Posted by: ninechallenges | 28 September, 2008

Nine Challenges Blog is Moving!!

I know, I only just got going here, but I have been elightened to the great stuff available to me if I cross over to So this blog will continue at :

There will be tons more features available, and loads more fundraising ideas, hints and tips, as well as some training updates and fitness plans. All the posts on here have already been moved over, but they will remain here too for anyone to find!!

So thanks for checking out this blog, and I hope you keep checking it out at its new home!

Have a great day!


Posted by: ninechallenges | 27 September, 2008

10 Sets of Fundraising Ideas and Tips from Major Charities

Here are some links to the main charities, and their fundraising ideas and tips.

1. Blue Cross
The Blue Cross is Britain’s pet charity, providing practical support, information and advice for pet and horse owners.
A to Z of Fundraising Ideas

2. Cancer Research
Cancer Research UK is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the UK.

The children’s charity which aims to end cruelty and abuse to children.

4. Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Their mission is to provide guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services that meet the needs of blind and partially-sighted people.

5. Worldland Trust
The World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation organisation that takes direct action to save rainforest and other wildlife habitats.

6. Association for International Cancer Research.
The Association for International Cancer Research funds cutting edge research into the causes of cancer. In the past 27 years, they have supported a large variety of projects in all corners of the world. We currently have more than 215 projects underway.

7. Epilepsy Action
Epilepsy Action is the largest member-led epilepsy organisation in Britain, acting as the voice for the UK’s estimated 456,000 people with epilepsy, as well as their friends, families, carers, health professionals and the many other people on whose lives the condition has an impact.As well as campaigning to improve epilepsy services and raise awareness of the condition, they offer assistance to people in a number of ways including a national network of branches, accredited volunteers, regular regional conferences and freephone and email helplines.

Bullying UK is the UK’s leading anti-bullying charity

9. 4 Children
4Children is the national charity dedicated to creating opportunities and building futures for all children. From children’s centres to extended schools, childcare to play provision, parenting support to support for young people – 4Children is at the forefront of delivery and supporting innovative children’s services ensuring that all children and families get the support they need in their community.

10. Unicef
UNICEF UK is one of 36 UNICEF National Committees based in industrialised countries. UNICEF National Committees raise funds for UNICEF’s worldwide emergency and development work. In 2007 UNICEF UK raised £41.3 million for UNICEF’s work with children worldwide. UNICEF UK also advocates for lasting change for children. For example UNICEF UK’s Public Affairs Team works to change government policies and practices that are detrimental to children’s rights in the UK and internationally.

Posted by: ninechallenges | 27 September, 2008

Even More Christmas Fundraising Ideas!

1. Breakfast with Santa. Charge £10 entry and for this the children get to have breakfast with Santa, get a gift and a hug and also their photo taken with Santa.

2. Offer to do all the Christmas gift wrapping for your friends, family and colleagues, in return for a donation to your appeal.

3. A twist on the above one, see if a local store will let you set up a trestle table and donate some wrapping paper to you, and offer to gift wrap pressies for people in return for a donation.

4. Dress up as Santa and stand in the doorway of your local supermarket (you will need to ring or visit the store and get the managers permission.), with a collection box. For added effect, have some ‘Merry Christmas’ stickers made with your web address and the charitys details and if you have children they could dress as elves and help out! And of course, make sure to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

5. Make your own Christmas decorations, cards, gift tags – anything you can think of that you can then sell to friends, family and colleagues, and also at jumble sales, car boots, etc.

Posted by: ninechallenges | 26 September, 2008

10 Random Fundraising Tips

1. Tell everybody you know about what you are doing – friends, family, colleagues, bosses, neighbours – don’t be shy to ask for sponsorship. The worst they can do is say no!

2. Make sure you check out the legalities of anything you do – ask the charity you are fundraising for, or check google (I love Google!).

3. Publicity is important – send a press release to local papers and free papers telling them what you are doing, when and why.

4. Be safe. Always make sure that what you are doing is safe – its no good raising money for a good cause if the end result is you in hospital, or worse.

5. Don’t forget Gift Aid – if the sponsor is a UK tax payer, the government gives the charity an extra 28% on top of the donation.

6. Ask your boss about Matched Giving, whereby they will match whatever you raise, pound for pound.

7. Don’t be daunted by a large sponsorship total, break it down into manageable chunks and work to those targets. It soon adds up.

8. Every no leads to a yes – when it seems like you aren’t getting anywhere and everyone is saying no, keep a huge smile on your face and keep going!!

