Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ride London 100 fundraising

Daniel CornwellI’m not sure signing up to do a 100 mile bike ride was in my “job description” when I signed up to be a Trustee for Support Adoption For Pets nevertheless I entered Ride London 100 with some trepidation.

Personal circumstances have seen a move to The North and coupled with a severe chest infection in February/March my training was limited to just over 250 miles this year. In comparison last year I did over 1,600 miles, culminating in a 100 mile ride in October.

After finding a hotel just 6 miles from the start I headed to The Olympic Park with real trepidation; would I complete it, could I? What time would I do? Could I possibly dip under the magic 6 hour mark. My understanding is that the six hour mark is the equivalent to a marathon runner doing a marathon in four hours – not sure though…!

The start was organized, each ‘wave’ having their own playout song – we had ‘That’s Entertainment’ by The Jam – not unhappy with this – the guys before us had Club Tropicana by Wham!

On starting the first thing I noticed was the sheer number of cyclists and how wonderful cycling on closed roads felt – it took a while to remember not to stop at red lights though…

The initial pace was (for me) ferocious, and I covered the first twenty miles in around an hour…it didn’t feel fast though and I was happy with my hydration levels and general all around energy/food levels.

The hills started at around 46 miles – Newlands Corner. For me this was the second hardest of the day’s climbs. Short(ish) but very sharp and difficult to get a rhythm on. I did my usual, stick to the left of the road, largest rear cog and just plodded my way up the hill. I must have been overtaken by dozens of people. The first ‘stoppers/walkers’ needed overtaken but I managed to get to the top ok…but then…just a few miles later – Leith Hill.

Leith Hill rises to some sections of around 12%. I am fine with gradients of up to 10%…above this though and I struggle – I’m carrying about a stone too much in all honesty and I am definitely not built for hills.

Leith Hill was an absolute pig but, again, I found a rhythm and spun my way to the top. I knew the worst was over…in fact Box Hill was amazing, I really enjoyed it…partly the views, partly the road surface (it makes  a huge difference), definitely the camaraderie, the self deprecation of other cyclists. Then it was a bit of a free wheel back into London – through Kingston and Wimbledon with huge crowds cheering you on, to finally hit the Mall. I didn’t have the energy to sprint, but I made it. I looked at my time – 5 hours 53 minutes. Better than I could possibly have imagined. On a 100 mile ride I averaged 17mph. I think this was fuelled, at least in part, by adrenaline but I was shocked at how much you get carried along by the crowd.

It was an incredible day and just the day before I hit my fundraising target of £1,000 for Support Adoption For Pets. Emotional phone calls home over the line and the trundle back to the North West via St Pancras, and Cambridgeshire (to pick my car up) followed. As I write this, three days later I have yet to wipe the grin off my face!

2014

Timings

 

The pictures above show my data after Ride London and my data for 2014.

Route and Hill

 

The picture above shows the route and hill profile.

Meet the Team – Laura Messenger

Laura MessengerHi, my name is Laura and I’m the fundraiser for Support Adoption For Pets. I joined the team in January 2015; before that I spent a year working as a community fundraiser for a small animal rescue in Manchester.

At the moment I don’t have any pets; my partner and I would like to get a dog, but at the moment we’re just too busy! My family have always been cat owners and they’ve all been rescue pets. My sister was even a ‘failed fosterer’ – she cared for a mum cat and a litter of five kittens, and three ended up as permanent additions to the family!

My job is to organise all the different fundraising activities that Support Adoption For Pets does to bring in the money which we then give out to rescue centres. The first big activity of the year was our #MakesMeSmile fundraising drive and raffle. This year we sold over 400,000 raffle tickets which is an incredible amount! There aren’t many jobs which involve phoning a complete stranger to tell them they’ve won a brand new car – but mine does, and it’s brilliant!

For me the most important part of my job is seeing the effect that the donations have on local rescues. I know first-hand how hard rescues work for the animals in their care. The sad fact is that there are far too many homeless and abandoned animals out there, and not enough spaces in rescues. There are very few organisations that they can turn to for financial aid, so I’m thrilled to be working for the biggest grant giving organisation for animal rescues in the UK.

After our #MakesMeSmile campaign I sent out over 430 cheques to all sorts and sizes of rescues (writing out that many cheques is hard work!), and many responded to tell me how they would be spending the money. A lot of the donations went towards paying vet bills. Some rescues used the money to pay for repairs, or to buy equipment. One rescue used their donation to pay for a fire alarm system – it’s not something that first comes to mind when you think about rescues, but it’s essential for protecting the animals!

