Category Archives: Fundraising

Caldicot girl with cerebral palsy climbs South Wales’ highest peak

Specsavers directors, team members and Cerebra staff with Imogen at the Pen y Fan summit

Specsavers directors, team members and Cerebra staff with Imogen at the Pen y Fan summit

Six year old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, reached the top of South Wales’ highest peak on Sunday 7 October in a specially-modified four-wheeled mountain bike.

She was joined by more than 40 people – including Specsavers staff from South and Mid Wales, charity workers and even army soldiers – some of whom were harnessed to her to help pull and push her along.

Imogen’s mum, Catherine, says: ‘Imogen is so thrilled and excited to have completed this climb. It’s only thanks to the team at Cerebra that she’s been able to have this adventure – she’s never been able to do anything like this before because of her cerebral palsy. There have been so many times that she hasn’t been able to join in with physical activities which leaves her feeling left out. Being able to do things like this is a real boost to her confidence and self-esteem. She really is over the moon.’

The Pen y Fan challenge was co-organised by Cerebra and staff at Specsavers stores in South and Mid Wales, as part of their year-long charity partnership. The opticians are raising funds for the Carmarthen-headquartered charity, which currently supports 4,500 families across Wales.

Neil Robinson, West Wales regional chair for Specsavers, says: ‘Imogen and her family are an inspiration to us all, as are the services and support Cerebra provides to them and many other families across Wales. Watching Imogen complete this challenge is something I won’t forget in a hurry. I’m proud of our staff for giving up their time to help Imogen and the charity achieve something wonderful.

Everyone who took part at the top of Pen y Fan

Everyone who took part at the top of Pen y Fan

‘I’m thrilled we have been able to help raise awareness of the charity’s work, and hope it will lead to more young children with brain conditions discovering ways to live a better life with their families.’

In addition to our support services and research work, we also have an Innovation Centre based within the University of Wales Trinity St David, where bespoke equipment is designed and created, free of charge, to make children’s lives easier.

Imogen’s bike was a specially-modified four wheeled downhill mountain bike, designed and made predominantly for use by disabled people. It was created by Calvin Williams of Project ENDURO – a collaboration between experts at Swansea University, Gower College Swansea and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Project ENDURO kindly loaned the bike to Imogen for the climb and designers at our Innovation Centre made modifications to give Imogen the support she needed. Project ENDURO was supported by AgorIP, based at Swansea University’s School of Management, who are part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Terry Osborn, acting Head of Corporates, Trusts and Legacies at Cerebra, says: ‘We’re delighted to have joined the Specsavers team for the Pen y Fan climb. To be able to take Imogen with is us was a privilege and really does demonstrate that we don’t believe there is any challenge that can’t be overcome.

‘The invaluable fundraising support from Specsavers means that our Innovation Centre will be able to help more children to overcome their challenges and discover the world around them.’

This video shows Imogen reaching the top of Pen y Fan:

 

Big Thankxx to TKMaxx!

Terry, Cheryl and Amanda

Terry, Cheryl and Amanda

We would like to say a huge thank you to Cheryl Phillips, the Store Manager at TKMaxx Carmarthen. She applied for a TKMaxx community fund grant for Cerebra and we were given a fantastic donation of £1,000!

Cheryl said: “I’m delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile local charity!”

The cheque was presented to Terry Osborn, our Acting Head of Corporates, Trusts and Legacies and Amanda Tapp, one of our Fundraisers.

Cara smashes duathlon challenge

Cara Readle

Cara Readle

One of our Ambassadors, Cara Readle, recently completed a duathlon and raised over £500 for Cerebra!

This was a particular challenge for Cara as she was born with Cerebral Palsy, but she has never let anything stand in her way!

Cara’s duathlon saw her embarking on a 5km walk on a treadmill and a 5km cycle on a static bike. Initially the challenge was set to take place over the course of a day at Xcercise4less gym in Swansea but Cara did a fantastic job and managed to complete the entire challenge in just a couple of hours!

Cara said: “I set out to do something that I knew I would find very challenging but I wanted to challenge myself in order to raise money for Cerebra.”

