To the peaks and beyond

Published: Tuesday November 17, 2020

Fiona Crocker, Vicar of Cam with Stinchcombe  blogs about her lockdown fundraising challenge.

“What do you do when it seems all usual fund-raising efforts are thwarted by the pandemic and the church funds need a boost?

“Answer, you challenge a few to do a local outside event as individuals and let lots of people know you are doing it!

“So it was that James, a church warden, Ian, a treasurer and I each volunteered to climb the equivalent of Ben Nevis by ascending and descending our local hills of Cam Peak and Cam Long Down, renamed during the climb as  “Cam Nevis” and “Ben Long Down”.

“The news of the event was spread far and wide using Facebook (both personal and the Church’s), a short interview on Radio Gloucestershire, local WhatsApp groups and any other way they could think of.

“I got into training with step ups and downs on my stairs and increasingly longer local walks: the warden and treasurer were already quite fit. In fact Ian’s personal challenge was to run the entire length of the ascents and descents being a local cross country runner.

“The thought of this trio individually climbing the local parish peaks multiple times to the height of Ben Nevis seemed to have captured the imagination of many. The support was wonderful even with a national lockdown meaning that we could not have additional company on the walk and deciding to move it a day earlier because of forecast bad weather.

“We felt that the support of the local community was behind them.  In the end a few walkers who just happened to be out did find them and they exchanged socially distanced waves and words of encouragement. Social media was used on the day to keep people informed on progress.  Live video messages from the top of the peaks, texts and photos of how they were doing all helped to keep everyone connected and reminded everyone of the need to raise funds.

“Ian had already linked the event to ‘Give a little’, a digital online app which made giving easier for many who were not local and money was also pushed through the vicarage door, which was great. The ways to give were also shared with every piece of social media that was put out and even I learnt how to copy links and post them into WhatsApp messages – it really was quite straightforward.”

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