9. Create a page on Justgiving ( and email the url to everyone you know.

10. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have fun with it!!



Posted by: ninechallenges | 26 September, 2008

6 Outdoor Fundraising Ideas

1. Charity run. This could be a one mile jog round the park or a marathon in New York – entirely up to you.

2. Teddy Bears Picnic. Contact your local council first to find out what permissions or licences you would need to hold a teddy bears picnic in your local park or open green space. Then you need to check out liability insurance to cover all the children and parents at the event. It is a bit of a tricky one this, but done properly it can raise a lot of money. Advertise at local schools, nurseries, day groups, etc. Also in your local newspapers, and don’t forget the free papers. You can tie-in other fundraisers such as selling refreshments, lending out outdoor toys to children (such as footballs, mini golf, etc) or selling souvenirs of the event (“I went to the *** Teddy Bears Picnic” T-shirts, for example).

3. 5-a-side football match.

4. Golf Tournament

5. Rugby Match

6. Sponsored ……Walk/jog/roller blade/skateboard, etc

Posted by: ninechallenges | 26 September, 2008

10 Office Fundraising Ideas

1. A work auction. offer things like making the coffee for a week, or doing all the post, or fetching everybodys lunch.

2. Sponsored head-shave or wax. Get as many people as you can to volunteer to get their head shaved or legs waxed, then host the event one lunchtime or after work, when everyone else can attend and donate money. plan in advance and ask people to make a donation and/or bring in their penny jars from home!

3. Baby photo competition. An old favourite. People bring in their baby photos, it costs £1 to guess whose photo is whose.

4. Coffee Morning. Everybody donates £1, pays for coffee and biscuits (which you can make yourself).

5.Dress Down Day. £1 to dress down, £2 if you don’t.

6. Bad Tie/Hair/Clothes day.Again, £1 to look bad, £2 if they don’t – and make sure you take lots of photos of your bosses and colleagues looking their baddest!

7.Swear Box. Every single swear word means a donation of 50p. You might think you have a nice office but you would be surprised how many swear words there are in the course of a day!

8.Penny Jar. Keep a large jar on your desk and ask everyone at work to donate their small change.

9.Office Treasure Hunt. Hide a selection of items in the office, then give participating people the clues to each item (they pay £2 to enter the hunt). The person who finds the most items wins a bottle of wine or similar.

10.Contest to win a half-days holiday. Ask your boss to donate a half-days holiday and hold a contest for someone to win it. This idea has lots of scope as you could come up with just about anything for the contest.


Tess xx

Posted by: ninechallenges | 26 September, 2008

Top 10 Halloween Fundraising Ideas

PIcture courtesy of

1. Get everyone at work to dress up for Halloween and pay £1for doing so.

2. Make Halloween themed cookies and sweets and sell them at work, school, etc.

3. Have a Halloween Fancy Dress Ball.

4. Halloween movie night – invite round lots of friends, charge them £5 each for the evening (you can’t charge them to watch the movies but you can charge them entry) and watch a marathon of horror movies

5. Horror movie pub quiz

6. Put on your own Rocky Horror Show

7. Make and sell your own Halloween decorations

8. Invite all your neighbours and their children, grandchildren, etc, to take part in a Halloween scavenger hunt – everybody pays £2 to take part, and you can also sell halloween-themed snacks and refreshments. You can host the scavenger hunt in your house or garden or ask a local school or church to loan you their hall free of charge.

9. Halloween fashion show – all your models should look as scary and spooky as possible. You could even ask your local fashion college/university to make the costumes.

10. Horror-Film-a-Thon. Get sponsored to watch as many scary films in the dark as you can, one after the other. See how long you last!!

Posted by: ninechallenges | 26 September, 2008

The Man Behind The World Record

Terry Fox was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer treatment activist. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg.

In 1977, after feeling pain in his right knee, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. This is a form of cancer that strikes men more than women, usually around ages ten to twenty-five. Very often the cancer starts at the knee, then works its way up into the muscles and tendons. At the time, the only way to treat his condition was to amputate his right leg several inches above the knee.

He is considered one of Canada’s greatest heroes of the 20th century and is celebrated internationally every September as people participate in the Terry Fox Run, the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.

His original plan was to run the equivalent of a marathon a day and travel across Canada from coast to coast. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish his run. His bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs: x-rays revealed that Terry’s right lung had a lump the size of a golf ball and his left lung had another lump the size of a lemon.