To date, Cara has raised over £500 and you can still donate through her Just Giving Page.

If you feel inspired and would like one of our fab new fundraising packs just get in touch with us on info@cerebra.org.uk

Watch Cara reach the 4K mark on the treadmill:

Cara draws winning summer raffle tickets

Cara with CEO Chris Jones and some of our fundraisers

Cara with CEO Chris Jones and some of our fundraisers

On 25th July actress Cara Readle, who is one of our fabulous ambassadors, drew the winning tickets for our summer raffle.

Cara is currently in training to complete a duathlon challenge for us so Cerebra staff got into the spirit of the occasion and dressed up in their best workout clothes!

We hold two raffle draws every year, a summer and a winter raffle. You can find out more information about our raffles including how to purchase tickets and past winners here.

Cara to take on duathlon challenge

Cara Readle

Cara Readle

Swansea born actress Cara Readle, famous for her role in ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’, will be taking on a duathlon on 20th August to raise money for Cerebra.

The 27 year-old, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, has been an Ambassador for us for several years and has never let anything stand in her way. Back in 2014, she completed a 2 mile walk in Mumbles from Black Pill to Verdi’s – a huge achievement.

As well as having many acting credits to her name already, Cara also graduated from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David with first degree honours in Performing Arts.

Cara’s latest challenge will see her embarking on a 5km walk on a treadmill and a 5km cycle on a static bike, all taking part over the course of a day at Xcercise4less gym in Swansea.

Cara said: “I have set out to do something that I know I will find very challenging but I wanted to challenge myself in order to raise money for Cerebra. It may take me all day, the walking will be the hardest part for me but I will compete it. I have started training for this and I have lots of support!”

Cara took time out of her busy training schedule on Wednesday 25th July to draw the winners for Cerebra’s summer raffle. Cerebra staff got in to the spirit of the occasion by dressing in their best workout gear!

You can sponsor Cara through her Just Giving page.

Take the Challenge – Asda Foundation Sheffield 10K

Sheffield 10k

Join Cerebra at the Asda Foundation Sheffield 10K. Staged in partnership with Sheffield City Council, this 10K has a fantastic course right through the heart of the Steel city. Book a place now and together we’ll help families that include children with brain conditions find a better life together.

Date: Sunday 23rd September 2018
Registration Fee: £10.00
Minimum sponsorship: £50.00

 

If you would like a Cerebra guaranteed running place please click below to register. Entry is just £10.00 with a minimum sponsorship of £50.00.

Have you already secured your place through the race website?
Click the button below to let us know about it so we can support you! You will not be required to raise a minimum sponsorship, just raise as much as you can!

About the Asda Foundation Sheffield 10K:

Entry:
– Entrants must be 15 years or over on event day
– Run For All encourage people of all abilities to take part in the Asda Foundation Sheffield 10K. Please contact us in advance with any specific requirements and we shall do our utmost to cater to these.

What’s included in your race entry:
– Chip timing – and a text at the finish, if you register your mobile number
– Finisher’s goody bag with post-race treats
– Quality tech T-shirt
– Exclusive medal
– An experience to remember!

Key Timings:
07:30 – Race office, baggage store and assembly areas open to participants
09:10 – Mass warm up
09:30 – Race starts

Cerebra support:

Join Team Cerebra with your own place or one of our guaranteed places and we will support you all the way!

• Useful tips, support and resources to fundraise
• A Cerebra running vest or t-shirt for those muddier challenges
• A Facebook Cerebra running group to encourage one another and exchange tips
• Meet and greet at selected events – and a cheer over the finish line!
• And most importantly- unlimited email and phone support and advice from our fundraising events team.


We can’t wait to have you on Team Cerebra!
If you have any questions, email us at enquiries@cerebra.org.uk or call us on 01267 242 586.

Take the challenge – Bournemouth Marathon Festival

Bournemouth marathon festivalJoin Cerebra at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival and soak up all the festival has on offer. Cerebra have guaranteed places in the marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K. Book a place now and together we’ll help families that include children with brain conditions find a better life together.

