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Fundraising heroes: How I raised £4,000 through social media and hosting events

How fundraising helped ballot runner Amy run 26.2 miles

Amy smiling with her medal after the Virgin Money London Marathon

Amy Randall won her place in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon via the ballot, but decided the opportunity to raise money for charity should not be missed. Her fundraising campaign brought in £4,070 for the MND Association and Parkinson’s UK. Here’s how she did it.

You won your place via the ballot, so why raise money?

That’s true. I could have just paid the entry fee and not raised any money, but I thought it'd be an injustice not to do some good with the opportunity. Another reason I put a lot of work into fundraising is that it took my mind off the fact that I was going to have to run 26 miles!

You ended up raising double your target, £4,000. How did you achieve such a big number?

To start with I just posted updates of my training on Facebook and was completely overwhelmed by how many people sponsored me through doing that. My initial target was £1,000, and I hit that within about a month. So I thought, "Oh, we'll double it" and see if I could keep up the momentum. That’s when I found organising fundraising events really helped to keep the money coming in.

What sort of events did you organise?

I approached the local social club and they let me organise a bingo night, a quiz night, a concert, a darts night and an auction. We had a massive raffle which I sold tickets to at each event.

How did you get the prizes for the raffle?

I wrote letters to local companies asking them to donate prizes and I delivered them by hand. I then went back and asked them to their faces if they’d support me. I didn't bother with emails - it's too easy for someone to simply delete them.

How carefully did you consider when you held the events?

I'd try and do things around payday at the end of the month. Over Christmas was a difficult period because people didn’t have as much money to donate and there were lots of other events happening in December.

What did you post on Facebook?

I tried really hard to document the whole journey, so every time I did an extra-long run, I'd take a selfie to post on Facebook. On those days I'd get loads of sponsors. People get quite involved in your journey. They're interested to know how you're getting on. It helped that I was honest about it. My lowest day of training was at the start of the year. It was really cold and I slipped on the ice and hurt myself. I posted a video of myself crying and saying how hard I was finding it. That day I raised £100, which inspired me to get back out there and continue training the next day.

Is there anything you would have done differently?

I would put a little bit less pressure on myself to get around the course in a certain time and just taken it in a bit more. Moments like running over Tower Bridge will stay with me forever, but there are still parts of the 26 miles that I can't remember because I was digging so deep to get it done. It's completely changed my life. I didn't run at all before the marathon, now I’m training for a triathlon. I've gone from couch potato to athlete. It is the best experience ever, so try to enjoy it.

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