The hiking challenge I am taking on is to walk 2000 miles between 1st March 2021 and 31st October 2021, raising money for sixteen different charities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a selection of questions I anticipate being asked, or that I've been asked already - to see the answer to a question, please click on it. If you have any questions not addressed below, please do get in touch through the Contact page.
In order to complete the challenge I will need to walk, on average, 250 miles per month.
If I reach my target of 2000 miles before 31st October 2021, I will keep going to see how many miles I can walk in the eight months of the challenge.
If I haven't managed to complete the challenge by the end of the allotted eight months, I will continue walking until the 2000 miles are complete.
It may be that, for reasons beyond my control (such as governmental restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, serious injury or illness, or flooding) it is necessary to pause the challenge until such time as it is safe and legal to continue. In these circumstances I will post updates on this website.
The charities I have chosen to support all do work that is close to my heart. Half are arts organisations who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the other half are organisations whose activities address health or welfare needs within their communities.
A list of the charities I am supporting can be found on the Charities page, and you can choose which charities you may like to support on this page.
Yes, absolutely. You can support any of the charities I am working with at any point throughout the challenge, by clicking on the "Support" buttons found on the Charities page, or on the individual charity pages, links to which can also by found at the foot of this page.
Please only donate what you can afford.
I decided to have two "headline" charities each month in order to be able to promote their work without messaging becoming too diluted by promoting all sixteen charities' work throughout the challenge. All charities will still receive donations throughout the challenge, regardless of whether or not they are currently the headline charity.
You can find out when each charity is going to be a headline charity on the Charities page.
No. The online fundraising platforms will stop accepting donations three months after the conclusion of the challenge (currently set to 31st January 2022); this will be extended should I be unable to complete the challenge by 31st October.
Whilst the online fundraising platforms are secure, if you would prefer to donate offline please send a cheque directly to the charity/charities you wish to support. The postal addresses for each charity can be found on their individual pages, accessible through the Charities page or at the foot of this page.
If you do choose to send a cheque to a supported charity, please clearly state that your donation is in support of the CharityHikes challenge so we can keep track of fundraising totals.
There is a minimum donation of £1, but beyond that you can donate as much or as little as you wish; please only donate what you can afford to give, and do not put yourself in financial difficulties as a result of your donation.
No, anything you donate just goes to the charity you selected, and is not shared with any of the other charities.
Yes, you can donate as often as you like.
No - all money donated to a charity goes directly to them.
No - the fundraising platforms process and pass all funds directly to the charity/charities supported, or are dealt with by the charity themselves if you send them a cheque.
Fundraising platforms may retain a small percentage of anything you donate online to cover their costs, though if this is the case you will be asked whether you want to cover this cost yourself - if you take this option, the charity will receive the full amount you donate. If you are a UK taxpayer, please remember to apply Gift Aid to your donation, so the charities may gain an extra 25% of your donation, at no extra cost to you.
Most of the charities I am supporting are using the Virgin Money Giving fundraising platform, though some are using JustGiving or CAF (Charity Aid Foundation), or the fundraising page on their own website. Links to all the fundraising pages can be found on the Charities page, or on each individual charity's profile (also accessible from the Charities page, or from the Footer section, below).
If you donate through one of the online fundraising platforms you are not required to make your name public. If you send a cheque you cannot, naturally, remain anonymous, though only the charity who receives your cheque will know your identity.
Anyone who donates through one of the online fundraising platforms will receive an automated email acknowledging and thanking you for your donation. If you are known to me I will make personal contact to thank you further for your donation, though if you are unknown to me or donate anonymously I will be unable to do so. If you send a cheque directly to a charity, as long as you have provided your contact details they will be in contact to acknowledge your donation, but they will be unable to share your details with me.
It would be nice to have some company on some hikes, subject to current governmental guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic, suitability of walking routes etc. If you'd like to join me on a hike, please get in touch on the Contact page. I will then come back to you and we can discuss possibilities.
No, I am a private individual.
I am hoping to raise at least £1000 for each charity (so at least £16000 overall), but I hope to raise a lot more!
I will post regular updates on how much has been raised on the Hikes page.
There are a number of possible explanations:
- Because I am manually updating the totals shown on the website, I may not have got round to updating the page(s) in question yet
- A charity may have received a cheque, which would not necessarily reflect in the total shown on the fundraising platform
- I am not including and additional gift aid amounts the charities may be entitled to receive
They are photographs I took on a holiday near Callander (Stirlingshire) in 2018 (if you're viewing this site on a mobile, you probably won't be able to see these - try visiting the site on a device with a larger display if you'd like to see them).
Wilbert is my walking companion and the newly appointed challenge poster boy, who was kindly provided to me by the Watermill Theatre. Whilst he is a very loyal bird and the Watermill will remain his first love, his generosity is almost as great as his loyalty, and he hopes you will give generously to all the charities I am supporting.
Wilbert admits to feeling a little daunted by the walking challenge ahead, largely because he sadly doesn't have any legs, though we have reached an agreement that I will do the legwork while he provides me with motivational musings and looks cute. I am quite sure that his input will, together with your donations, keep me going.
If you want to know what Wilbert is really thinking about the whole thing, you can follow him on Twitter. All quacks are his own.
Not at this stage, though if this challenge is as enjoyable and rewarding as I hope, it's likely I will do another challenge in the future. I couldn't possibly comment on the allegation that ideas are already forming....