Posted by: ninechallenges | 24 September, 2008

Treadmill Adventures

So I went out last night and bought this treadmill from Argos. My thinking behind this was that it was cheaper and more convenient than joining the gym, and I could put in much more training/miles over the winter months. Handy for the 1000 mile challenge!

So we got the ginormous box in the car after much wrangling of car and baby seats, and managed to lug it into our living room. I exclaimed several times how glad I was I didn’t buy an electric one, as it would have been much bigger and heavier!

It took quite a while to put together, mainly because an alan key was missing and we had to go hunting for another one, and the belt was loose and crooked, which took about an hour and a half to tighten and straighten. My poor partner was well worked-out by the end!

My first attempt ended in disaster, as the belt was still quite loose and I simply slid straight off the back (think of the scene in Space Chimps with the treadmill, and you get the picture!!).

Second attempt ended in me being barely able to move the belt at all!

Third attempt (and final, my partner gave up at this point, bless him!), ended with me completing a whole five minutes. The problem with this treadmill really is the incline. It’s very steep and non-adjustable, which means you constantly feel as if you are going backwards, so you over-compensate by pulling forwards with the top half of your body. My problem in particular, is that this treadmill is designed for people of average height, whereas I am only 5ft2 – this means the handlebars are a little awkward for me to grip, so five minutes in my shoulders were killing me.

I will get used to it in time, I think over the next month I will alternate between outdoor running and using the treadmill and once I get the hang of it properly I can use it when the weather is bad.

I only have four weeks till the half-marathon (actually less than that, its on the 19th October!), so the next couple of weeks involve some serious knuckling down to business!

Once the half-marathon is over, I need to find the next challenge, as I want to keep nine challenges going – so if you have any suggestions for either the next challenge or the next good cause, please do get in touch and let me know.

As always, have a great day!

Tess xx

Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

100 Ideas for Fundraising

Courtesy of, the charity for Ovarian Cancer.

