Walking, cycling and swimming from Land’s End to John O’Groats for 52 Lives

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We’ve written before about the great work of one of Black Swan’s chosen charities, 52 Lives, and our various fundraising efforts.

Recently, four of our team embarked on a virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge to raise funds for the charity. Read on to find out more about 52 Lives, and how you helped us raise more than £1,000 for this great cause.

“Kindness has the power to change lives”

52 Lives is a small charity launched in 2013, which sprang to prominence a few years ago after featuring on national TV.

Each week, the charity highlights an individual, family or cause that needs help and, through this, inspires people to be kind. They believe that kindness has the power to change lives and change the world, while improving our own wellbeing.

Alongside the weekly lives that they are hoping to help and enhance, they are also able support other initiatives as well.

Last month we were fortunate to meet with Jaime Thurston, CEO of 52 Lives, to learn a bit more about their ethos and to see the kind of thing they are using our fundraising for.

The enthusiasm that Jaime and her husband, Greig, have is truly inspiring. Here are some recent examples of how 52 Lives have helped to change and improve lives:

  • They provided carpet and beds for a single dad in London, who is caring for his son for the first time. The dad has disabilities and is unable to work and his living conditions were incredibly poor. They also bought birthday presents for his son.
  • Kelly is a single mum who cares for her terminally ill daughter. The school holidays are always a difficult time, and she gets little respite. 52 Lives were able to provide grocery vouchers to take some pressure off Kelly and also helped to buy school uniform and shoes for her other daughter.
  • They have worked with some uniform banks and small charities to fund school uniforms for 100 children in need ahead of going back to school.
  • 52 Lives are also going to be providing funding to the Magpie Project (another Black Swan charity) so the children they support can be properly fitted for shoes for the first time.
  • And, if you can watch this video without finding something in your eye, you might be made of stone! https://www.52-lives.org/news/2018/02/17/when-heather-met-michael-ball/

Black Swan raise £1,000 through a virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge

Back on 12 April, when the weather was nice, Steve Midgley, Andy Peters, Rob Young and Jess Lyons all set out on a virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge, a total distance of 1,083.8 miles.

The original target was to complete the journey in 200 days, requiring an average of 5.5 miles each day. Insufficiently challenged by this however, Steve decided to up the pace considerably and completed the challenge in a brisk 138 days, completing an average of 7.85 miles a day.

Spurred on by the competition, Andy and Jess are on track to complete within the next week or so. Rob fell off the early pace after a bout of Covid in June, but has now recovered and is seeking to make up the lost ground and complete within the 200 days.

They have walked, run, cycled, and swum in the sea to reach the target – no matter the weather. And, indeed, sometimes because of it!

Last week, Andy and Jess managed to persuade a few colleagues to join us for a 5.5 mile walk around the City of London, to give everyone a little taste of our daily commitment since the spring.

To date we have raised more than £1,000 for 52 Lives, helping bring some positive changes to more lives. Now, we would really love to raise more with your support. If you are able to, please donate to assist our efforts in support of this brilliant cause. 100% of the money that is raised goes towards helping the lives of others.


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