Last year fundraiser Des Lally, who works full-time as a mortgage broker, set himself a challenge on a huge scale, aiming to climb Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales 365 times in 365 days. Des' father served in the Army for 26 years, and as he explains: "I was looking at things because I wanted to give something back".
As well as using his social media channels to encourage support from his friends and family, Des contacted his local news and radio stations to help spread the word about his fantastic fundraising, and has kept them updated on his progress throughout the year-long adventure.
Des said: "We tried to find something a bit different so I thought I would do the walk every week for a year. But I thought people probably do all the time. So I decided on 365 times in 365 days!”. After setting his mind to this monumental challenge, Des made sure he was fully prepared. He explains that managing work responsibilities around the climbing has been tough at times, but it's something he and his partner discussed: "It was probably about two months before we planned what we would do because we had to see if the whole thing would work."
Des went on to say: "When you get to the bottom of the mountain and its 9pm, you're all alone and after working for 12-14 hours and finishing your climb at 3am, it can get tough.
"Then you look at what you are doing it for, even if you're exhausted, and that's what keeps you going. You think of the Charity and the cause you are working towards. There's a lot of long hours but it's worth it.
"I'm so lucky my family have been amazing, and I wanted that balance of not letting this affect my work or family life”.
Whatever your fundraising challenge, spreading the word about your achievements is a great way to remind people why you are fundraising and keep your donations coming in. Support from friends, family and your community will also keep you going on those tougher days. As his epic challenge comes to an end this month, Des shares his top tips below:
- Use videos to document your training and any unusual or innovative fundraising
- Include visuals and content that will make people stop not scroll
- If it’s a long challenge or you're in training, post an update every day if you can. People who are interested in your story will follow and share, and you’ll generate new followers all the time
- Post your updates onto multiple platforms so all your contacts see what you’re up to
- Tag local (or international) celebrities with an interest in the subject and ask them to share your story, or join in
- Ask your contacts for help; friends, family, clubs or groups you’re a member of to share your story on their own channels
- Tag Help for Heroes on social media and use charity hashtags #theforceforgood #yoursupportmatters #helpforheroes
- Contact your local newspaper, but think big and contact the TV and radio stations where you live, too.