shopping centre would allow us to maximise the funds collected by publicising, in particular, the Four Peaks Challenge.
The day got off to a potentially sticky start as the spin bikes, arranged by Mark Wilson at the Dollan Aqua Centre and provided by South Lanarkshire Council, wouldn’t fit into the van that I had organised to transport them to the site of the challenge. After some hasty ‘phone calls by Mark and the Dollan staff other bikes were sourced from another centre and we promptly nipped over to collect them, assisted by another van that SLC had kindly sent out to help. It was with some relief that we got to the venue in plenty of time to set up.
The event itself was more of a publicity exercise rather than an out and out challenge, although 6 hours on a spinfit bike, no matter how little you are pushing, certainly provides a bit of a workout. That was the case for all of us, including our friends Graeme and Karen who joined us to boost our numbers and make the whole thing more obvious (both helped in the original 200 mile spinfit challenge back in January). We were also helped by our families who came down and rattled cans and gave out stickers and H4H wristbands as the shoppers came past.
The donations came thick and fast, with many generous contributions and kind words. One donation in particular sticks in the mind; a lady walked up with her young grand-daughter and proceeded to take four bags of coins out of her pocket. The money was her grand-daughters pocket money that she had saved with the intention of donating it to Help for Heroes. When they saw us at the town centre they went home to pick up the money and bring it in to us. Just one of many acts of kindness on the day.
By the end of the day we had collected the princely sum of £1,039.99 to add to our previous total of £6584.39, making a current total of £7624.38, with some cash still to be collected and counted. Can we reach £8,000 before the books close? It might be a slightly big ask now but I have my fingers crossed.
I have a few people to thank for help in organising and running this event, they are:
Fiona Young and the staff at East Kilbride Shopping Centre, for providing the space and helping us set up on the day.
Mark Wilson and the staff at the Dollan Aqua Centre, The Ally McCoist Sports Centre and the John Wright Sports Centre for providing the equipment we needed and standing by with other equipment should it be required.
The un-named guys in the van from South Lanarkshire Council who helped us transport the spinfit bikes.
Mike Stark of RPL Media for editing our Four Peaks Video and providing the equipment to display it.
My brothers Lyall and Frank for providing and driving the van to transfer the bikes around East Kilbride.
Graeme and Karen, friends from my fitness classes who have provided support throughout the year and have taken part in a couple of the events.
The Duff and Hume Families and my daughter’s friend, Natalie, for helping with the collections and counting the money.
Last, but not least, the people of East Kilbride for their generosity and encouragement on the day. Your donations go to a very fine cause indeed.