Merlin’s fundraising heroes
Merlin’s life-saving work is only possible because of all the supporters who either give money or help to raise money – sometimes in extraordinary ways. Here are three of the best!
Around the world… by bike!
In January 2010, Merlin supporter Dr Steve Fabes started out from London on an epic solo journey around the world. He set out to travel the length of six continents, crossing the greatest land masses on earth… all by bicycle!
Two years later, Steve’s journey goes on! It will take four and a half years, during which he will travel through approximately 50 countries and cover some 80,000 km (50,000 miles).
Steve is a doctor at Guy’s and St. Thomas Hospital in London. His particular area of interest is neglected tropical diseases. He is tracing a route through regions affected by these diseases so that he can witness their effect on local people.
For this ultimate challenge event, Steve aims to raise £50,000 for Merlin - the equivalent of £1 per mile. His sponsors so far include the makers of Incognito mosquito spray.
Steve aims to travel anywhere between 80 and 150 km (50 – 95 miles) a day, depending on terrain and road conditions. At night, he is mostly camping out, but sometimes he is offered a bed for the night by people who know about his trip.
A few weeks ago, while in Africa, Steve blogged: “I visited Merlin projects and it made me proud to have chosen Merlin as my charity of choice. Training and supporting local health workers is central to everything Merlin does. This way they help to create lasting change.”
Donald’s birthday adventure
Donald Macleod is a keen supporter of Merlin because his daughter Janette is a member of our staff – and as a retired consultant surgeon he understands the importance of everyone having access to healthcare. So when his 70th birthday approached, he had a wonderful idea. Why not celebrate by cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats – a distance of 984 miles – to raise money for Merlin?
He admits: “This was the furthest I had ever cycled. On my first morning I was awestruck by my fellow cyclists who had super lightweight bikes! They all looked so much more clued up than me.”
The trip, which took 11½ days, was tough for Donald, especially when he had a flat tyre crossing a remote Scottish moor. But at the end of it he had raised over £2,000 from family, friends and former colleagues, thanks largely to his son-in-law setting up a JustGiving page for him on the internet. Now he says: “I plan to rest and recuperate and get ahead with the garden! I may be tempted to try a different challenge next year.”
Kate’s fantastic cookies
10-year-old Kate Guest read about Merlin’s work on our website and decided to help – by baking lots of cookies and selling them in the local community shop. She calls them Kate’s Kookies and, as she says herself: “Everyone likes them!” The customers snapped them up and before long she had raised £55. She told us: “Spend it well and save loads of people’s lives.”
Richard and Jason do India
Could you be a fundraising hero?
You don’t have to cycle round the world like Dr Steve Fabes. There are many imaginative and enjoyable ways that you, your family and friends can help to raise funds for Merlin’s life-saving work around the world. Everything from walking a marathon to holding a ‘bring and buy’ sale, a quiz night, coffee morning or a garden party.
If you think you’d like to help Merlin in this way, and have a lot of fun at the same time, download our community fundraising guide, Fundraising for Merlin. It is packed with practical advice such as:
- An A to Z of fundraising ideas
- How to get sponsorship
- How to get publicity for your events
- How to raise funds at school
- The legal and safety issues involved in fundraising.
Alternatively, just give Sarah Johnson a call on 020 7014 1707 or email your name and address to email@example.com to receive our community fundraising guide, or for any other information on taking part in a community or challange event with Merlin.
One thing’s for sure. Merlin’s work will continue to be needed for a long time – to save lives when disasters strike and to improve health care in some of the world’s poorest countries. Your support will be vital – and will be much appreciated, no matter how you choose to give it. But there’s no better way to raise money than by putting the fun into fundraising