Dear 2020 Fundraisers…

The year started off like any other – we had big plans for events and challenges, some of which were happening already. Then… well you know what happened then. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown was a scary time for charities. Luckily, our supporters are some of the most selfless, caring and motivated people we have the pleasure of knowing. Here are a few examples of how they stumped up and raised money to ensure we can continue to provide a positive impact in the amputee community in Scotland and beyond…

Let’s kick this off with a Trooper of ours, Lee from Aberdeen. In March, just before lockdown measures took place, Lee (above knee amputee) had set a goal for himself to reach Mt. Everest Base Camp. He headed out to the Himalayan mountains with Ricky Munday from Inspire Alpine and a team of fellow climbers. Lee absolutely smashed it – trekking to an altitude of 5600 metres with only one leg… just think about that. Of course, the trek wasn’t without its difficulties – managing his prosthetic over the rough terrain and keeping his leg from falling off. But Lee kept going for all the Troopers back home and raised an incredible £8,068.50 – our hero!

This wasn’t our only March fundraiser. Founder Cor and Ampbassador Brian completed the Meadows Half-Marathon with just one leg between them! Cor used her prosthetic blades and Brian was doing the whole run on crutches, just incredible. Their fantastic efforts raised £4,000 and a good bit of media coverage.

So there we were in March with an Everest trek and a half-marathon ticked off the list. 2020 was looking good and we were looking forward to the upcoming Kiltwalk and our own Firewalk. That was until the pandemic happened and our fundraising plans vanished as quick as we all did into our houses. Locked away, not knowing when they would ever return… 

With our upcoming events put on hold, our much needed funding to keep the charity alive was also gone and we unfortunately had to put out an urgent appeal to save our charity in these unexpected and unprecedented times. Thankfully you wonderful people pulled together and raised an immense £36, 560. It’s something we’ll never forget and it’ll only serve to make us even more dedicated to the cause – if that’s at all possible.

A smart little part of the Urgent Appeal was the first ever and BIGGEST ever Non-event – inviting businesses to attend… well nothing. We were so grateful that they all didn’t want to get dressed up, didn’t want to come for dinner with us, didn’t want to take part in the festivities and even paid not to come to see our faces. Some people still don’t really get that the whole point was nothing was going to happen and are still waiting for the proper event information… All we have to say to that is – stop calling us. It’s not happening.

So there we were, at the start of the lockdown and finding some light in an otherwise dark situation, with the help of you wonderful supporters. And you all continued to come through to support our Troopers, rallying together in this dire time of need, and we wouldn’t have made it through without you all so here are all the highlights of supporters since lockdown began…

Tony raised over £1,500 while doing his own take on the 2.6 Challenge during April, that was to walk the length of his street 2.6 times. Doesn’t sound like much? Well, Tony did this as a double above knee amputee on his prosthetic stubbies in his first few months of walking again. An absolutely incredible feat and we’re all very proud of him at FYF and beyond. This is all training for Tony’s goal of walking down the aisle at his son’s wedding – we’ll do everything we can to help him get there.

We also had Trooper Ronnie completing the 2.6 challenge by going for a 2.6 mile walk as a double below knee amputee! And last but certainly not least we had Cor and her son Rory who made an assault course in their back garden. Cor completed the gruelling course 2.6 times while Rory completed it 26 times. Come to think of it, Cor really doesn’t do enough for the charity. We must challenge her more often.

One of our Junior Troopers, Hannah, started a little business with her brother called Donuts Direct and delivered some delicious donuts directly to local grubbers’ doors. Hannah raised £78.40 and put a lot of smiles on faces during lockdown. Who knew people loved donuts so much? I mean, they’re good but they’re not exactly salad. Weird.

We had another young one, Cor’s friend’s daughter who wanted to fundraise for us too! Iona decided to paint some slates in support of both the NHS and ourselves during the COVID-19 crisis and sold them raising £575 for us. Not only did Iona make and sell all of these slates, but she took her crafts even further and made over 50 painted clay rainbows for our Troopers. Iona has touched so many hearts in our community and brightened up many homes. Thank you Iona, you’re wonderful and just what the world needs just now.

Next up, we have two physios from the acute sector of the NHS, Bethan and Katie, who raised £568.75 by taking part in the Etape Caledonian Virtual Cycle, cycling at least 85 miles over May. Now for NHS staff during a pandemic to still find time to cycle that distance for charity leaves us a bit speechless – out of breath even!

These lovely physios weren’t the only ones completing a monthly challenge in May. We also had David Whyte (who Cor had met this year at Meadows Marathon) who set his own rules – completing 30 x 10-mile runs, and finishing off on the 31st May where he ran a whopping 31-miles. Absolutely inspirational David, and thank you for raising £130 for us. David isn’t finished quite yet, he’s working on his next challenge to support us which may take a wee bit more time… a Virtual Lands End to John O’ Groats which is 900 miles. Or 144840960 centimetres if you want to be really daunted. Just take it an inch at a time, David – and then do 57024000 of them.

