Posts tagged ‘fundraising’

16 September, 2014

Two wheels good

Last week the UK arm of security giant Securitas took part in a virtual static cycling tour. Twenty two offices took part in the Tour of Securitas, raising funds for RoSPA and awareness of safer cycling.

Emma Isaac and Helen Halls in action.

Emma Isaac and Helen Halls in action.

Our campaigns officer Helen Halls went along to two stages of the Tour. Here she shares her memories of an inspiring week.

With colleagues from Scotland and Northern Ireland reporting back positively from Day One, I knew I would be in for an interesting time when I went along to Securitas’ Birmingham office on Day Three. I also knew I couldn’t let the side down – Colin, Jennifer and Sandy had all hopped on a static bike and added some miles to Belfast and Edinburgh’s total.

I was struck straight away by the amazing atmosphere down at Cuckoo Wharf – and the effort Securitas staff were putting into the Tour. Emma Isaac had been pedalling for an hour and a half when we got there – and didn’t get off until she’d clocked up 35km. Others came and gamely took their turn, tossing money into the big donations bucket. Colleagues popped in to give moral support – and to take the mickey!

I managed a comfortable 7km before handing over to our new road safety manager Nick, a keen cyclist who breezed through his 6km while simultaneously giving an interview!

Phil Thomas and Laura Maddocks.

Phil Thomas and Laura Maddocks.

Day Five saw us at the closing event in Wellingborough, in the same office where Tour plans were first hatched. Despite having been all over the country supporting the event, Tour masterminds Phil and Laura were still full of beans.

Staff here weren’t just cycling – though a steady stream flowed in to take turns on the two bikes. You could also guess the teddy’s name, take a punt on how many wine gums were in a jar and guess the weight of the beautiful Tour cake. And speaking of cake, there were loads of home-baked treats for cyclists to buy to put back the energy they’d burnt off on the bikes.

We left Wellingborough saddle sore but buzzing – and already thinking about what we could do together next year. Thank you Securitas UK – you were amazing!

* There’s still time to support this fantastic fundraiser – click here to donate.

15 July, 2014

When you suffer a tragedy in your life surely you would want to help others?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m Joy Edwards, and in October 2010 both mine and my family’s lives changed forever.  On this morning my son, who was 8, walked into the twins’ bedroom and discovered his baby sister Leah entangled in a looped blind cord.

I ran into the bedroom, raised my daughter to try and slacken the cord and untangled her.  The ambulance was called and paramedics soon arrived and took over CPR on Leah.

The ambulance and paramedics took our little girl and we followed after in a police car.  When we arrived at the hospital I knew straight away the news was not good as there was a security man outside the room. Watching too many Casualty and Holby City programmes you learn the procedure.

Leah was so cold and the colour had already started to drain from her tiny face.  I willed her to wake up; she was never a very good sleeper and all I wanted her to do now was wake up so I could take her home to her siblings and twin brother.  The hardest thing I have ever had to do is tell her brothers and sister that she wasn’t coming home.

Our last photo of our daughter was in the September when she had her first ice cream. It’s a photograph we will treasure.

After her death I decided that it would not be in vain and was determined to raise awareness about the dangers of looped blind cords.

When ROSPA called and asked whether I would help with their campaign, I agreed without hesitation – well, wouldn’t you? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ROSPA is a charity which relies on fundraising and charitable donations to raise awareness and prevent accidents.  Without donations they would not have been able to give away thousands of free cleats and safety packs to raise awareness and educate families on the dangers of blind cords.

They also campaign on risks around the home and the dangers of not wearing seat belts in vehicles, to name just a couple of things.

Accidents occur on a daily basis and many can be avoided.  Through raising awareness I hope the number of accidents can be reduced dramatically.

When I received a phone call to say I had been nominated for a RoSPA Guardian Angel Award I was out walking and I felt like I had a huge grin across my face.  All I thought of was “I am just a parent. Yes we had a terrible tragedy, but an award? Surely anyone in the same situation would do the same.”

When I start something I tend to carry on to the end. Even though new blind standards and regulations have been brought into force for manufacturers and fitters to adhere to, there is still more to do. Parents and grandparents who already have blinds in their homes still need to be educated on the dangers.

