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Here is a truth about me: I like to have fun, and if things are not fun, I try to make them fun.

So, last year when the pandemic was in full force and anxiety and workload were high, I took a simple question to my colleagues – since all we can do is exercise, why not exercise together (in spirit) and do it for a good cause? The Addison House* 1000 miles challenge was born, and the BSc Psychology staff team of King’s College London walked, cycled, and ran 2,363.69 miles and raised £1,150 for Women’s Aid and Student Minds. The event is truly collaborative in the way that the charities are nominated and voted upon by all team members and, naturally, 1,000 miles cannot be achieved by a single academic working full-time, so what this achieves is a sense of community, even in these weird virtual times.

It was so much fun that we decided to make it an annual event and TLP was a natural choice for us this year as I started as a volunteer in December 2020 and, whilst we are generally just interested in doing good, we are of course human and always try to support our own**.

In the interest of full transparency, we did pick a second charity but did not end up fundraising for them for a number of reasons, so things can and do go wrong but for the most part they do not.

We managed to get 1,941 miles and £885 in the books, which will help TLP support three visitors, which still blows my mind thinking about how little it takes to change a life for the better.

I leave you with five reflections on fundraising:

  1. There is power in numbers – a team will always have more reach than a single person.
  2. Fundraising is really, really easy – I think I spent maybe 10 hours on this year’s fundraiser.
  3. Fundraising success depends on many factors, some are outside of your control.
  4. If you encounter an issue, talk to someone about it. Usually the charity you are fundraising for has staff to help too.
  5. Fundraising is an amazing way to build or strengthen a community and it sometimes ends up being everything people talk about for a while.

*Addison House is the building on King’s College London’s Guy’s Campus where we are (normally) based.

**Student Minds, one of last year’s charities, was founded by one of our colleagues.