Battling wind, rain and ice during January, hardy fundraisers donned their walking boots or picked up their bikes to take part in the our Winter Challenge.
Like most charities, fundraising is vital for us and, with most local challenges cancelled for the foreseeable future, we needed to come up with something that everyone could take part in safely and so we created our Summer Challenge in July last year. However, the event was so successful that we decided to repeat it for 2021 and help people beat the January blues.
Community and Corporate Fundraiser, Karen Cox, explains; “January is often a difficult month for people, so we wanted to do something that would encourage people to get outdoors, even though it was darker and colder and they would probably rather stay inside. There were 16 entries which included families and a team from Moray Council, so we had 42 people taking part in total. They were all cycling, walking or running the equivalent distance of the Moray Way, NE250 or NC500 over the month and they all smashed their targets, covering an incredible 4,772 miles between them, which is very impressive, especially when you consider how cold and icy it was in January!”
“We kept in touch with weekly emails and it was so exciting finding out how people were getting on with their challenge, especially hearing how much they were enjoying it and we had some wonderful feedback when they had all finished.”
Janice told us; “January is a difficult month and don’t usually do much walking or exercise outside because of the weather and dark nights, but having this challenge forced me to go out when I may have preferred to stay in. It has felt so good to be out in the fresh air and it’s great to clear the head. I did the 96 miles with my dog Ben and quite a lot of it with my 9 year old daughter who did really well over the month.”
Kirsty and her boyfriend were doing the challenge remotely with her mum and sister, “It’s been so much fun doing this challenge. It helped us all get outside and enjoy some fresh air during a difficult and busy January. I’d encourage anyone to try this because, although daunting at first, it becomes a great fun to challenge yourself whilst knowing you’re giving a little back to other too.”
There were several young people taking part, including 11yr old Rohan who had needed to give up his beloved rugby due to health issues, so his family have been trying to find new activities for him. His mum, Lucy, is super proud of his efforts and said Rohan’s favourite thing was getting outside so often including an epic 30-mile bike ride.
8 year old Archie said the best thing about doing the challenge was all the wildlife he managed to see and 8 year old Elijah said it was important that he got his challenge finished for the achievement. “I have improved my fitness and spent time away from video games. I have seen things I wouldn’t of seen during winter. Spending time with my Dad and being away from home was good. I didn’t like the rainy weather and being freezing, but we had some good weather too. I don’t want this to be the last adventure”.
It wasn’t just Moray people who took part, Vicky is in Glasgow and said, “It’s fair to say that without the commitment of reaching my mileage for the Outfit Moray Winter Challenge I probably would have done very little exercise this month. I’m so grateful to have had the Challenge to focus on, it’s kept me active kept my mind focused on something positive, and I’ve exercised nearly every day.”
Not only did everyone put in amazing efforts to complete their miles, but they also went above and beyond to an incredible £6,571 for Outfit Moray between them.
Karen Cox; “We are blown away and extremely grateful to everyone for their incredible fundraising efforts, particularly Tracy from Keith who ran regular raffles and competitions on her Facebook page, ‘Tracy Goes Outside’ and managed to raise a staggering £2,522.”
“We will be doing it all over again in July but if anyone fancies a challenge and can’t wait that long, we are celebrating our 18th birthday in April by encouraging people to sign up to Scotland’s Virtual Kiltwalk on 23rd-25th April. If anyone is keen, please email me for more information.”
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