BMF Supernova 5K:

Date: Saturday 6th October 2018
Start Time: 7 pm
Registration Fee: £15.00
Minimum sponsorship: £25.00

BMF Supersonic 10K:

Date: Saturday 6th October 2018
Start Time: 4 pm
Registration Fee: £25.00
Minimum sponsorship: £50.00

Bournemouth Half Marathon:

Date: Sunday 7th October 2018
Start Time: 8 am
Registration Fee: £75.00
Minimum sponsorship: £100.00

Bournemouth Marathon:

Date: Sunday 7th October 2018
Start Time: 10 am
Registration Fee: £150.00
Minimum sponsorship: £150.00

If you would like a Cerebra guaranteed running place please click below to register. The entry fee and minimum sponsorship are kept as low as possible.

Have you already secured your place through the race website?
Click the button below to let us know about it so we can support you! You will not be required to raise a minimum sponsorship, just raise as much as you can!

About the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2018:

The Supernova 5K starts on Bournemouth Prom and finishes near the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Hub in the Lower Gardens. This beautiful coastal route takes in the Bournemouth Pier and takes place at dusk with an emphasis on light around the route.

The Supersonic 10K takes place on Saturday afternoon and is a fantastic flat and fast course, great for setting a quick time.

The Bournemouth Half Marathon course follows the Full Marathon route, taking in both Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers along this stunning coastal route. This is running as it should be.

The Bournemouth Marathon is ’Running as it should be’. Beautiful coastal views, a chance to run the Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers with a spectacular finish.

Cerebra support:

Join Team Cerebra with your own place or one of our guaranteed places and we will support you all the way!

• Useful tips, support and resources to fundraise
• A Cerebra running vest or t-shirt for those muddier challenges
• A Facebook Cerebra running group to encourage one another and exchange tips
• Meet and greet at selected events – and a cheer over the finish line!
• And most importantly- unlimited email and phone support and advice from our fundraising events team


We can’t wait to have you on Team Cerebra!
If you have any questions, email us at enquiries@cerebra.org.uk or call us on 01267 242 586.

Six year-old Jake-Junior to run for Cerebra

Jake-Junior

Jake-Junior

When Jake -Junior cheered his dad from the side-lines as he completed the London Marathon, there was only one thing he wanted to know – how he could get his hands on a medal too?

Six year-old Jake -Junior has ADHD and sensory processing difficulties, which leave him with a lot of anxiety. Due to his condition, Jake-Junior has lots of energy and is always on the go but he can sometimes have problems with impulse control and can get frustrated very quickly, especially at school.

Despite the challenges he faces every day, Jake -Junior wanted to follow in the footsteps of dad Jake and take on his very own running challenge to help children who have conditions like his.

Jake-Junior showing his run time

Jake-Junior showing his run time

His Mum Nicola explains why Jake – Junior decided to fundraise for us: “Cerebra helped us with his sleeping issues, making sure we all get a good night’s sleep, and gave advice on his sensory problems. They also have a fantastic library to lend out toys and books”.

His energy has meant that he has been doing extremely well with his training. Mum Nicola said: ‘Jake-Junior doesn’t have a “stop button” – if he’s awake, it’s time to run! He’s already starting to train for his 5k run with sit-ups, push ups and short runs.

“Me and his Daddy are immensely proud. He’s such a lovely boy and a bit of a charmer. All his teachers love him! He has been training every day so far and even wanted to do the race on his own though we thought it was best if dad went along!”

Jake-Junior will be running Birmingham’s 5k Big Fun Run on 8th September and you can help him reach his fundraising target through his Just Giving page.

Arctic Ride Alaska!

Gordon with his brother Robbie

This summer Cerebra Ambassador Gordon Stuart will attempt his latest epic charity motorbike challenge. He will have just 12 days to take on the 5000 mile ride through Canada, Alaska, and the Arctic. 800 miles of this will be off-road when takes on the notoriously dangerous Dalton Highway, made famous in the documentary TV series ‘Ice Road Truckers’.

