Could you run 30 miles – either all at once, or a mile a day for 30 days? Or sacrifice your favourite treats – wine, perhaps, or chocolate – for 30 days? Or maybe you’d consider doing 30 good deeds or devoting 30 hours of your time as a volunteer?
These are just some of the ways in which people can get involved in a creative new charity challenge to help celebrate Weston Hospicecare’s 30th anniversary in 2019.
The hospice was launched in 1989, meaning that 2019 will mark three decades of its work caring for people with life-limiting illnesses in Weston-super-Mare and surrounding areas.
A host of celebrations are planned for the year, including new events, exhilarating fundraising challenges and even a birthday party.
However, the anniversary year will begin with the hospice laying down a new challenge for its supporters, all themed around the number 30 in recognition of the charity’s milestone year.
The Challenge30 asks people to test themselves in feats of speed or endurance, either individually or in teams, to give up something special for a fixed period, to take on an unusual personal challenge – or to support the event in a host of different ways.
· Setting yourself a sponsored distance challenge, either all at once, or by completing a portion each day. This could be on foot, on a bike, or in the pool.
· Sacrificing a favourite treat. Give up chocolate, alcohol or smoking, donate the money you save, and ask others to sponsor your achievement too.
· Combine the challenge with a New Year’s resolution – how much weight could you lose in a 30-day January health kick? Would people sponsor you a pound for a pound?
· What could you accomplish in 30 hours? A 30-hour dance marathon, pub challenge, five-a-side football contest or even a sponsored silence, perhaps?
· Gather some friends for a 30-person team challenge. Could you unite to take on a sponsored event or sporting contest of some kind as a group of friends or workmates?
· Complete 30 good deeds – washing up, mowing the lawn, doing the laundry – around the home or for neighbours in return for a donation. One for younger supporters, perhaps?
· Donate time or possessions. Perhaps you could spare 30 hours to volunteer your skills, or have a clear-out at home and find 30 unwanted items to donate to the hospice’s shops?
Hospice challenge manager Simon Angear said: “We are inviting our supporters to support the Challenge30 initiative throughout the hospice’s anniversary year in 2019.
“The great thing about this idea is that people can choose their own way to be a part of it. There are dozens of ways to get involved, but our ideas are only the start – we hope people will be inspired by the Challenge30 project to create their own ideas.
“There is potential there for people to have lots of fun with this idea, and of course their support will be of crucial importance to the hospice in its landmark anniversary year.”
The hospice has partnered with a new online giving platform – home.givepenny.com – for the Challenge30 initiative.
GivePenny is different to traditional platforms in that people can upload information from their phones – using compatible apps like Strava, Runkeeper or Fitbit data – to keep a record of their challenge progress.
That means challenges based around walking, running and cycling can be recorded over multiple days, and backers can offer incremental sponsorship – meaning participants can earn extra money for the hospice by completing extra distance, days or hours, depending on their individual challenge.
Weston Hospicecare chief executive Paul Winspear says Challenge30 will be the curtain-raiser for a year of celebratory events in 2019.
He said: “Next year will provide an excellent opportunity for us to reach out to the community to acknowledge those who have supported us since the start of Weston Hospicecare in 1989.
“We are planning a variety of events throughout 2019 for the community to join us in reflecting upon and celebrating our journey so far with an eye on the next 30 years.
“We will also share with people, who may not be familiar with us, information about what we do, how we do it and how we support not just patients, but also families of our patients, in the area.
“Our aim is to inspire more people to get involved with us by taking part and fundraising in events or by volunteering, during the next 30 years.”
Other new challenges scheduled for the hospice’s anniversary year include a wing-walk on June 21 and a Sahara Desert trek in November.