Joy AwardI was honoured on June 17 to be given the Archangel Award and was amazed at the standing ovation I received.

This is my first award and it has pride of place in our living room. Each time I look at it, opposite there is a photo of Leah smiling. I would like to think that she was proud too and that her death has prevented other families from going through the same heartache.

  • If you know of someone with an inspirational story like Joy, or someone who has worked tirelessly to improve the safety of those around them – whether they are a colleague, neighbour, friend or member of the community – we’d like to hear from you. Why not nominate them and show them just how much they are appreciated.
17 June, 2014

Easy rider hits the road – slowly

When you hear the word ‘motorcycle’, you tend to think of a lean machine zipping through the traffic. It’s a vehicle often associated with speed, yet I’m heading off on a slow motorcycle challenge this week to raise £500 for RoSPA’s Driveway Safety campaign.

Roger B bike picIt’s the e2w slowly challenge and it takes place on the 21 and 22 June.

I’ll be riding my trusty 1979 TS150 MZ to raise money for RoSPA’s campaign, because at least 27 children have been killed on, or near, the driveways of their homes since 2001.

Tragically, in most of these cases, an adult member of the child’s family, a neighbour or a visitor to the house was driving the vehicle.

RoSPA has been working to raise awareness of driveway dangers among the parents, carers and grandparents of young children. And with your help, they can do more.

My fellow riders and I will be set off from the most easterly part of Great Britain in Lowestoft on the longest day of the year and finish up in St David’s, the most westerly point, at sunset the next day.

We will ride vintage motorcycles, mostly over 25 years old and under 200cc, and travel mainly on minor roads. We will carry all camping gear, tools and supplies (except water and petrol) on our bikes and¬ there will be no backup vehicle.

Please help me to raise life-saving funds for RoSAPA. You can donate by visiting

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s retired occupational safety adviser

1 April, 2014

Shaping up for a challenge to raise funds for RoSPA

Liz Lumsden is midway through training to walk the West Highland Way for RoSPA. In her latest blog, she tells how an injury threatened to derail the venture.

Liz takes in the fresh air during her walk.

Liz takes in the fresh air during her walk.

I’m just £1,000 away from being able to print and distribute 60,000 children’s books with a safety theme. I need the money by the end of May so they will be ready to give to children starting school in Scotland this summer. I’ve already sourced £15,000 for the project.

My son, Kenneth, and I have been training every week to complete a 50-mile trek to raise funds for this child safety project. Just when I thought it was going so well, injury strikes.

We’ve walked the first 27 miles of the Way together (as well as some local canal walks) and had some great mother and son bonding time. He’s not long moved back from London and it’s been great to spend so much time with him.

However, Kenneth started to feel a twinge in his knee after having done a few miles of walking down steep inclines. It was brave of him to insist he was going to be fit for our big walk on 25th and 26th April, but unrealistic.

During last week’s training along the canal out of Edinburgh, his knee became really sore. He had to get a lift home while I continued with the remaining 14 miles. So, the decision was made. He is really disappointed but there are only a few weeks left to get fit for the walk and we both knew it wasn’t going to happen for him.

Donald Lumsden

Donald Lumsden

What to do next? The walk still has to go ahead – we need the money to publish the book.

I didn’t relish the thought of completing this walk on my own. It will be over some very difficult – and remote – terrain.

I was telling my younger son, Donald, about his big brother not being able to join me and he “stepped up” and offered to complete the walk. This will be great. Donald’s done the West Highland Way before, albeit not covering so many miles in such a short period, but I am confident he can do it.

He is 16 and still growing so his comfortable walking boots are now too small. A new pair will have to be bought and broken in.

By the time you read this, we will have done the middle stretch of the West Highland Way over the weekend, covering around 12 miles.

During the following weeks we will take every opportunity to don our boots and get out so we are fit for this major challenge.

