A little more than a month to go before Alan Lau sets off to row solo without support across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Children on the Edge!
He has been planning and training for this expedition since 2010, and after a couple of delayed schedules, it is now about to become reality. He will be rowing between Gran Canaria and Barbados and has a goal of completing the row within 85 days. The expedition is completely self funded by Alan and every penny raised will be going to our work with vulnerable children across the world.
As well as the row, last week Alan was joined by the local Christchurch Girl Guides to spend a day painting his boat. They did an excellent job, and really enjoyed the rare opportunity. Some of the girls were really intrigued, asking lots of questions and even had a taste of expedition food.
Alan said “A couple of the girls were asking a fair amount of questions on the expedition. They wanted to know what I would be eating, so I got some food out and they chose a Sweet And Sour Chicken to try. It was quite funny watching their reactions. Some of them thought it tasted good, but majority of them thought it was not that enjoyable. At least, that’s what their expressions said”.
Alan will also be doing a few assembly presentations at schools before the row to motivate and inspire children about going for their own challenges and making a difference.
You can help support his cause by going to his Justgiving page and follow the adventure by reading his blog which will actually track the boats progress across the ocean.
You can follow the challenge and all the preparation on Facebook and watch this interview with Alan on Youtube!
We’re hugely grateful to Alan for choosing to support us through this incredible personal challenge and wish him every success in his adventure. Watch this space for updates as and when they come through.
From Chichester to Lebanon: This year's Chichester Half Marathon raises over £20,000 towards education for refugee children
With the backing of local sponsors, volunteers and residents, this year’s race was not only thoroughly enjoyed by hundreds of runners, but raised a fantastic sum of money for the our work, including our current response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Just by paying an entry fee, runners have contributed to this work, but many went the extra mile, not just on the Trundle, but in getting sponsored so they could raise as much money as they could for our projects. South Today’s Sally Taylor opened the race with a stirring speech to those on the start line, praising the work of Children on the Edge and encouraging runners that when they hit the wall, they can keep going by remembering what they are running for.
We are currently supporting a project in Lebanon which is providing education for Syrian refugee children who have fled the violence in their country. The project also ensures regular medical clinics, warm blankets and focusses on training Syrian teachers so the project can be owned by the refugee community.
Many of the runners’ athletic triumphs (including the James Baker ‘hat trick’!) were detailed in last Thursday’s Observer. Whether trying a half marathon for the first time, or going for a personal best, runners were enthusiastic about the challenge, even the infamous Trundle.
James Chinnock, a former student at Chichester said “Brilliant, brilliant event and very well organised from beginning to end. My first half marathon and thoroughly enjoyed every moment, even the Trundle – or Grumble in some cases! Will be back next year for sure – have been inspired by the gentleman with the army Bergen (amazing effort sir!), I will do that for Children on the Edge next year! Highly recommended as a first half marathon as the course is interesting and varied and really good atmosphere”.
Councillor Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Wellbeing, and Community Services at Chichester District Council, says: “We are very pleased a wide spectrum of the community have taken part, not just elite runners but people taking part in their first half marathon too. Events like the half marathon are most important to our Sport and Wellbeing Teams at the District Council because it is a major strand of our strategy to work with organisations across the community to help as many people of all ages to be healthy and active.”
Also representing the community for 2014 were nine local ‘Works Trophy’ teams who pit themselves against other to achieve the fastest group times. The winning team was ‘Wiggle’, with Thesis coming second and race sponsor Montezuma’s taking third place. Other contenders were Covers (who also sponsored the goody bags and raised over £600 as a team), Store Property (also main sponsors), Chichester District Council (co-organisers of the race), The Park Tavern, The Body Shop (who also donated some products for the goody bags) and EDF.
Said Henry Green, Covers Managing Director, “Well, what a tough and gruelling run but definitely worth the few aches and pains for the money and support we have given Children on the Edge, who focus on forgotten and fragmented communities not reached by larger aid agencies – something many people don’t think about. The team and I are incredibly proud to have taken on the challenge and help to raise much-needed funds for this fantastic charity.”
As well as the runners, the main sponsors (Montezuma’s and Store Property) and Children on the Edge, the event was made possible by the a huge amount of man hours from Chichester District Council and an dedicated group of local volunteers including Chichester Rotary Club, gathering together behind the scenes.
Children on the Edge and Chichester District Council would like to say a huge thank you to all the runners, sponsors and volunteers mentioned above and also to any motorists or households who may have been inconvenienced by road closures. They would also like to thank the wider community who turned out to cheer on the runners, especially those who put banners outside their homes. It’s been a fantastic encouragement to everyone.
Next year’s date is already set for Sunday October 11th 2015 and the team are looking to expand the event further. Whether you are an individual or a local company, if you are interested in volunteering, sponsoring or supporting the event then we would love to hear from you. Just e-mail email@example.com or call 01243 538530.
For any of our runners that have got the fundraising bug, we have places to run for us in the Brighton Marathon. Just e-mail Sarah to find out more.
