Sophie Heads for Newcastle

Sophie Morris in her Alzheimers Society running gear

Sophie shows off her Alzheimer’s Society kit to so we have a better chance to spot her on the telly :)

Not content with swimming and dragon boat racing, Instore‘s Sophie Morris is set to add long distance running to her sporting achievements next month.

She’s taking part in the “world’s greatest half marathon” – the Great North Run – which heads out over the iconic Tyne Bridge and finishes along the sea front at South Shields.

Sophie lost her Grandad to Alzheimer’s in 2011 and set herself the challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. She said:

“The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity very close to my heart. Training has been really tough, but it’ll all be in memory of my very special Grandad and to raise awareness of dementia.”

The run takes place on Sunday 7th September and if previous years are anything to go by, it will probably be televised, so we can try to spot Sophie amongst the runners! Also, pop along to her JustGiving page to add your support.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Running, Sport | Leave a comment

Well, What Happened Next?

Last week we heard about Debbie and Matt Walton’s magnificent Cake Marathon. This week it’s time to tell you about another marathon of a different kind…

100 mile marathon walk from skegness to nottingham

This time Debbie drove the support vehicle whilst her husband Matt and friend Simon walked 100 miles from Skegness back to Nottingham. Fancy dress plus the odd bevvy or two helped to create a carnival atmosphere for such a terrific effort.

The walk took place on July 30th and this time a fantastic £2,450 was raised for Macmillan.

I make that a combined total of £3,485.50 raised across both events. Well done Debbie and Matt – what you’ve achieved is truly inspirational.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Sport, Walking | Leave a comment

Debbie’s Cake Marathon

cake stall at the Americana for Macmillan cancer care

A peep inside the tent reveals the tempting treats on offer

We’ve reported on plenty of marathon runs in Community Link-Up before, but today we have news of a cake marathon!

Nottingham‘s Debbie Walton and her husband Matt were kept very busy last month when they spent four days at the Notts Americana with their tea, coffee and cake stall. They managed to raise an impressive £1,035.50 for Macmillan.

And that’s not all! Our next post will reveal what they did next…

Posted in Cakes, Charity Fundraising, Fetes, Sales and Raffles, Food and Drink | 1 Comment

Simon to Tackle the Five Valleys

Simon Cousins and Laura

Simon Cousins and Laura

Rowan House‘s Simon Cousins is swapping his desk for his bike once again. After his Alpine exploits a couple of years ago, he’s riding a little closer to home this time by taking part in the Five Valleys Sportive.

This is one of Wales’ most famous cycle race routes and he’ll be raising money for his local community radio station, SWINDON 105.5. Says Simon:

“I have been inspired to do this cycle ride because my daughter, Laura, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, has really benefitted from volunteering at the radio station and now I would like to give something back. They do an amazing job in supporting and promoting community projects and giving young people the skills and confidence to find work.”

“The station is totally reliant on grants, sponsorship and good-will so it is really important that money is raised for this important local service. A special mention must go to Shirley Ludford, the station manager, because without her passion and her desire to help less privileged people the station would not exist – she is a real star.”

Simon will start the most famous route in Wales on Sunday 31st August. The Five Valleys route is popular due to its arduous course taking in some of the most historical mountain climbs in South Wales.

To prepare for the tough challenge ahead, Simon has been training for the last 4 months, including cycling up the White Horse Hill, Uffington, which has a 10% gradient.  “I’m looking forward to riding over the Bwlch and Rhigos passes with my two good friends, who are accompanying me on the  challenge, but I’m not looking forward to the possibility of getting caught in wet and windy weather and the final section of the ride where there are some very steep sections.”

Simon has set himself a £1,000, fundraising target. Have a look at his Local Giving page to donate and see how he’s doing.

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Cycling, Sport | 1 Comment

Last Call for Futsal

Logo for this years Futsal competition

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the closing date for any further team entries outstanding for this year’s Group Football Tournament.

It’s time to dust off those registration forms lurking on your desks, complete them and send them off to Laura Morris!

Remember, you have to be in it to win it :)

Posted in Colleague Link-Up, Indoor Football Fun Day, Team Events | Leave a comment

Futsal Closing Date Looms…

Logo for this years Futsal competition

Pssst! Got your entry in for this year’s Group Football Tournament?

If the answer’s “Yes”, then sit back in the virtual glow of approval from this blog.

If not, then you have only a few days left to get your entry together! Here’s the Registration Pack to download for more information and the Registration Form for your team’s entry.

Don’t forget, the closing date for your team’s registration is Friday 8th August and it all kicks-off on Sunday, 28th September!

If you have any questions after going through the information, then please contact Laura.Morris or call 01793 563753.

Posted in Colleague Link-Up, Indoor Football Fun Day

Volunteer Time in Windsor Great Park

Flyer for WINGS 2014We have news of another great Volunteer Time activity! Kevin Birchmore, Head of Technology at Dawsons will be swapping his desk for life under canvas next week.