Thanks to all who have donated to this great cause. If you haven’t yet, please consider putting even a few pounds into the fund. Donald and I really need your support. Please visit my fundraising page at

When we begin our walk for real, we plan to feed updates into RoSPA’s Facebook page so you can all follow our progress at

20 January, 2014

Rowing for Richard

Last summer, Amelia Goodwin and three friends took to the Thames to raise funds for RoSPA in memory of a friend who had died in an accident. Here, she shares her story in a bid to raise awareness and more funds for a campaign:

Amelia and friends celebrate after completing The Great River Race 2013!

Amelia, pictured in the middle wearing a blue neck scarf, and friends celebrate after completing The Great River Race 2013!

The Hampton Sailing Club decided to raise money for RoSPA in memory of our dear friends Alison and John’s son Richard Hollands, who died in March 2013, aged 32.

We wanted to do something to help after the sad news that Richard had died in an accident. In the words of Alison, Richard’s mother, this is why:

“Our dear son Richard’s untimely death was caused by a fire in his West London flat, which started whilst he was sleeping.

“In memory of Richard, we will be working with RoSPA on a campaign related to the dangers of fire for young people living in flats in London.

“We aim to raise awareness of the need to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as other causes of fires, to help ensure other parents do not suffer in the way that we have.”

Ellen, Jane, Annabel and I rowed The Great River Race, London’s 22-mile river marathon, on 7 September, 2013.

We were in a classic wooden Thames skiff, beautiful, but older and heavier than today’s racing skiffs and with no sliding seats!

It was a spectacular boat race up the River Thames, with over 300 crews from all over the globe. There was every level of competitor, from those who enjoy fun, fancy dress and charity stunts, to serious Olympic-level teams.

And they're off! Amelia and friends put in some hard graft in memory of Richard.

And they’re off! Amelia and friends put in some hard graft in memory of Richard.

The race cannon started at 12.10pm in Greenwich and we hoped to beat our previous time of three hours and 40 minutes, luckily without the rain and thunder from the year before.

Friends cheered us on and we had a lump in our throats as we passed The Rutland Arms, a favourite place of Richard’s at Chiswick Bridge, where we heard a cheer from a large group of Richard’s close friends, including Martin and Katy.

Another emotional moment spurred us on when we arrived at Richmond Bridge soon after 4pm, where John, Alison and their grandson Rex cheered us along for the final stretch.

We were so pleased to beat our previous time by 16 minutes and finished at Ham House in three hours and 24 minutes. I’d like to thank everyone so much for their support, we raised over £1,200 for RoSPA and we couldn’t have done it without everyone getting behind us to cheer us along.

If you would like to support our life-saving campaign with RoSPA, visit our JustGiving page:

Amelia Goodwin

28 October, 2013

Making waves for RoSPA

Ten thousand people squeezed themselves into wetsuits to take part in the Great North Swim in beautiful Windermere recently – and I am proud to say that I was one of them.

SueMullarkey_fundraisingOpen water swimming events are becoming increasingly popular and this one is part of a series of five Great Swims held up and down the country from London’s Docklands to Loch Lomond. The participants range from elite open-water swimmers to complete novices (like me), many of whom take on the challenge of swimming a mile to raise money for their favourite charity.

When James, my brother-in-law and a seasoned triathlete, asked last Christmas if he could stay with us in the Lake District so he could do the Windermere swim, it got me thinking that I should enter too.  I have always enjoyed swimming, both in the pool and on those rare sunny days in Cumbria from the back of our sailing boat in Derwentwater. And one mile really didn’t sound that far.  A couple of sessions a week at the local leisure centre and I was soon able to crack the requisite number of lengths – 64.  But swimming any distance in a pool is, of course, very much easier than doing it in open water.

Whilst I was honing my front crawl, RoSPA had just started to carry out sponsored fundraising for the first time and so I was persuaded to become a guinea pig fundraiser.  As a mum, I have been shocked to learn that accidental death and injury is the biggest threat to children – far more than disease – and yet just about everybody is unaware of this.  Simple programmes can really help to educate parents on how to keep their kids safe and RoSPA does this, campaigning on a wide range of issues to change people’s perceptions.  Most people are happy to give to a charity which supports some quite obscure or rare disease but perhaps don’t know much about this more urgent way to use their donation.  So I was keen to do my bit to help get RoSPA noticed.

