‘If you’re thinking about doing it, stop thinking and just do it!’

Sophie Packman by Sophie Packman
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One Team Whizz-Kidz Marathon runner shares her story of smashing her fundraising target. 

I had entered the ballot for the London marathon but didn’t get a place. I decided to have a look at the different charities and when I found Whizz-Kidz I thought they sounded like such a nice charity. I umm'd and arrr’d due to raising the money and then thought: ‘Go for it, it’s make or break!' 

I applied for a place in the London Marathon via Whizz-Kidz and had lots of ideas for fundraising and just needed to convince them and myself that I could do it. After my nervous conversation with all my ideas I eventually stopped for air and was told that I would be accepted onto the team. I was so excited but then panicked about raising the money. That started the ball rolling!

Straight away, I contacted venues for hire, random bands, restaurants, cinemas, sports centres etc.  I ended up with 2 bands offering to play for free, a venue for free, a chef to cook a spread for free if I paid for the food, and lots of really good raffle prizes. I had donations of food from take-a-way companies too. It took phone calls, emails and personal visits but all came together and on the night. I had a good band, professionally cooked hot buffet, free nibbles, pizzas and cake, an auction and raffle with some really great prizes. It was the raffle that really made the money. I raised £1,010!

My partner helped by joining and sending the JustGiving page out to his work colleagues. I sent it to my work and to friends and family. I put charity pots up and work. My neighbours and family sold tickets and raffle tickets which was a great help. In the end I had raised over the amount needed;  in total, £4,700. I had applied on 22nd October and had raised the money I needed by end of November.  We carried on pushing after that but we could start to concentrate on Christmas and training without the worry of not raising enough money. It came together better than I could have ever wished for. 

I also won a prize from Whizz-Kidz for raising over a certain amount and chose a sports voucher which paid for my gels and running belt, which I used on the day.  That was a really nice touch after all the hard work. (Thanks for that Whizz-Kidz.)

I can honestly say that I had lots of emails and telephone conversations of support from Whizz-Kidz. At one point, I really thought ‘I can’t do this’ but with a nice person on the end of the phone listening and having faith in me I managed to do it. The Whizz-Kidz team were so reassuring and helpful and I am so pleased I went through Whizz-Kidz. I learnt more about the charity as I went along and realised it does so much for people who really need help. I also realised that people that had been helped were then working for the charity and giving to others. So nice.

The before, during and after the marathon and fundraising was a really amazing experience, one I will never forget. I tell people this and they think I am bonkers but I really mean it. There's something about raising money for a good charity, having injuries from training and then running or walking the marathon (in tears of joy/pain), with all the supporters and the Whizz-Kidz team. It made me so emotional and I can honestly say if you are thinking about it then stop thinking and just do it. You will not regret it.

Want to join Team Whizz-Kidz to take on the London Marathon? Sign up Today! 

Categorised under: Supporters

Tagged under: London marathon

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