“We wanted to fly the flag for Scotty’s Little Soldiers and in doing so raised over £1,500”

Flying the flag for Scotty’s!

Not all fundraising activity has a personal connection, but for many, doing something that is sentimental to raise money for a cause close to their heart is the main driver for success.

For Scotty’s fundraisers David Mason and sister, Sue Wood, it was the loss of their father earlier in the year that pushed them to complete the Staffordshire Millennium Way, and in doing so raised £1,553 for Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

As a former solider, David felt an immediate connection to Scotty’s and wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps by continuing the family fundraising efforts and completing the 69km challenge. In this post, we chat to David about his walk and how really flying the flag for Scotty’s helped achieve their fundraising target.

David, tell us a little bit about the Millennium Way walk.

The Staffordshire Millennium Way is a 69km route that spans the width of the county, from Newport in Shropshire, to Burton upon Trent Staffordshire, finishing at the Marston’s Brewery. Sue and I, in our earlier years, grew up in Leek in Staffordshire and I particularly have fond memories of the area. Having also lived in Derbyshire and Yorkshire in later years (before joining the Army), walking across hill and dale is very much in the blood.

What did you have to do to make your event happen?

I’d say that one of the key elements to making it happen was getting the support of everyone around us. Fundraising events like this can be difficult to organise all on your own. Getting support from your friends and family means it’s not all on you to make it happen. And it’s not a hard sell, explaining to our friends, work colleagues and family why we wanted to do it meant that so many were keen to help. In just talking about the charity, Sue and I were overcome with offers of support.

We all found social media a fantastic tool in helping to spread the word about what we were doing. We set up a Just Giving page so we could easily share with friends and family far and wide what we were doing and why we were doing it.

I also contacted Marston’s Brewery, as this was where we were due to finish the walk and they were very happy to support.

How much did you raise and how did you achieve this?

In total so far, we’ve raised £1,553 and found social media one of the best ways to get people to donate. Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram we shared information about the charity, including the Scotty’s video with friends and family which allowed them to understand the human aspect to the charity and see for themselves the fantastic work the charity does.

What was the biggest challenge or problem that you came up against whilst fundraising and how did you overcome it?

There were no big challenges to overcome but my advice to anyone who is preparing for a fundraising event such as this is that you have to be prepared to spend time on doing it right and in organising the different elements of your activity. For us it was the logistics like accommodation and route planning. Commitment is key, but don’t shoulder all the responsibility yourself, don’t be shy to ask for help, but do be prepared to lead.

What would be your advice to someone else who is trying to raise funds?

Do it with a cheeky smile! No seriously, there’s no harm in being a little bit cheeky but it’s also with passion and absolute commitment. Make sure you understand what you want to achieve and don’t be afraid to move the goal posts if necessary. If something isn’t quite going as you planned, don’t panic and move on to your plan B.

What made you decide to raise funds for Scotty’s Little Soldiers?

A former soldier in the Parachute Regiment, our father was a keen supporter of Scotty’s before he died, and I decided to make it my mission to continue his fundraising efforts along with my sister Sue, who had been fundraising over the last few years previously. Sue and I have since been to the Scotty’s office and have met all the team who are all fantastic, which makes all of us want to fly the flag for this amazing charity even more.

How and why did you choose to walk the Staffordshire Millennium Way?

Having both grown up in Leek and having not long lost our father in May this year, the Millennium Way was a sentimental walk for both of us. It seemed fitting to do something that we knew dad would have enjoyed. The walk takes two days and you predominantly walk along canal paths, which was very fitting, as dad loved his Kayaking and outdoor pursuits.

How did the event go and how did you feel afterwards?

It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park, and it’s also important to know that not everything will go as expected. Although I’m an experienced walker, we did encounter a few challenges along the way including diverting to plan B when we couldn’t access one of the fields on route. However, overall the walk was amazing, it was a great feeling when we finished, Marston’s Brewery kindly organised pints of beer for us all and we were greeted by friends and family, so we finished on a real high.

 

If you’re thinking about organising a charity walk (or any other) event for Scotty’s get in touch or visit www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk for more information on how to get involved.

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