He was forced to stop the run on September 1, 1980 just north-east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, after 143 days. He had run 5,373 km (3,339 miles, or around 23.3 miles per day) through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.

In June 1981, Terry developed pneumonia, and on June 27 he went into a coma. He died on the 28th at 4:37 a.m., which was his favourite hour of running, a year after his legendary run, and exactly one month shy of his twenty-third birthday.

Terry’s large funeral was broadcast live on national television. He is buried in the Port Coquitlam cemetery, near his favourite lookout just outside the cemetery gates.

On 18th July 2008, Guinness World Records ™ officially confirmed that Terry Fox had set the record for the greatest amount raised by a charity walk or run is $24.7 million Canadian dollars, which is approximately £9.1 million pounds.

This is a record I want to beat! Terry Fox was an incredible young man, who achieved so much despite so much being against him. His life was tragically cut short – imagine what he could have done had he beaten the cancer? So my wanting to beat this record is with the utmost respect for Terry’s memory (and his family), its just that I want to raise the most amount I possibly can for a great cause.

Tess xx

PS – Bio from wikipedia (

Posted by: ninechallenges | 25 September, 2008

New Fitness Regime!

Well, I finally got hold of a Wii Fit board today, after months of trying!!

So I spent half an hour setting it up and then spent a, ahem, *little* while doing the exercises. It’s brilliant for working muscles, getting your heart rate going or even just as a warm up.

It has a yoga section, a muscle exercising section, some games to improve your balance and an aerobics session. Everything I need to do a workout every morning, then a treadmill run in the evening – sorted!

And of course it records everything you do, so you can actually see your fitness getting better. Would highly recommend it to anyone out there, even just for the fun factor!

Have a good evening, Tess.

Posted by: ninechallenges | 25 September, 2008

About the Charities

Hello! I thought it would be nice to share with you a little about the charities I am supporting and why.

The first challenge is the half-marathon, supporting the leukaemia and lymphoma society. This event is organised by Nike+, and they chose the charity for this event. However, I am a huge supporter of leukaemia charities. When I was 13, my best friends aunt (who was a close friend of the family), died of leukaemia aged just 40. She (and her family ) went through a terrible time in the year leading up to her death, and her family suffered horribly for quite some time afterwards. Anything we can do to eradicate this awful disease has to be good.

The next challenge is the firewalk for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in Middlesbrough. As you will see from the photo on the right, my son was born almost three months early, and spent five weeks in intensive care, so I know how valuable care and support is when your child is ill. Thankfully, Benjamin made a full recovery and is now doing well – I am all too aware that not all children are so lucky.  The next challenge, The Santa Run, is also in aid of Zoe’s Place and the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund, which helps disabled children here in the North East of England.

The next challenge is the Great Wall of China Trek, supporting the Samaritans. I have suffered from depression since the age of around 12, and have on occassion used the Samaritans service myself. It’s a lifeline to people who are having problems, in distress, or feeling suicidal. All the lines are manned by volunteers – people giving up their free time to help others in their time of need. It’s a very worthy cause, and I am proud to be able to support it.

The next challenge is the Edinburgh Marathon, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Everybody knows about the incredible work that Macmillan do. I’ve seen several relatives go through cancer, thankfully they survived, but the work Macmillan do is vital and they need funds to continue. A very good cause indeed.

The next challenge is the skydive, in aid of British Heart Foundation. My grandfather and father both suffered several heart attacks, and my father died when he suffered a massive heart attack in the street – he died instantly. Heart disease is a terrible disease, a killer, and we must do all we can to prevent it – whether that be through research or education.I am proud to support the BHF in my fathers memory.

The Lake District Challenge is next – four mountain climbs in under 16 hours – and is in aid of the Make-a-Wish foundation. As the mother of a child who was seriously ill when born, I can only imagine how hard it is for parents whose children are terminally ill, or severely disabled. The Make-a-Wish foundation grant wishes to these children, which puts a smile on the face of the child during a difficult time, and gives the parents a lovely memory to cling to.

Next is the 23-mile bike ride for The Stroke Association. My grandfather suffered two massive strokes one after the other and unfortunately he didn’t survive the second one. Seeing the pain and trauma he went through during that time period was heartbreaking, and I am honoured to support the Stroke Association in his memory.

And last but not least, between now and December 31st 2009, I will walk 1,000 miles for Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. As before, this is because I have seen my own son in hospital, and of course other children while I was there, and know first-hand just how valuable these services are.

So there we are, a little bit (well, little-ish!) about why I am doing all this.

As always, have a great day!

Tess xx

Older Posts »