“Surrounding myself with supportive friends and family helped me raise £2,000 for Scotty’s”

Doing Scotty’s Proud!

If you’re looking for a fundraising event that will really push you out of your comfort zone then, like Paul Hackford, an obstacle race, such as the Spartan Trifecta challenge might be for you.

Paul served in the Armed Forces and wanted to do something that would really challenge him to raise money for Scotty’s. In this post, we chat to Paul about his fundraising activities for Scotty’s and how his friends and family played an integral role in helping him raise a staggering £2,000.

To set the scene, Paul, tell us a bit about your fundraising event.

I completed a Spartan Trifecta, which consists of three races. They don’t all have to be completed during the same weekend, however, I decided to challenge myself and do all three over one weekend.

Spartan Beast was 21km with 30 Obstacles (Saturday) – A half marathon with 30 obstacles, a real test of strength, endurance and resolve.

Spartan Super was 13km with 25 Obstacles (Sunday AM) – A formidable blend of distance and speed, designed to push the limits of those seeking a true challenge.

Spartan Sprint was 8km with 20 Obstacles (Sunday PM) – This is a short distance obstacle course on rugged terrain. It is full of challenges and each race is unique as the obstacles change at every different venue.

My son also ran in the kids’ race and my partner, Lucy, was heavily involved in our fundraising efforts. It was a real family event.

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

As the race was an organised event, all I needed to do was enter via the Scotty Challenge website. Virtually all the admin was done by the charity. My biggest task was to get myself fit and ready to take part and show up on the weekend!

I really wanted to do Scotty’s proud, so training was really important. It took a lot of my time in the weeks and months leading up to the race, but my partner was fantastic and allowed me the time to focus on my training. I wouldn’t have been able to compete and raise as much money as I did without her.

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

In total, I raised just over £2,000, which was so much more than I anticipated.

My friends and family were my biggest supporters – I was able to raise this because of them. I achieved this by emailing all my work colleagues and sharing personal stories of my friend who left a very young daughter behind, and how the charity helped her and his widow. I decided to send the email during the evening which I think added a real personal touch.

People started coming up to me at work and talking about it, and they said again and again how touched they were by the story and what Scotty’s are doing. My boss was an amazing supporter and he donated £300 straight away – there was no backing out then!

I also used social media to get my message across, this allowed me to reach friends and colleagues who I don’t see very often.

My partner Lucy acted as a campaign manager; she was a great help in raising the money.

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

My original target was £300, I had no problem raising that – it was reasonably easy. So, I kept moving the target amount and I kept pushing myself to raise more.

For me, the whole thing was easy because of the amazing support I got from everyone around me.

On the day of the races my partner, Lucy took care of everything. The little things she did made all the difference; she made sure I always had clean, dry clothes and socks and something to eat and drink. I was focussed on the races, safe in the knowledge she was there to support me. 

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

If the cause is something personal, you will find the drive within yourself, it is in there somewhere.

I would say having a Just Giving page really helps. It makes it so easy for people to donate.

Also, have a team of people there to help you. Having my partner, the Scotty’s team and my Just Giving page really let me focus on training.

As soon as you commit tell everyone and encourage them to donate. Once you see the money coming in, it’s huge motivation – it also means you are locked in, there is no going back.

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

I had seen Scotty’s at a few races I had already competed in and knew that the charity was supporting the family of a good friend of mine. I wanted to do something to help Scotty’s because it is such an amazing organisation.

Three races in one weekend is a lot to take on. How and why did you choose to take part in the Spartan Trifecta?

It all started when I spoke to Berney (Scotty’s Little Soldiers fundraising coordinator and legend!) at a race in Market Harborough. I originally just wanted a vest to run in but, after a brief conversation, I agreed to get sponsored and run a single race. Later that day, I thought that if I could run three races, I would stand a better chance of raising more money, which obviously became my newfound goal. 

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

The event was difficult; however, I surpassed my own expectations. I had a few people come and watch me complete the events, which was amazing!

Afterwards, I was exhausted, very pleased, and I am already looking for my next event!

I served in the Army for some time. Since leaving I always had it in the back of my mind that I should do something to help or to raise money. It was kind of therapeutic for me, and I managed to raise funding for a phenomenal charity. It was time well spent.

If you’re thinking about taking part in a Spartan (or any other) challenge get in touch or visit the Scotty’s Challenge website for more information.  


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