Liz Jackson’s 50 for 50 challenge: Raising
£50k for charity in her 50th year
What is my 50 for 50 challenge?
This year I am turning 50 years old.
Call it a mid-life crisis, or a mid-life awakening, but I decided I wanted to do something to mark the occasion by helping those in our society who are most in need.
So far I have loved the adventure of life. But I do feel slightly alarmed that I haven’t achieved enough or helped enough people. There was a little voice in my head saying: “Liz! You could do more!”
So, for this special birthday, I decided to set myself the challenge of raising £50,000 for multiple charities by taking on a series of rather reckless physical challenges. Hence the 50 for 50! From a roller-skating half marathon to abseiling and more, the goal is simple: to get your attention so you sponsor me and together we can raise a combined £50,000 for my chosen charitable organisations.
You may not be aware that I am blind. That means I will be relying on my BCMS colleagues and friends to take on these initiatives with me.
I would really, really appreciate it if you could come with me too on this adventure. Together, we’ll be making a difference to some of the most vulnerable in our society.
I’ve set up a JustGiving page to host the fundraising for each of my challenges.
I have chosen the below charities to support and I’m raising the money by taking on several different challenges:
The Teenage Cancer Trust
The Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity organization that supports teenagers and young adults who are diagnosed with cancer.
Their main goal is to provide specialised medical care and support services to young people between the ages of 13 and 24 who are diagnosed with cancer. This includes funding and building specialist units in hospitals, providing expert medical care, offering psychological and emotional support, and organizing social and educational events. Their work is so important to help teenagers diagnosed with cancer feel a small bit of normality during such a turbulent time.
The Snowdrop Foundation
The Snowdrop Foundation was set up by the BCMS Directors in order to help some members of society who have not had the best start in life or have been affected by difficult circumstances.
The Snowdrop Foundation focus their efforts on the most vulnerable in society: orphaned children, widows, families who cannot afford education, as well as young mothers or mothers-to-be who do not feel financially or emotionally prepared for the challenges ahead. The Snowdrop Foundation offer financial, emotional, and practical support when these vulnerable people desperately need help. The Foundation is a way to encourage prosperity and reduce hardship and suffering by helping those who need it most.
The Epilepsy Society is a charity organization that supports people with epilepsy.
Their main goal is to improve the lives of people affected by epilepsy by providing a range of services and support. This includes offering information and advice about epilepsy, providing specialised medical care, and advocating for better treatment and services for people with epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Society also conducts research to better understand epilepsy and find new treatments for the condition. They also work to raise awareness about epilepsy and reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with epilepsy often face.
Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that takes young people aged 8-24 on sailing and outdoor adventures to inspire them to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer.
Cancer in young people often leads to lower educational achievement, relationship and friendship difficulties, body image issues, and/or ongoing late effects, such as extreme fatigue, infertility, osteoporosis, thyroid problems and hearing or vision loss. The Trust helps young people gain a sense of independence and optimism after treatment through their sailing adventure.
Follow this link to my JustGiving page
What are the challenges?
Challenge 1 – Completed!
Friday 17th March 2023
This is the first event of the year for the outstanding charity, the Teenage Cancer trust, and we’re getting our skates on for the half marathon roller skating challenge on the 17th March 2023. A half marathon on roller skates is a great exercise in trust for me, as being blind, I can’t rely on my white cane and I will need to rely on a sighted guide. My colleagues at BCMS have stepped up to take on this challenge so I will be relying on them at speed!
After over 200 laps of our roller-skating rink, we completed our first challenge at 5pm on Friday 17th March. It was a more difficult challenge than I expected, but we manged to finish thanks to the 80s classics playing to help us forget the burning in our legs. So far, we have raised almost £5k for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the page is still open if you would like to donate.
Challenge 2 – Completed!
Friday 7th July 2023
Our next challenge will be abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Not only will I be stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to new heights – quite literally – but I’ll also be raising funds for a charity that’s close to my heart, the Snowdrop Foundation. It’s going to be a huge task to take on, given my fear of heights, but I’m ready to face it with my BCMS colleagues who have agreed to take on the challenge with me.
After a suspense long safety talk, we have completed the challenge of abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s tallest sculpture at 262ft! My legs turned to jelly by the end of it and I will never be doing it again, but we managed to get everyone over the edge. A huge thank you to my BCMS colleagues who joined me in the challenge and helped me take on my fear of heights- I couldn’t have done it without you. So far we have raised over £1,500 for the Snowdrop Foundation and the page is still open if you would like to donate.
Challenge 3 – BCMS Charity Golf Day
In aid of The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Mark your card! You’re invited to join BCMS for a fabulous, fun, fundraising golf day at the Donnington Valley course, near Newbury, Berkshire, all in aid of a very special cause.
We’re raising money for The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, a national charity that takes young people aged 8-24 on sailing and outdoor adventures, to inspire them to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer.
As the Trust told us: “This event will have a huge impact on the Trust and the young lives we support. This summer we are supporting up to 700 young people, but our ambition is to increase this to 1000 young people by 2025. There is a clear need and demand for this growth, but we need help to meet this demand. The funds raised at your Golf Day will have a significant impact on this ambition.”
Entry costs £450 per team of four players or £112.50 for an individual golfer, and there will be a range of prizes on the day. To book your team place, visit www.bcms.com/golfday, or call us on 0118 207 9800.
If the glorious game of golf is not for you, fear not… There’s loads of other fun stuff planned you can join in with for a small donation cost. Food – including breakfast on arrival and a late two-course lunch – will be provided, plus there’ll be live music, and a charity auction, where prizes include a day’s charter on one of the Trust’s own yachts!
Challenges 4, 5,6 …
Watch this space! I ‘ll tell you more when I know!