1. Collecting boxes in company offices, reception areas and canteens
2. Bring and buy sales
3. Coffee mornings
4. Organise a sponsored walk
5. Charity lunches (usually PR occasions with guests being invited to contribute)
6. Private charity dinners (invite friends to dinner on the understanding that they will
7. Games of skill (e.g. dropping a coin over a target)
8. Fashion shows
9. Raffles (especially around special occasions e.g. Easter eggs, Christmas
10. Tupperware (and similar) parties. The host’s gift can be obtained in cash for the
11. Auction of donated items
12. Sponsored golf days (suppliers invited to sponsor a hole)
13. Special “theme” dances/discos
14. Recycle old computer equipment
15. Company open day – for families, friends and neighbours of the company with
stalls and side-shows
16. Competitions with entry fees e.g. gamesmaster challenge
17. Charity cricket match (and other sports)
18. Grand draw (large prizes donated by suppliers)
19. Food demonstrations
20. Language classes (fees to charity)
21. Keep fit at lunchtime
22. Sponsored cycle
23. Treasure hunts
24. Slimming club. Meeting fee to charity and sponsored weight loss
25. Home-made wine tasting
26. Darts tournament
27. Sponsored swim
28. Fun run
29. Talent show
30. Team quizzes
31. Children’s party with entry fee
32. Tombolas at special events
33. Donate and sell second-hand books/records/clothes
34. Sell home-made cakes and biscuits
35. Sell bedding plants and flowers
36. Squash ladder
37. Give up smoking – sponsored by the day
38. Craft show
39. Car boot sale
40. Fishing competition
41. Guess the weight (of just about anything/anybody)
42. Garden parties
43. Staff let holiday cottage/caravan (part of fee to charity)
44. Sponsored jail break- the person who travels the furthest without spending any
money in a fixed period of time is the winner
45. Sponsored abseil
46. Staff variety show
47. Garage sales
48. Make a mile of pennies
49. Knock-out general knowledge quiz between departments
50. Make and sell toys
51. Carol singing
52. Sale of unwanted gifts
53. Sponsored silence
54. Pancake race
55. Slave auction – be someone’s slave for an hour, or be boss for an hour
56. Tug-of-war competition
57. Pool or snooker competition
58. Guess the number of…
59. Collect foreign coins (leftover from holiday)
60. Sponsored staircase climb
61. Special delivery service – at Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays
62. Fancy dress pub crawls, walks
63. “Guess the baby” photo competition
64. Paper boat racing
65. Sponsored knit/knit garments to order
66. Sweepstakes for baby’s weight or time of birth
67. Assault course
68. Ten pin bowling challenge
69. Go racing
70. Run or climb up a mountain
71. Swearbox
72. Barn dance
73. Bed race
74. Sponsored head/beard/moustache shave
75. Bonfire night celebration
76. Pub skittles evening
77. Photographic competition and sale of entries
78. Sell Christmas cards or gifts (make them yourself)
79. Have a charity ball
80. Auction of services (get people to offer their time to do things they are particularly
good at i.e. home decorating, cooking a meal, gardening)
81. Five-a-side football leagues and competition
82. Sponsored dog walk
83. Predict the top five singles in the charts (weekly competition)
84. Sponsored spook – spend the night in a haunted place
85. Special parcel wrapping service at Christmas (wrap all those power tool
Christmas gifts for customers in exchange for a donation)
86. Have a textile bank in your car park or outside your office
87. Sweepstakes for the big horse races/sporting occasions
88. Lunchtime concerts given by staff or local musicians
89. Compile a recipe book and sell it to staff and friends
90. Holiday help service. Look after someone’s pets, water their plants or just keep
an eye on their home, with a donation to charity
91. Karaoke evening – pay to sing your favourite song, pay not to have to sing, pay to
make someone else sing!
92. Beaujolais run
93. Sponsored expedition
94. Selling kisses (or paying to be kissed!)
95. Giving a small amount from your pay each month by Give As You Earn
96. Form a 100 club. 100 people pay in a small amount each week, 50% of money is
given out as 1st and 2nd prize, the rest is given to charity
97. Bad taste clothing day – if you don’t want to take part you pay!
98. Spring clean your wardrobe/house and sell to your friends
99. Aerobathon
100. Anything that is fun and raises money!

Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

Ten Quick Fundraising Ideas

Collections at local sports matches

You will need to get a group of about ten people together. Contact any sports clubs in your area and ask them if you can collect at half time. If they agree, then ask if they would mention it in the programme the week before or on the day and announce it over the public address.

You can then collect around the ground at half time. Fancy dress would be good as it always attracts attention and means you will collect more. Third and fourth division football clubs are especially good for this. This can raise over £700 at a time!
Collections at service stations/ train stations

Fancy dress and friends to help are a very good idea. You will need to contact individual service stations/ train stations to get permission. This can raise over £500.
Bag packing/ collection at local supermarket

This can raise over £300.

Get help from a few friends. You will need to get permission from the supermarket. They do book up well in advance so you will need to plan for this and contact them early.
Quiz night at local pub

This can raise over £300.

If your local pub already holds a quiz night, ask if the proceeds can be donated to RNIB. Make sure that you advertise this in posters beforehand, people will dip in to their pockets more readily.

If your pub doesn’t already hold a quiz speak to the landlord of your local pub to ask if you can hold a pub quiz to raise funds for your cause.

Choose a mid week night and the quiz should bring in more business for the pub. You can ask the landlord to throw in a basic buffet for free – lots of pubs do!

Piggy back other events

Look out for local events such as summer fetes or local dances where you can hold a tombola, raffle or cake stall to raise donation money.

Donation rather then birthday presents

If you have a birthday coming up, ask for donations towards your sponsorship instead of presents.

Dress down day/ non-uniform day

These work well in your children’s school or in the workplace. Charge each person £1 or £2 to come in for the day in non-uniform/ casual dress.