Gordon’s project, ‘The Arctic Rider’, is an on-going series of charity motorbike challenges. Gordon explains: “It started in 2011 as a charity ride to the Arctic Circle that didn’t really go to plan, and has become a near obsession with the Arctic, an obsession with riding a motorbike, and an obsession with helping charities close to my heart”.

In 2011 he crashed his motorbike in Sweden en route to the Arctic, raising £1,300 for Cerebra. In 2014, he rode 6,000 miles solo to Nordkapp in the Arctic Circle, raising over £5,000 for Cerebra. And in 2016, he completed the UK ‘Iron Butt challenge’, riding the length of the UK from Lands End to John O’Groats in 18 hours, raising over £1,800 for Tiny Lives Trust.

Causes close to his heart

This year’s challenge is the biggest yet! Gordon is attempting to raise £4000 for Cerebra and Newcastle based charity The Tiny Lives Trust. Gordon explains why these charities are very close to his heart:

“My little brother Robbie suffered severe brain damage from a near miss cot death when he was just 9 months old. Cerebra have supported my family ever since and I am proud to be a fundraiser and Ambassador for a charity that changes so many lives for the better. Both of my own children were born prematurely and spent time in SCBU. The Tiny Lives Trust helps to care for premature and sick newborn babies, their mothers, and families in SCBU by providing a range of facilities, staff, and equipment.”

Speaking ahead of his challenge Gordon said: “Only a few weeks ago I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to do the trip this summer. My youngest, Hugo, has been in and out of hospital this year and was in only few weeks ago, which threw my trip into doubt. While I’m committed to the great charities I support, family always comes first. After some long conversations with my (long suffering biker-widow) wife Kirsty, we agreed that the right thing to do was to press ahead with my trip and raise even more money to help other children like Hugo and his big sister Islay. I must say The Arctic Rider project would be nothing without the support from Kirsty. This time she’ll be holding at fort at home for 3 weeks with a pre-schooler and a baby, while I’m fighting bears and mosquitoes in northern North America. Those who’ve been following since my early trips will remember I left a 6-month pregnant Kirsty while I sent off for Nordkapp in 2014 – what a lass!”

The Trip

Gordon will be riding 5,000 miles in 2 weeks to cross Canada and Alaska including the notorious Ice-road ‘The Dalton Highway’, deep inside the Arctic Circle – described as 800 miles of gravel, mud, mosquitoes, mountain ranges, and angry truckers!

To complete the ride he will to travel to Calgary, Canada to meet his specially modified off-road Adventure motorcycle (provided by Suzuki). He will then travel across Canada and Alaska to take on the ride and the Dalton highway. ‘The Dalton’ is a 414 mile stretch of mostly gravel road which was designed as a supply road to support the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. The road is often cited as one of the world most dangerous roads due its remoteness, road quality, and demanding Arctic weather.

The trip will be a tough one. Phil Freeman, a veteran of 10+ rides up the Dalton and Alaskan native describes the ride: “Every year motorcyclists are killed on the Dalton Highway. There are relatively no places to stop along the way: no gas, no convenience stores, no McDonalds. There are stretches of up to 245 miles without gas. On a good day, you can ride it wide open. On a bad day, you can go home in a helicopter. You are literally riding through pristine wilderness. Welcome to the food chain.”

Gordon will be setting off from Newcastle on 26th June and you can follow his preparations and progress on his blog.

If you’d like to support Gordon please visit his Virgin Money Giving page.

Tiny hats for tiny babies

One of our dedicated fundraisers, Sam Elliott, has just knitted 39 baby hats for premature babies on the Neonatal Ward at Leeds General Infirmary.

Sam Elliott has worked in our fundraising department for just under a year. Having recently learned how to knit, she saw a post on Facebook asking for hats for premature babies. As we sponsor research at the University of Leeds into the prevention of premature birth, Sam decided to knit her hats for the hospital we work with.

Tracy Elliott, Head of Research & Information, and Imogen Morgan, Trustee, present the hats to the Neonatal ward

She created 39 hats in all different colours and sizes. It took her a couple of months with each hat taking about 2 hours to complete. Sam said:

“I love raising funds for Cerebra and through this project I was able to help our work in another way”.