Written by Kate Bradbury, Managing Partner

How do Wavemaker North Cope in a Crisis?

We set ourselves a challenge. We get competitive. We get fundraising.

Each year as a collective, we at Wavemaker North support a local charity that needs help and we go all out to raise money for them. We bake cakes, we run, we climb hills, we knit, we ride bikes, we host quizzes. If we are honest, it all gets a little bit competitive.  That’s just who we are.  But that friendly competition spurs us on and helps us to dig deep and raise more.  It’s just what we do.

2020 is no different.  This year we have signed up to donate our fundraising time and efforts to The Booth Centre. In fact, this is the second year in a row that we are supporting them.   For those who aren’t aware, and if you live outside of this city you may not be, The Booth Centre is a Manchester-based charity dedicated to supporting the homeless and vulnerable.  Arguably a cause in need of considerable support . Especially now, as they try to provide this crucial service remotely whilst adapting to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

Fundraising in a lockdown

As part of our annual fundraising efforts, there is always a challenge. I`m not sure where this came from. It just kind of happened. We are a competitive bunch remember.  This year’s challenge was to cycle the Coast to Coast. To don our Lycra, hop on our bikes and cycle the 140 miles from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. Crossing three national parks and ascending over 4,500m, it was going to be a tough one.  However, training had commenced, and our eyes were on the prize.

Then on the 23rd March, the UK was placed into lockdown (and while this wasn’t our initial concern) we realised that our 2020 challenge would have to be put on hold – indefinitely. A group cycling event just wasn’t going to be possible.  

Sadly, we weren’t the only ones affected. So many fundraising challenges and events across the country and here in Manchester had to be put on the back burner.  Coronavirus has hit the Booth Centre badly. They have the triple whammy of more people needing their help, ever-increasing running costs as they endeavour to implement social distancing and at the same time seeing donations and fundraising events dwindle.

This got us Wavemakers thinking.  The Booth centre was still “our” charity and they needed our support more than ever.  How could we do this? What lockdown approved, socially distancing compliant way could we attempt some fundraising. How could we keep sane, hold onto our marbles and at the same time raise some money…? 

The challenge was set

What’s the one thing every Wavemaker had that they could use? Time. We had our all-important and government-approved daily exercise time, we had our saved commuting time, the Friday afternoon pub time, the Sunday afternoon with the in-law’s time. 

The other thing we all had in common was a desire to stay fit and healthy and largely sane! Oh, and we do love a bit of healthy competition, obviously.

So, the challenge was set.  We couldn’t cycle together but we could still come together (virtually) and set ourselves a collective (and again virtual) distance challenge. See how far we could collectively (and virtually) travel in lockdown. 

38 Wavemakers set themselves a distance challenge.  We gave ourselves three weeks and between us, we were going run, walk, cycle and knit a staggering 4,842.5km. 

We were (virtually) going to Africa. 

We (virtually) set off from Bass Warehouse on the 9th of April and we have until 3rd May to reach our African destination – Mali.

We’re rising to the challenge

The “healthy” competition kicked in almost instantly and we have already covered 3,312km reaching 68% of our target with 9 days left to go. 

The runners are trying to outrun each other and the cyclists are attempting to out cycle each other.  My personal daily highlight is logging on to Strava to see how early Chris or Callum got up to run that morning in order to retain their crown of ‘king of the runners’.  However, the most impressive distance surely is the 1.5km of wool knitted by our knitters.  You should see the speed of those knitting needles! 

Competition aside, all we really want is to do is raise some much-needed cash for The Booth centre*. 

A huge shout out and thank you to everyone who has supported us so far.  We have already raised £683.  However, we`d really like to get our total up to £1,000.  So please use a little bit of that spare time you have to click on our fundraising link below and please donate whatever you can to an absolutely brilliant charity who need your support now more than ever.

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WMNorth2020

* I also want to be crowned king of the cyclists!!