30 Walks in 30 Days Challenge

node leader
9 December 2015

After all the excesses of Christmas, most of us sit down and make a list of resolutions about how our new year is going to be better than the last. Healthier eating, more exercise, studying that new language we have always said we wanted to learn.  We all want that 'better me'.

Why not kick-start that 'better me' health regime and give to charity at the same time? Joining our 30 Walks in 30 Days Challenge for January 2016 is a great way of getting fit and helping others at the same time.

Our Funding Target

Narcolepsy UK’s trustees are supported by four part-time, home-based staff. We rely on income raised from grant applications, sponsorship events and legacies to keep the work of the charity going. Two of our key posts - the Helpline Advisor and the Volunteer Co-ordinator - have been kindly supported by grant awards during 2015. We are very keen to be able to continue their excellent work once this funding ends early in the new year.

Both these roles have made vital contributions to the work of the charity. The Volunteer Co-ordinator has engaged almost 100 volunteers, 37 of whom are active on a regular basis. Our volunteers are essential for supporting activities like organising local network meetings, designing  the charity’s information booklets, moderating social media, to name but a few. Volunteers not only bring their skills to the organisation but they can learn new skills as well. For example, one of our volunteers undertook training in social media. For a small charity like Narcolepsy UK, a trusted team of volunteers is what helps it progress and expand and meet the needs of its members.

The Helpline Advisor has supported members with all kinds of queries, including benefits advice, information about working with schools and health providers, information about HR issues and employment tribunals, advice about diagnosis and issues arising from the swine flu vaccination. Sometimes the phone calls are not about one specific issue; the caller just needs to connect with someone who understands about the struggles and frustrations of living with the narcolepsy. Narcolepsy UK cannot imagine life without its helpline now.

We need your help to keep the amazing work of the Helpline Advisor and the Volunteer Co-ordinator going into 2016. Our target for the 30 Walks in 30 Days Challenge is £5000. Please join us in taking up this challenge and help us raise that £5000.

How To Get Involved?

We are asking people to get involved by getting sponsored to commit to a daily walk for a minimum of 20 minutes for the month of January 2016…that is 30 walks in 30 Days (we will let you off New Year’s Day). It does not matter whether you walk on the treadmill at the gym or round your local park; the challenge is just to do it every day for the whole month. You can walk on your own, with your spouse and children, with your friends, with the dog or even with the cat! If walking every day is challenging, then perhaps you could get sponsored per walk and just walk as often as is comfortable for you.

Children under 16 need to register as part of a family registration.

You will need a registration form from Narcolepsy UK by downloading one here or e-mailing Chris Allen, our fundraiser. Once you have completed your challenge you can transfer the donations/sponsorships in the following ways:

  • We have created an event page within the Virgin Giving Narcolepsy UK page, for you to use as part of your 30 walks in 30 days fundraising, find it here;
  • Or you can deposit all fundraising monies and donations in one donation into Narcolepsy UK’s Virgin Money Giving page – click here please ensure you add 30 FOR 30 in the comment box;
  • Or by sending a cheque made payable to 'Narcolepsy UK' to the following address: Narcolepsy UK, c/o Mrs N. Rule, Operations Manager, 19 Croftfield Road, Godmanchester, Cambs, PE29 3ED.

Logging your walks

A calendar is also downloadable so that you can log your progress over the 30 days. Have fun and do not forget you can share your walking stories with us on Twitter using the hashtag #30Walks30Days along with our handle, @NarcolepsyUK. We cannot wait to hear all about it.

Keeping safe

While we are keen to see as many people as possible doing the challenge, please make sure that you check with your doctor before getting involved if you have any health challenges. Make sure that you take care to walk in safe places and at safe times of the day. If you’re walking in the evening or at night, wear visible clothing. Ensure that you hydrate properly. This challenge is a personal challenge, not a competition, so there is no need to injure yourself!

Good for you                                                                       

There are many health benefits associated with walking. Not only is a great way to lose weight, it also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Being outside boosts your Vitamin D intake and, because it is weight-bearing, it reduces the risk of osteoporosis. The benefits are not just physical either: exercise improves mood and so it helps reduce the effects of depression and it does not cost anything to go out for a walk, so it is better for your pocket than an expensive gym membership!

Cheat Days

We know that sometimes the demands of modern living spoil our plans so, if you are doing the whole 30 day challenge and need to miss a day’s walking, do not worry – we have built in a cheat day solution to make the challenge more flexible. Whenever you need to miss one day, just add ten minutes to your next day’s walking.

If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on: chris.allen@narcolepsy.org.uk or 0345 450 0394.