Fundraising: more than just raising money Brittany Maher-Kirk, Communications Manager This Autumn, a team of 20 SHP employees took on the Gung Ho challenge to raise money for the charity. Here, Brittany Maher-Kirk, SHP's Communications Manager, blogs about why she took part in the event. Dragging myself out of bed at 7am on a Saturday to travel to Crystal Palace to run 5k and take on the world’s biggest obstacle course in the rain is not the first thing that comes to mind when someone says ‘fun’ to me. Of course, it was all for a good cause. I, and 19 of my SHP colleagues, had decided to take on the Gung Ho challenge to raise vital funds for the charity that we all work for. After encouraging our supporters, volunteers and fundraisers to get involved in #TeamSHP for years, we all felt it was time for us to give back to the charity that gives so much to homeless and vulnerable people. Our team was made up of people from all corners of SHP with a mix of central and front line services – people from our finance team, housing services, hostel workers, communications team, our sports programme and HR department all signed up, as well as two assistant directors. even our Deputy Chief Executive took part! A fundraising challenge is so much more Getting involved in the Gung Ho challenge taught me that taking on a fundraising challenge is so much more than just raising money. In the months leading up to the challenge, we worked together as a team to put on fundraising events and come up with creative ways to raise funds. We organised a charity-wide quiz in a local pub, ran a raffle, hosted the ‘Great SHP Bake Off’ over the course of three weeks, sold doughnuts, guessed the amount of sweets in a jar... and Meddie from our Finance team collected donations on the condition he would run the race in a tutu and feather boa. You can see photographic evidence over on our Flickr page. These smaller events weren’t just fun, but they brought people from different teams and services together with one shared aim – to make as much money as possible to help make a difference to our clients' lives. At a time when services are facing even more cuts, every penny really can make an impact. From giving our clients the opportunity to build their confidence in a drama class, to giving someone the tools they need to leave homelessness behind for good – we see firsthand the difference that fundraising makes to the charity. Everyone was cheering each other on Naturally, there was a big element of competition on the day with the more elite of our team sprinting off over the first obstacle leaving the rest of us for dust! But after facing more than 20 obstacles – including inflatable tyres, tunnels, slides and rope climbs - everyone was cheering each other on, and we all bounced over the final hurdle, sliding into the foam pit. Altogether we raised £2,500, an achievement we are proud of. So would I get out of bed on a rainy Saturday and do it all over again? Well, we’re already signed up to the Santa run in December…. With thanks to Experiencedays.com and Cote for donating to our raffle, and the Lucas Arms for hosting our pub quiz. If you’re interested in fundraising for SHP, please get in touch with our Fundraising Team.