Wing walking, sky diving, a static long-distance bike ride, an actual long-distance bike ride and a life-sized Monopoly game around Sheffield are all on the list of activities being undertaken by companies throughout South Yorkshire who have signed up for this year’s Master Cutler’s fund-raising Challenge.
The imagination and initiative shown by the hundreds of people taking part, their families and supporters tells me that this is going to be a superb year for the Challenge.
Now in its 12th year, the Challenge was started by Gordon Bridge in 2008. The idea is very simple: every team receives £50 on signing up which is then used to raise funds for our charities.
This year, the Mistress Cutler and I have chosen St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and Rotherham Hospice especially to highlight the support work they do with patients and their families in the community.
There is no restriction on fund-raising activities – if is legal and ethical, then it will receive our seal of approval.
Over the years, hundreds of teams have taken part - indeed, some have been with us from the very beginning – raising more that £1.5 million for good causes.
I think one of the reasons it has proved so popular is that the businesses, community groups and schools which have signed up have come to realise that this is about more than just raising funds.
Participation has encouraged entrepreneurial skills, team building, co-operation and reaching out to the wider community. It is important to remember too that you do not have to be a vast organisation to take part.
We have a small team of friends who plan to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats and another group which plans to set up a static cycle and ride the same distance, but without the vagaries of weather and road surface.
Although most of the monies raised come in towards the end of the year, we have had one huge success already with the Winter Concert which was performed at Rotherham Minster a few weeks ago and raised close to £3,000.
We already have more than 100 organisations signed up but if you have some ideas and would like to take part it is not too late. Contact Jack Kidder at St Luke’s on 0114 2357594 or Sharon Thompson at Rotherham Hospice on 01709 308918 for more details.
I shall be out and about supporting as many fund-raising events as possible. To everyone involved, good luck and aim high.