Set up an online donation form and email to everyone

You can set up your own online sponsorship page. Email this to all your friends who can then donate online. This is very quick and easy, so they will have no excuse!

Fancy dress pub crawl

This can raise over £500+

Grab a few mates for this, do it in fancy dress and it can be very good fun!

You will need to plan your route beforehand and get permission from all the pubs involved to collect. You will not need a license, as this is private property.

Ask the pubs to provide you all with a free drink when you go in and then charge your friends £10 to join the pub crawl. They will more than make up this money in free drinks.

Skills auction

This works really well in the workplace. Get your colleagues to donate their ‘skills’ from dressmaking to tea-making and everything in between!

Get your boss to offer to make the tea or wash someone’s car and watch the bidding shoot up!

(Courtesy of

Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

Top 10 Marathon Fundraising Tips

Top 10 fundraising tips (courtesy of

Start as soon as possible
Quite simply, the sooner you start, the more you will collect.

Enlist the help of others
Encourage family, friends and work colleagues to help fundraise on your organisations, businesses or individuals where you have a contact.

Plan and be prepared
Adopt a similar determined and planned approach to your fundraising as you do for your training. Planning how you are going to raise your sponsorship money from start to finish can save you a lot of time and hassle later. Carry a sponsorship form with you at all times.

Personalise your mission
Why are you undertaking this challenge? If you are fundraising for a charity that is close to your heart due to a family member or friend needing help from that charity, let people know. In casual conversation you can let people know what you are doing and why. This makes your request more real.

Approach your employer
As unlikely as it may seem, see if your employer will give you any time off for your fundraising efforts, or if they will ‘match’ any funds you raise.

Get the money first
Try and get as much of the money prior to the challenge, as you people lose interest quickly and find excuses for not paying up! You can always give it back if for some reason you are unable to take part.

Use your charity
Don’t hesitate to call your chosen charity if you have any queries. They are likely to have years of experience of supporting their fundraisers and are there to help you.

Think creatively
Sponsorship isn’t the only way to raise money. Coffee mornings, quiz nights, collecting tins on reception desks are just a few ideas.

Gift Aid pledge
Ask your sponsors to tick the Gift Aid declaration box when they make their pledge. This will increase your total.

Don’t give up
Keep at your fundraising efforts. Remember, you are doing it for a charity so you have nothing to feel awkward about when it comes to approaching people for help or money. The worst they can do is say ‘no’, and more often that not they will say ‘yes’.

Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

Top 10 Christmas Fundraising Ideas

(A little early, but gives you time to plan properly!)

1. Christmas cards – Send a letter with every Christmas card telling people about your challenge and asking for their support. Set up an online sponsor form on Justgiving so they can sponsor you wherever they are!

2. Non-uniform day – Ask a local school to hold a Christmas fancy dress or non-uniform day with pupils donating £1 to Mind to take part.

3. Carol singing – local shopping centres or stations are great places to sing carols, but remember to ask permission first.

4. Sponsor money for Christmas – Ask for sponsorship rather than Christmas presents! It will be worth it once you’re having fun on the event.

5. ‘Piggy back’ existing events – for example, ask your local school/church if you can have a stall or do a raffle at their Christmas Fayre.

6. Donations instead of cards – Instead of sending Christmas cards at work, ask all your colleagues to make a donation to Mind instead. Put a big poster on the wall for people to write their greetings. Not only will you raise funds but you are also being environmentally friendly by not wasting all those Christmas cards that get thrown away in January!

7. Office Christmas party – Make use of the office Christmas party, hold a raffle or charge an entrance fee, hold a quiz or a ‘skills’ auction – who knows what secret talents your colleagues have!

8. Christmas collections – Organise a collection at your local shopping centre or supermarket – in festive fancy dress of course!