As sponsor money began to roll in from generous friends, family and supporters, the arrival of a slinky new wetsuit just a couple of weeks before the swim added another dimension to my training.  I tried it out in chilly Derwentwater and, although it kept me warmish, it felt tight and restrictive and made me so overly buoyant that I had to completely adjust my technique.  A mile was beginning to seem like a long way.

"As a mum, I have been shocked to learn that accidental death and injury is the biggest threat to children – far more than disease – and yet just about everybody is unaware of this." - Sue Mullarkey

“As a mum, I have been shocked to learn that accidental death and injury is the biggest threat to children – far more than disease – and yet just about everybody is unaware of this.” – Sue Mullarkey

The day of the swim was cool and breezy and, arriving at the lakeshore already a bundle of nerves, I was terrified to see how grey and choppy Windermere looked.  I’d fretted about water temperature, uncomfortable wetsuits, leaky goggles, getting kicked in the face by another swimmer (I could go on) but never even considered the possibility that the water might be rough. Neoprene-clad swimmers of all ages and shapes were limbering up or, if they had already completed the swim, posing for photos with their medals – and everyone was talking about how choppy the water was.  But if they could do it, I could too – besides I couldn’t let down all those people who were so generously supporting me and RoSPA.

Great North Swim participants are divided into ‘waves’ which start at half-hourly intervals over the weekend and each involve up to 300 people in colour-coded swimming hats.  James and I were sporting natty pink caps and, after taking part in the mass warm-up session, it was time for our wave to take to the water. The start was a melee of thrashing legs and arms, but heeding James’ advice and staying near the back of the pack I managed to avoid being kicked or swum over by the keen guys. If the water was cold, I really didn’t notice it – choppiness was the major problem.  It was impossible to get into a rhythm because every breath involved an unwelcome gulp of lake-water.  I soon abandoned my hard-practiced front crawl for a more defensive breaststroke/doggy paddle.  Progress was very slow.  But after 57 exhausting minutes, I had done a final flourish of crawl past the finish and was back on dry land – wobbly-legged but elated.  No matter that the fastest (elite) lady took just 19 minutes!

It was a great challenge, wonderful to have been able to raise over £1,000 for RoSPA and, what’s more, I am already training for next year.

Sue Mullarkey

23 October, 2013

Big-hearted Brummies cheer on RoSPA runner

It’s easy to be cynical when there’s so much suffering in the world, isn’t it?

photoYet what I experienced during the Great Birmingham Run last Sunday was something wholly uplifting.

Uplifting because of the suffering – not in spite of. Almost every one of the 20,000 runners who took to the streets did so with the name of someone they’d loved and lost pinned to their top – yet it was the feeling of hope and humanity that pervaded.

And it wasn’t just the runners that inspired. The people of Birmingham proved how big-hearted they are as they lined the route to offer high-fives, drinks, sweets, songs, applause and encouragement.

They were a true source of support when the going got tough…which, for me, was on the pretty steep approach to Five Ways, just a couple of miles from the tape.

As a campaigner and a fundraiser, I learned many lessons on the day. Giving all you’ve got can be its own reward – but that is multiplied a million times over when it’s shared by many for a common purpose.

These were my thoughts as I hit Calthorpe Road and pushed past RoSPA House with the red flag flying high.

It might sound a bit Chariots of Fire, but I mustered as much strength as I could for a strong finish, as the field doubled back on itself to attack Broad Street, and “home”.

Michael's nephews and brother-in-law show their support at the six-mile mark.

Michael’s nephews and brother-in-law show their support at the six-mile mark.

Crossing the line after 13.1 miles was like nothing else – you’re filled with an enormous sense of wellbeing that you want to pass to others. And I suppose that’s why I love working for a charity – and for RoSPA, in particular.

It’s that desire to be part of something bigger than yourself, and to bring wellbeing where there is suffering. And, let’s face it, there’s still plenty of suffering, as accidents continue to be the top cause of early, preventable death for most of our lives.

If you want to be part of our fight to keep families safe, there’s still time to show your support by visiting my JustGiving page.

At the time of writing, I’m just a few quid shy of £600.

