Michelle Darragh Q&A
Michelle Darragh took part in Help for Heroes’ Great Wall of China trek challenge last year, along with her daughter Ashleigh. Inspired by their unforgettable time on the challenge, they are now training and fundraising for their next adventure; travelling to Southeast Asia to trek through Cambodia on Help for Heroes’ Angkor Wat trek.
Already counting down the days until she heads off in March 2018, Michelle tells us what motivates her to fundraise for Help for Heroes and what she enjoys most about the experience.
Why did you decide to get involved with Help for Heroes?
I live in Birmingham near Selly Oak Hospital where wounded Service Personnel are treated. I’d often see the military helicopters flying over our house carrying them to the hospital. I also met injured Servicemen and women in our local pub and heard their stories. It made me want to help.
How have you done your bit?
I first became a Help for Heroes volunteer. My place of work is Cadbury World so I would also give tickets for military families to come along and visit. My daughter Ashleigh and I did the Great Wall of China trek. From a fundraising point of view, that was our first main focus.
What appealed to you about the Angkor Wat trek?
The trek in China was such an amazing time. The highlight was meeting the Band of Brothers and Band of Sisters and getting to talk to them. Hearing their stories really touched me. I made some great friends and still meet up with my teammates from the trek now.
After China, Ashleigh and I wanted to do another challenge. We heard about Angkor Wat from one of Help for Heroes’ event coordinators. It looked amazing and really appealed to us.
What fundraising have you done?
Help for Heroes is my charity at work, so I always make sure collection tins are there. I hold raffles on my days off at work for visitors, as well as selling wristbands and lapel pins. I hold cake sales too. I’m lucky to have a great manager who supports me with my fundraising. Remember, don't forget to ask if your place of work does cash match!
What are your favourite parts about fundraising?
When I get to be Hero Bear! You really need someone you can trust to lead you as visibility isn’t great, but I enjoy people’s reaction to the bear – they love it! I’ve even got to dance to some of the children visiting Cadbury World.
What advice would you give to a Help for Heroes fundraiser?
The first time doing it might seem quite daunting, but having the support from Help for Heroes staff is great. Try not to fundraise by yourself, having someone with you really helps. If you’re raising money for a challenge, make sure to do plenty of training. It’s very important to prepare yourself physically.
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