9. Bag packing – Pack bags at your local supermarket in return for donations (lots of Christmas shoppers).

10. Christmas dinner party – Have a dinner or drinks party and ask guests to bring a donation to Mind (or simply charge them to come!). You can give your party a Christmas theme or the theme of the country you are visiting; for example Cuba by making rum cocktails and playing Salsa music!

These ideas courtesy of, the charity for mental health.

Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

More Fundraising Ideas

1. Always get your friends and family to write their sponsorship amount on the sponsorship form first – they tend to be the most generous and they set the standard for everyone who sees the form after them.

2. Ask people to give you the money straight away – this will save a lot of time after the event. If necessary, give people a piece of paper promising to return the money if you don’t complete the event. Also, always carry change with you – that way, people can’t claim not to have the right money on them!

3. Please read the Gift Aid it note on the sponsor form. If your sponsor is eligible ask them to tick the Gift Aid it box on the form and include their full name and home address. This allows us to claim Gift Aid, which will increase the value of the donation by 28 per cent at no extra cost to your sponsor.

4. Send an article and photo to your staff newspaper or newsletter. Make sure you’ve included details of how to sponsor you.

5. Approach your work colleagues, your employer and any local companies you might have links with, for donations or to ask them to run a fundraising event on your behalf.

6. Fax or email a sponsorship form to suppliers and clients, asking them to sponsor you.

7. If your employer is a member of a matched giving scheme, ask them to match the amount you have raised.

8. Ask family and friends to collect sponsorship on your behalf. Give them a copy of the sponsorship form and these fundraising tips.

9. Organise a fun event for friends or colleagues such as a treasure hunt, Trivial Pursuit, cheese and wine, ten-pin bowling or going horse racing.

10. Take unwanted items to a car boot sale – you can also ask friends, family and colleagues if they have unwanted goods they can contribute.

11. Hold a cake sale where you sell slices for £1 each.

12. Organise a “guess the baby” competition – collect baby photos from friends or colleagues and charge £2 to match names to faces. Give a prize to the person who gets most right.

13. Organise a sweepstake on a major sporting event such as the Grand National.

Courtesy of, the charity for blind and partially sighted people.

Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

Fundraising Ideas

Hello all!

I will post some fundraising ideas on this blog, not just to give me ideas but to help anyone out these who is planning on fundraising. Some ideas will just be basic ideas and some I will go into in details. Feel free to contact me to discuss any in more details.

Here are some ideas for now :

