Tag Archives: donations

Thanks for all the donations!

I finally got the time this morning to send hundreds of emails to friends, colleagues and family and the response has been amazing! So many people have been so generous, it’s really quite amazing, and humbling, in fact. So I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone for their support and I can’t wait to set off on Sunday and begin the epic journey!

As for the last minute preparations, well there is still lots to do but I managed to get the bike cleaned and serviced and fit the improved lugs that Azzurri kindly sent me. I also fixed up my MTB which I will be taking as a spare. I started going over the route again and downloading the parts to my iPhone, and printing small day by day maps I can take as a backup. Just need to finish that off tomorrow and get everything together before we hit the road!

Thanks again for the support – it means a lot!!

I’ve found the charity: Somerset Sight!

I didnt particularly want to raise money for a huge organisation and not know what the money would be used for, yet I had been struggling to find a local charity that I felt I could get to know a little for this challenge. Luckily Pete suggested an organisation he found on the Charities Commission’s website, called ‘Somerset Sight’ and I thought they might fit the bill in terms of size and what they do. My grandfather was mostly blind and also very deaf, and I was always amazed at how positive he always was and how much he managed to achieve. I seem to remember that he always liked listening to talking books and that he had some regular help from local volunteers. I think its super important for people who have lost their sight to be able to get on with things despite their disability, and there are some great charities out there who help this happen.

I phoned up Somerset Sight yesterday to have a chat, and got through to Lina Bridges who suggested I come and and see the facilities and hear about what they do. So I snuck out at lunch to go visit them, stupidly letting the satnav take me through Pilton on the way (oops – Glastonbury Festival), and had a good long chat with Lina (pictured left) and Linda (director) about the way they support people with sight loss and where their funding comes from. As I was sat there talking to them about their structure and funding I did think for a moment that if I had a camera videoing the whole thing they might think they were on the Secret Millionaire (sorry thats not the case, Lina). One of their biggest assets is the large facility they operate from, which is a grand old house in Taunton that has recently been updated. They organise and run a great deal of leisure activities all over the counties, and provide services and training, and have computer facilities loaded with the latest software for the visually impaired. The most interesting part for me was their Resource shop, which has everything in it that a person with partial or no sight could possible need from talking clocks to devices which tell you the colour of a garment, to amazing computer systems which scan and redisplay articles in large black and white format. Impressive.

Anyway, it seems that like a lot of charities, Somerset Sight are finding fundraising difficult in these hard times, so I decided that if the sponsorship money raised from my challenge could help then it would be a very worthy cause. I was thinking about how important sight really is to us, I mean seriously, think about all the best times you have had in your life, I bet in most of those what you saw was a pretty important factor? And then just imagine going about your daily life not being able to see what was around you, where you were, who was at the door etc.. It just doesn’t bear thinking about. I think that sight based charities are probably under-represented when compared to many others, yet it seems that organisations like Somerset Sight can make a real and very genuine positive difference in peoples lives.

I have made a page on the virgin money giving website, which means you can easily donate sponsorship money which will go straight to Somerset Sight, and I’ll get a link to that page soon. And don’t worry, nearer the time, I will be pestering YOU for your money ;-). I’ll also put up more information about Somerset Sight and their upcoming events on one of the main pages here.