Debs - our new Devon Fundraiser!
It’s an overdue welcome to our new team member, Debs Rylands! Debs joined us in November…Read more
Edward Chapman is someone who definitely likes to challenge himself! Not only is he a keen runner and raised money for CHICKS in the process, but he's also volunteered on three CHICKS breaks. We spoke to Edward and asked him about his experiences of volunteering and fundraising for CHICKS.
Edward explained: "Sometimes it’s good to look back and see how things began; to see the little seed growing into something big and beautiful. I first came across CHICKS quite a few years ago when I ran in an event called the Delicious Drake Trail. I heard about it because a friend organised it and I entered it because I liked the sound of running 18 miles in fancy dress (I went as a nun) with regular checkpoints providing local delicacies including wine and beer. The fact that it was a fundraiser for CHICKS was purely coincidental; I knew nothing about the charity then. The following year I ran in the event again (different fancy dress - Queen of Tarts) and its sister event the Delicious Drake trail dressed as a sea-urchin. I learnt more about the charity and was impressed with what they did.
"The following year I set myself the challenge of running around the Tamar Lakes parkrun course 100 times in a week, a total of 500 kilometres/310 miles. It was principally to challenge myself to see if I could do it, however it was also a good opportunity to raise money for CHICKS. I completed the challenge, had lots of fun - though a lot of pain - and met lots of lovely people. I also raised £1,000 for CHICKS.
"As some of the money raised was in cash, I was invited to CHICKS Coastal Retreat in Cornwall by Mick Ryan (Regional Fundraiser) who showed me around the retreat and told me about some of the children who had been on breaks and their backgrounds. He suggested that I would make a great volunteer on a break. I wasn’t so enthusiastic; my children are grown up now, I wasn’t sure how I’d cope with being with a group of children for 5 days. The idea stayed with me, and as I particularly liked the thought that the activities were outdoors as much as possible I decied to say 'yes'! I try to say yes to things that are challenging, but ultimately rewarding; saying yes to things that move me outside my comfort zone - so, I signed up.
"The training and support I received from the staff was excellent and from the moment I met the children I was at ease and had enormous fun. You don’t know the background of any of the children and you do not need to. They are just children who deserve to have fun and enjoy themselves. For me the best times were meal times. Just chatting to the children and sharing in their excitement was great fun. It doesn’t matter whether you are a massive extrovert or a little bit quiet, different children need different things so it is good to have a mix of characters among the adults.
"I’ve volunteered three times now. Each time has been a different experience, however all three have been enormous fun and tremendously rewarding. During that time the children have been horse riding, swimming, climbing, surfing, (I had my first surf lesson aged 64) bowling ... We've taken them to the beach, the zoo, walked in the woods, played cricket, football, jenga, card games, board games, silly games, table football, pool, air hockey and more. There has been face painting, art work, clay modelling, pizza making, chocolate brownie making and, on one occasion, robot building and racing. Most importantly there has been so much fun, when the children have done things and achieved things they have not done before and as a result, their self-esteem has grown. Who knows how those little seeds that has been planted at CHICKS will grow, but I am sure that it will be into something wonderful."
As if all of that were not enough, this June, when Edward turns 65, he's setting himself another crazy challenge; he's going to run every day in June, and the distance he runs in miles each day will be the same as the date. So for example on the first of June he will run one mile, on the 14th of June he'll run 14 miles and so on - 30th June means 30 miles! Edward will be raising money for CHICKS and has created a Justgiving page. If you're able to support Edward that would be amazing! You can support his challenge here.