Afternoon tea party
Antiques Fair
Apple bobbing
Arts and crafts stall
Exhibition or fair
Auction of promises
Autograph sale
Bad hair day
Bad tie day
Baked beans bath
Balloon race
Barn dance
Bedroom tidying
Bingo nights
Blind date
Book or comic sale
Boot sale
Bring-and-buy sale
Car boot sale
Car wash
Cartwheel competition
Carol singing
Christmas ball
Christmas bazaar
Christmas card sale
Christmas pantomine
Coffee morning
Cookie or cake bake
Computer games marathon
Conker championship
Corny joke competition
Cover a distance with coins
Craft fair
Dance marathon
Darts tournament
Dinner dance
Dog walking
Donkey derby
Drawing competition
Eating baked beans with a cocktail stick
Egg-and-spoon race
Egg painting
Expert talk
Face painting
Fancy dress party
Fancy dress football
Fashion show
Film show
Fireworks party
Flower or fruit sale
Foam party
Football tournament
Funny face competition
Gala evening
Game shows based on TV quizzes
Garden party
Girls v Boys day
Golf match
Guess the height, weight, amount or name game
Hair plaiting
Halloween party
Hangman competition
Head shaving
Hockey match
Ice skating show
Icing Pudsey Bear cookies
International food dinner party
It‘s a knockout
Japanese evening
Jelly eating
Jigsaw puzzle
Joke competition
Judo competition
Jumbo sale
Kite flying
Kiss chase
Knobbly knees competition
Knockout pillow fighting
Lambada marathon
Leg waxing for men
Line dancing
Loud tie day
Magic show
Maggot racing
Masked ball
Midnight feasts
Mufti day
Murder mystery event
Musical bumps
Musical chairs
Music quiz
Nature walking
Netball tournament
New Year‘s party
No smoking day
Non-uniform day
Obstacle course
Odd jobs
Odd clothes day
Odd one out
Onion peeling competition
Open garden day
Pancake day
Panel games
Penalty shoot out competition
Pet show
Photo competition
Pie eating
Plant sale
Poetry writing competition
Pyjama party
Pram push
Quiz night
Radio controlled car racing
Rapping competition
Reading Shakespeare‘s plays marathon
Record breaking
Rock ‘n‘ Roll night
Rugby match
Santa‘s grotto
School fair
Shoe shining
Silly games
Slide evening
Songwriting competition
Sponsored slim
Sponsored bike ride
Sponsored dog walking
Sponsored knitting
Sponsored haircut or headshave
Sponsored swim
Sponsored silence
Sports competition
Stalls at fairs
Swap shop
Swear box
Talent competition
Tea party
Teddy bears‘ picnic
Theme day or evening
Three-legged races
Throw wet sponge at teacher
Treasure hunt
Tug of war
Underwear as outerwear dares
Uniform day
University challenge
Unwanted gift sale
Valentine Ball
Vanity fines
Variety show
Vicars and nuns day
Water games
Wear wellies full of jelly
Wellie throwing competition
Wacky races
Wheelbarrow racing
Wine-tasting evening
X Files day
Xylophone concert

These ideas were courtesy of, an organisation that encourages teenagers to get involved in fundraising and charity work.

Hope these help as a starting point, I will post more later.


Posted by: ninechallenges | 23 September, 2008

Bookmark This Blog!!

I need to raise as much publicity as I can, if I am to raise over £10,000,000 (TEN MILLION!!) pounds in the next fourteen months!! So forgive me for a little bit of blatant self-promotion, its all in a good cause remember!! Please bookmark me if you are a member of any of these sites, thank you very much.

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Tess xx

Posted by: ninechallenges | 22 September, 2008



Well, this is my first blog, so bear with me, no idea what I am doing!My name is Tess, and I started this blog to talk about my fundraising (and whatever else comes to mind!).

Some say I am a bit mad for what I have taken on, but it’s all good fun and it’s all in a good cause! I’m doing nine challenges for nine charities, between now and December 2009.

Full details are on the website but the challenges include mountain climbing, firewalks, marathons, treks and skydiving. The causes include Make-a-Wish, British Heart Foundation and Stroke Association. As I said, it’s all good fun!

So this blog is to talk about the events, the causes, the fundraising, the training, etc.

I’ve signed up for all nine challenges now, and registered with Guinness World Records for the two world records I am trying to break, so now its time to push on with the fundraising and the training!

My next event is a half-marathon on 19th October, its in aid of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s a Nike+ event, which means I can run the half-marathon anywhere, and it registers through a sensor in my shoe, then I can upload that onto the internet as evidence of taking part.

I actually injured my knee last friday, not badly but it hurts a bit, so I am hoping it recovers enough so I don’t have to walk the whole event!

In terms of fundraising, at the moment it is just writing a LOT of letters. I am initially writing 1000 letters. 500 letters to local businesses, and 500 letters to celebrities, in the hopes of getting sponsorship or donations. Fingers crossed – well, your fingers, mine will be too sore from all the letter writing!!

Once the letters are gone, I plan to start arranging some events – details to follow!

In terms of training, I am off out tonight to put in a couple of miles, just walking today as my knee is still sore and I don’t want to damage it further. I am buying a treadmill in the next couple of weeks, as I can then train indoors for the days through the winter when its too horrid outside!

That’s all for now, will keep you updated as to how its going, and of course you can visit the website :

Have a great day!

Tess xx

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