He’s helping out at WINGS (Windsor & Eton International Guide and Scout camp) who are camping out in Windsor Great Park from this Saturday until the 9th of August. Kevin says in his Volunteer Time application form:

“The camp is supported jointly by the Scout Association and the Guide Association. The young people at the camp are from 20+ countries across the world, and will be enjoying a range of activities and experiences.

I will be part of the Security and Welfare team, supporting the running of the camp”.

Sounds like a great event – Kevin is one of 800 staff who will be making WINGS happen this year :)

Posted in Community Volunteering, Volunteer Case Studies, Volunteer Time | 1 Comment

From Source to Sauce: The Slideshow

Source of the River Severn Following last week’s Mission Complete post, we thought you’d like to add some more sauce to your day! So here are some more pictures from Luke Simons’s From Source to Sauce adventures.

Last time we looked, Luke’s Virgin Money Giving page showed a magnificent £2,578 raised. Well done!

As this was a very special event which took several days to complete and involved lots of people to make it happen, we thought it deserved its very own slideshow.

NB – Canoeing on the river looks the perfect activity for this hot weather we’re having!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s a final name check for everyone who helped to make this event happen:

The team:

  • Steven Grantham
  • Chris Hayward
  • Luke Simons

The support team:

  • Lee Meredith – Driving, tents, support
  • Lisa Marshall – Driving, tents, support
  • Joanne Simons – Tents, support, evening party support
  • Mitchell Winwood – Driving, tents, support
  • Ria Simons – Evening party support
  • Sophie Morris – Dragon boat racing and party support
  • Laura Morris – Dragon boat racing and party support
  • Matt Mandrell – Canoe instructor extraordinaire
  • Worcester Dragons – amazing support provided for our final leg
  • Lee West and Ridgeway Tourers for kindly supporting with the use of a van for the weekend
  • The Old Rectifying House – Matt and Ali – support for the party night
Posted in Canoeing, Charity Fundraising, Cycling, Dragon Boat Racing, Sport, Team Events, Unusual Ideas, Walking | 1 Comment

Fiona’s Guatemala Bound

Fiona DixonFiona Dixon, Credit Control Supervisor at the NAC has an exciting trip ahead of her!

She sponsors a little girl called Maria (age 10) in Guatemala and now has the opportunity to visit her and her family in September.

The trip is organised by Adopt A Child and Living Water International. Together these 2 charities have created 8 projects in Guatemala (and 7 in Albania) to help poor/vulnerable children to receive schooling, healthcare, a hot meal and bible study on approximately 3 days a week.

Adopt A Child supports 11,000 children and their families in this way and Fiona also has the  opportunity to visit all 8 projects during her  stay in Guatemala.

On her JustGiving page Fiona says:

Jocotenango Programme

Jocotenango Programme

“I will meet my adopted “God-daughter” for the first time and will be taking lots of presents for her and her family. This is an experience in itself that I am thoroughly excited about! I will also spend time with other children and staff in all of the programmes learning about their culture and needs so that I continue to raise awareness and funds for them when I return home.”

As well as fund raising for Adopt A Child, Fiona is also using her Volunteer Time allowance for her visit :)

Posted in Charity Fundraising, Community Volunteering, Volunteer Case Studies, Volunteer Time | 1 Comment

Who Will Be “The Biggest Loser”?

Dawson Books‘ Monika Fenicz has come up with a great way to Link-Up with some of her colleagues by creating a competition – ‘The Biggest Loser’. She takes up the story…

We started on Friday 4th July. I have brought scales to work and we all weigh ourselves. I keep a log of everyone’s results. To make it more interesting we have put money in, it’s only 50p each person each week. We have decided the finish day is the end of August, so we are going to do this for 8 weeks.

There are 11 people involved now, so the winning pot will be £44. To make it fair we are checking a weekly % of whole body loss, so everyone has a chance to win, even people who would like to lose only half a stone, because they weigh as much as Tesco Value chicken :)

I have also put together some rules, which everyone have to accepted before they joined in:

  •  Every week each person brings 50p for the winning pot
  • Whoever steps down from the competition is not allowed take money back
  • Feeding colleagues is prohibited
  • Bringing cakes, crisps and other treats is allowed as long as you don’t offer to your colleagues
  • Only water, teas and coffees (we all need some caffeine); no fizzy drinks and juices allowed
  • Minimum walk in office / home a day is 10 minutes
  • Full support to your colleagues appreciated

So we are ‘being good’ and we all have had some ups and downs. We keep telling each other what we had for tea after work, because that’s where we need to be the strongest. Some of us have started jogging, others use gym equipment others are just walking more.

It is great fun and we are doing well, though the numbers will show how well we’re really doing.

This was my idea because my health exams showed I have genetically small organs and to keep healthy I need to lose a lot of weight. It is awesome that the whole Dawson customer service team is involved because now it easier to say ‘No’ to morning tea with biscuits :)

Great to see you’re all giving each other such great support Monica, and here’s hoping seeing this article helps everyone to continue being good!

Posted in Appearance, Colleague Link-Up