If you want to take on a charity challenge but need a bit of flexibility on the fundraising side, an ‘open’ challenge can be a good way to do it. This is where you book your trek directly with the trek company, and nominate the Fostering Network as your chosen charity. You can build your ideal trek, whether that’s a UK challenge like the Hadrian’s Wall hike, or something a bit more ‘out there’, like snowshoeing in Sweden. Open challenges put you in control of the timeframe, and you can decide how much of the cost you want to fundraise.
Kim is currently fundraising, and found that designing her own perfect challenge helped her get back on her feet after a slipped disk almost paralysed her:
“In 2004 I slipped a disk in my back, it was so bad the doctors thought I might be paralysed for the rest of my life. I made a promise to myself that if all went well after my surgery I would do something big for a charity. In 2007 I became involved in fostering in a small capacity through other family members and I loved it.
One day Foster Care Magazine arrived on my doormat with a list of fundraising challenges, and when I researched what was available I found the Great Wall of China trek – wow, what a challenge!
The trek was a year away so that gave me plenty of time to raise the money. I chose the fundraising option and before I knew it I was signed up and dived right into raising the funds. I had lots of support from my family, friends, colleagues and local businesses helping with band night, raffles, cake sales etc.
I had a setback with my health last year and was worried I’d have to cancel. But as it was an open challenge I was able to delay the date to give myself time to get fully fit and trained. I am almost at my target and I’m so excited. I’m determined to prove to myself and the world that ANYONE can do this!”
There are lots of travel companies offering different kinds of challenges, but Discover Adventure offer the best deal for charities (60% of the funds raised go to the charity), and our trekkers have rated them universally ‘excellent’ on previous treks. We’ll offer you the same fundraising support whether you’re taking part in our team trek (Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2013) or an open challenge. You can flick through DA’s open challenges at their website, and sign up online.