Thanks to Liz Thornwill for the lovely photo of our medal and goody bag volunteers
The Ambassadors 3rd Annual Tennis Tournament
Our wonderful and inspirational ambassadors have been at it again…
This time they have organised a Children on the Edge tennis tournament for the third year running. A huge thank you needs to go to Charlotte for hosting and organising the event alongside Anna, Tracey and Alex who continue to work tirelessly to raise awareness of our work (see photo of organisers below). Thank you to all four ladies for working hard to ensure that it all went ahead smoothly and also to Euan, our Children on the Edge Ambassador who went along to tell all the competitors everything there is to know about us and all of our projects around the world.
A special thank you also to Nikki and her sister Jane for the donation of £500 from the Albert Van den Bergh Charitable Trust.
We are regularly bowled over by the generous acts of kindness by our supporters and the innovative and inventive ways they find of raising money, some more unusual than others!
The tennis tournament is a great way of bringing together a group of friends who all had a lot of competitive fun and spent an enjoyable day in the sunshine, whilst at the same time raising an enormous £1625 for Children on the Edge.
At Children on theEdge HQ, we are all about play and having fun, not just for the children we work with but here in the office too. It’s fantastic to hear that our supporters are having fun whilst raising awareness and some much needed funds for the children, families and communities with which we work.
If anyone can come up with some more fun, exciting and different ways of raising money for us please do get in touch!
Here at Children on the Edge we love to shout about our supporters, not only our dedicated wonderful corporate supporters but also every single passionate individual who chooses to raise money for us.
The Body Shop At Home™ is an eclectic mix of both of these. They are a long term corporate supporter full of inspiring and inventive individual fundraisers and we wanted to take this opportunity to tell everyone what they have already achieved this year.
We had the pleasure of being invited to attend their Christmas Conference in September and we were overwhelmed by the passion, enthusiasm and generosity that filled the room.
Ben got up on stage to a roaring reception and updated everyone on the progress of our project in Uganda and shared the huge amount of money that has been raised so far (see photo above). This of course included a huge spinning glitter ball, a (customary?!) Coldplay song, a beautiful and moving speech by Rose Schofield (see photo bottom left) and a few tears. We don’t like to do things by halves here at Children on the Edge!
We were absolutely astounded by the huge amount that has been raised with Bev Ashton and Lou Daly’s regions already smashing their targets for the year with the busiest Christmas period in front of us. So far the Body Shop at Home team has together raised £31,000 from the recruitment and £50 challenge, £2000 on the day from selling raffle tickets and £500 raised through text donations.
There are also huge amount of individuals within The Body Shop At Home™ who put a lot of passion and enthusiasm into raising money for COTE, here are a few of their fundraising escapades to amaze and inspire you. A huge thank you needs to go to:
We’d also like to express our ongoing gratitude to every single one of you who faithfully mention Children on the Edge at your parties and continue to shout and scream about us to anyone who will listen.
The grand total so far this year is £60,780, the target for this year was £70,000. With Christmas coming up is anyone up for trying to smash the £100,000 target?!?
Thanks to Ani Evans photography for donating the photos for this article. Ani is a TBSAH consultant and long time supporter of our work. Her support has included going out to Moldova to help on one of our play schemes!
Last week one of our wonderful supporters Andrew Moir, took on the incredible Mont Blanc Challenge. After months and months of training hard, Andrew set off for a week of intense climbing, battling against very steep snow, ice and winds of up to 80kph.
At a huge 4808 metres high, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe by a margin of over 500 feet. It is known as the undisputed heavyweight of the alps and is surrounded on all sides by glaciers, alpine faces and some stunning scenery.
Mont Blanc suffered from one of the worst summers on record with 20 people loosing their lives on the mountain this year. Luckily the week of Andrew’s climb had some brilliant climbing weather only hitting some strong winds as they neared the summit.
After 7 days of the best and most challenging climbing of his life, Andrew unfortunately didn’t quite make it to the summit. He describes the situation as ‘So near yet so far. Having battled in total for ten hours to reach the top of the glacier and face the final summit climb I was hit by 65kph winds that made the final knife edge climb in my view too dangerous to take on. We had a second day option but the winds increased to 80kph the next day.’
Around 80 climbers set off for the summit and of those only 3 made it across the extreme knife edge to the top. Andrew was lucky enough to be supported by a brilliant team, his climbing partner Louise (first met at the beginning of the climb!) and the New Zealand guide Tim Robertson.
Andrew assured us here in the office that it wasn’t all such hard work - He had the opportunity to stay in the extraordinary Gautier Hut overnight at 3600m with the other 80 members of the team which was a very luxurious experience and stood them in good stead for the climb ahead.
A huge congratulations to Andrew for an absolutely fantastic personal achievement and for raising a huge amount of funds which will go towards our projects working with those children around the world who are overlooked, ignored and forgotten, living in barren and dangerous places.
You can still donate to support Andrew’s incredible achievement, by visiting his Just Giving page.