The job is very busy, very varied – and it wouldn’t be possible without our supporters. Every raffle ticket, lottery entry, sponsored event– or a good old-fashioned cash donation! – it all goes to such fantastic causes. It’s great to know that when I do finally adopt a dog, I’ll also be working ‘behind the scenes’ to help so many other animals find their forever home.

Paws up for ‘National Teddy Bear Day’

Support Adoption 004The history of the teddy bear dates as far back as the early 1900’s, and most of us at some point in our lives, have had our own, and loved it dearly. They become cherished members of the family and are often passed down between generations.

This September marks National Teddy Bear Day, something those soft, cuddly creatures truly deserve. On September 9th the teddy bear will be over 100 years old, with the first bear created way back in 1902 during U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s reign – who was also known as Teddy Roosevelt.

President Theodore Roosevelt and some of his friends went on a hunting trip  to Mississippi, but came across few wild animals. Hours into the trip the group tracked down and a helpless bear. The president was to shoot the bear to win a hunting trophy. The president refused, and news reporters throughout the country spread the story of Roosevelt’s kind act.

Since it’s birth in the 1900’s there have been hundreds of famous bears, including Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, Yogi Bear and Fozzie Bear.

Now, the UK’s number one grant giving animal charity, Support Adoption For Pets, has given a new life to almighty cuddly toy, giving people the opportunity to adopt their very own charity bear, to help give homeless and abandoned pets a second chance at a happy life.

Photo 02-08-2015 18 23 35

Arthur in New York

The soft, traditional teddy bear is part of a continued mission of Support Adoption For Pets, to raise awareness of the thousands of animals who become homeless every year through no fault of their own, and work to find them a happy home for life. Coming complete with a certificate of adoption, and naming tag, this bear is an ideal gift for any animal lover.

The charity is also following one of their bears, named Arthur, as it travels around the world. Search #ArthursAdventure on Facebook and Twitter to see where he has been so far. To celebrate Arthur’s Adventures, I have teamed up with Support Adoption For Pets to send one of my lovely readers on a little adventure of their own – to the beautiful Lake District. Simply visit the In the Playroom Facebook page to enter our competition to win a a two night stay for two people!

The Support Adoption For Pets Charity Bear is available to buy from all Pets at Home Stores, or online at www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk/products/charity-bear, RRP £11.99

 

Day in the life of Trustee Jill

Jill NaylorAn average morning today in my “normal job” was made better knowing I was off to visit Cliveglen Small Dog Rescue wearing my hat as Trustee for Support Adoption For Pets.

Part of my trustee role, does require me to go out and visit some of the rehoming organisations who apply for financial support from us – it’s something I love doing but I do find it hard leaving empty handed.

I arrived at 1pm at Cliveglen Small Dog Rescue and as Clive and I shook hands, I was realised immediately that I was in doggy heaven; with dogs saying hello and the others happily lounging on the sofa, wagging their welcome! Poor Yorkie Elvis wasn’t as keen as the others, he’d only just arrived at the rescue and was sticking firmly to his bed, clearly very confused as to what he’d done wrong and missing his Mum. He did however manage a little wag as I said hello.

Clive and Glenis were very welcoming to me and I could immediately see they would be their furry friends guardians as they arrived in their hour of need. Glenis had put some photos together of some of the dogs they’ve had in their care. Some of it was pretty shocking stuff. Thank goodness for the likes of Cliveglen

We talked at length about the issues that the rescue faces and the dogs that they take in. If a dog is in need, they don’t ask too many questions for fear of not being able to take the dog into their care. When the dogs arrive they are checked over by the friendly local vet and given bucket loads of love and attention. To say these people are dog lovers is an understatement!

As with so many rescues, vets bills are a huge part of their outgoings. Clive has come up with some novel ways of raising money for the dogs, just ask him about Back to The Future! Vets bills are what Cliveglen’s grant application will go towards. I was so impressed by them and they will not get any arguments from me when I submit my visit form over to the team in the office These people are fabulous and doing an absolutely amazing job helping their wonderful dogs in need.

If you represent a UK pet rehoming organisation and you are interested in applying to the Support Adoption For Pets Grant Application Scheme, why not get in touch and see if you can offer you a helping paw