Our Virtual Gigs with Christine and John Sparks were new territory for us all… but they turned out to be 3 nights we’ll never forget! Brilliant tunes, an incredible atmosphere and it raised over £2500. Thank you Christine and John. Who’d have thought that we could go to a gig in our pants and not get chucked out? Not only did they hold these incredible gigs for us, we’d be remiss not to mention that Christine has been volunteering for our Finding Your Voice club since 2018, rallying the Troopers to belt out some tunes in her free time. John too has been volunteering with us since 2019 holding our meditation sessions and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support and compassion for our Troopers.

Christine Sparks Virtual Gig

The Sensational Christine Sparks is performing her last lockdown virtual gig for us tonight… and IT'S FREE! Christine will be going live on her page tonight at 7:30PM. We'll share the video here so you can all join in. She switches genres like the weather so get ready to have a dance, then a cry, then a dance again! Let's have one last party before we start going out again… Who's coming??

Posted by Finding Your Feet Amputee Charity on Friday, 3 July 2020

 

We were privileged to then have Martin Stephenson from The Daintees round off our Virtual Gigs. We had Daintees fans, FYF supporters and Troopers all cheering him on as he rocked out some belters – raising over £500. Even without the music, we could sit and listen to his stories for hours.

Cor’s brother and Trustee, Davy Hutton started the #RockThePlank challenge on Facebook which really kicked off to make some funny videos. Those taking part had to hold the plank for duration of Roxanne by The Police and get up into the press up position every time ‘Roxanne’ was sung… which is a lot. Thank you to everyone who took part in the challenge helping us raise over £500. You’re all a certified bunch of plankers.

Our Virtual Kiltwalkers were absolutely amazing and raised over £6,000, including the very generous 100% top up by Sir Tom Hunter. He really does outdo himself every time doesn’t he? Next year he’ll just be sending us money for nothing. The effort from our Dundee Troopers and their families has been phenomenal – it’s amazing to see people complete their own personal challenges.

We had a group of cyclists from abroad raising funds for us who are keeping anonymous because, well, not all heroes wear capes – but they do all wear masks. Especially in the shops when they’re in to get their superhero dinners and superhero toilet roll. Each of the secret cyclists had to go through 10 hours of training, burning 5,000 Calories. They raised over £2,345 for us and we’re so grateful.

A group of 14 Renfrewshire businesses, all part of the Business Network International (BNI) Abbey chapter, held a joint fundraiser for our charity. The collective raised £270 for us as part of a wider campaign by BNI Scotland West to raise money for charities during lockdown. The local fundraising culminated in a Virtual Race Night and Live Online Auction, which saw all 7 chapters in the West of Scotland come together to raise money for seven charities, each receiving £1,000. At a time when businesses are struggling, this was a lovely gesture.

Throughout the year we have students who get involved with meeting our Troopers for their studies and some are even kind enough to donate their time in volunteering or rallying their fellows to raise funds for us. This year we had the students of Glasgow Caledonian University as well as students from Edinburgh who collectively raised over £3000 for us – thank you all!

We wanted to celebrate the (sort of) ending of lockdown with a bang. Well actually, a bang is the last thing you want to hear when you’re standing on a wee plane over 700ft in the air… Yes, we had a Wing Walk planned! Unfortunately, extreme wind and many prayers from worried friends and family members won and it was cancelled at the last minute. The group of fearless sky walkers still managed to raise over £2,000, so win-win really. Chris, one of the fearless (or daft depending on how you look at it) Wing Walkers was savvy enough to go down a day early when the sun was out. He was up in the air and absolutely loved it, as you can see below…

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Raising money for a charity is one of the kindest things a person can do. To do it after losing a loved one makes it all the more special.

A group of neighbours in the G53 postcode area held a dance-a-thon in support of NHS key workers and together raised £738.25 for our charity. They dedicated their efforts in memory of Ian Morgan, a husband, dad, and amputee.

“We started off as a group of neighbours clapping for the NHS and Frontline Workers. And quickly became a Lockdown support to one another, hence the videos which have been viewed many times.” A massive thanks from us to Yvonne (Ian’s Wife), Anne, Maureen, Brooke, Grace, Ellen, Catherine, Lynn, Dawn & Karen.

Brian Robertson’s father, David, who was an amputee, sadly passed away during lockdown and Brian wanted to commemorate his memory by supporting others in need. Here are some words from Brian: “My Dad was a giver all his life and as a family, and on his behalf, we’d like to leave a legacy for others who are in a similar situation.”

We are so humbled by this kindness during such a difficult time. Ian, David and all of their family and friends involved will be forever part of our journey. They raised over £4,000 in the toughest of times.

On top of all of this, we have had our regular support from lottery entrants, donation tins, Facebook fundraisers, corporate partners and our friends who just give when they can.

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown will be discussed for years and years to come. When any of you are telling the story of your own experience, you should be proud of what you did for others in need. We look forward to thanking you in person.

 

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