A big “thank you” to everyone who has already chipped in. I can’t tell you how grateful I am.

Michael Corley, RoSPA’s head of campaigns and fundraising

11 October, 2013

Born to run

I’ve set myself more targets than an NHS middle manager with an obsession for Gantt charts and network diagrams.

See you at the starting line!

See you at the finish line!

But, don’t worry – unlike the hollow-cheeked mandarin of a results-driven monolith, my goals for the Birmingham half-marathon are reasonably realistic.

I have one more week of training before the starting pistol is fired on Sunday, October 20.

But before I take up my position on the white line – where I’ll be doing the haka while smeared in embrocation – I’d like to run some numbers by you.

The build-up will see me undertake 6 miles at race pace on Sunday, a 40-minute recovery run on the Tuesday, a 40-minute tempo run on the Wednesday and a 50-minute easy run on the Friday.

So far I reckon I’ve run about 200 miles as part of my training programme.

I’m intending not to bring too much shame on myself, my family and the Society by running the 13.1miles inside two hours.

But my other “big” target, is not actually that big. I’ve set myself a very modest fundraising target of £500.

At the time of writing I’m about £100 short of this minuscule amount – albeit with quite a few promises in my top pocket.

But better a friendly refusal than an unwilling promise, says I. So, there’s absolutely no pressure there. Absolutely none. Won’t mind in the slightest. Not at all, etc., ad nauseam…

There are two ways to pay: you can visit my JustGiving page, where donating is super-quick and super-simple.

Or you can stump up through your mobile phone. Whatever network you’re on, simply text PLEA01 and an amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 – and please don’t forget to add Gift Aid to your donation.

For those with nothing better to do on a Sunday morning, the event will be screened live on Channel Five from 10am.

Michael Corley, RoSPA’s head of campaigns and fundraising

27 September, 2013

Got a place in the London Marathon? Here are six reasons to run for RoSPA!


We would love it if you helped to support RoSPA’s mission to “save lives and reduce injuries” by running for us!

By now, runners around the world are finding out whether or not they have won a place in next year’s London Marathon. If you’re one of these lucky people, and don’t yet have a cause, we would love it if you ran for RoSPA! Here are six reasons why:


  1. Kill 14,000 people each year across the UK
  2. Seriously injure more than 700,000 per year in England alone
  3. Are the major cause of death up to the age of 39 and the leading cause of preventable, early death for most of our lives
  4. Are the main cause of death for children after infancy
  5. Are often violent and always untimely
  6. Destroy families and diminish communities.

Your support can save lives and prevent injuries. So why not give our fundraising team a call on 0121 248 2507 or email

20 September, 2013

Accident prevention: we’re in it together

Through the centuries, Glasgow has been a hotbed of both enlightenment thinking and industrial activity. So where better to stage RoSPA’s 57th Occupational Health and Safety Awards?

Michael talks to a 2013 Award winner all about the accident prevention work which RoSPA undertakes in order to fulfill its mission: to save lives and reduce injuries.

Michael talks to a 2013 Award winner all about the accident prevention work which RoSPA undertakes in order to fulfill its mission: to save lives and reduce injuries.

The coming together of hundreds of the world’s best workplace safety practitioners at the city’s Hilton Hotel, yesterday (September 19), allowed RoSPA to reward much dedication and innovation – and to showcase some of the life-saving schemes that the UK’s best-known safety charity run on a regular basis.

As is now customary, RoSPA uses such get-togethers to rally support from those who are most likely to give it.

The same event last year raised enough money to help run two campaigns to stop more young children dying in window blind cord and driveway-related accidents.

This year, guests very generously donated almost £4,400. This money will go some way to ensuring that every child starting primary school in Scotland next year will receive a free book. The publication, penned by popular children’s author Linda Strachan, will help to keep tens of thousands of young ones safe from the hazards that pose the most risk to them.

But it’s a project that still needs the support of others to make it happen.

With your help, we can (and we will) make it happen. Such is the power of prevention – through the coming together of all those who are on the same mission: to save lives and reduce injuries.

Simply email FUNDRAISING@RoSPA.COM to find out more.

Michael Corley, RoSPA’s head of campaigns and fundraising

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