Do you know someone who has been helped by the British Heart Foundation?
In November last year an agent from Pygott & Chrone, Jamie Aspland, came up with an idea. He wanted to raise some money for the British Heart Foundation. This charity helps so many people across the UK with heart and circulatory conditions, and supports world-leading research that results in life-altering advancements for people affected with these conditions.
Research is expensive, and it was estimated that BHF's ability to invest in research last year fell by about £50 million because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This means new treatments that could save or improve a person with a heart or circulatory condition's life have been delayed.
So Jamie approached the BHF's Fundraising Manager, Gary Burr, and they came up with the idea of covering 100 km in a month to raise donations. They wanted to get as many people as possible engaged in a healthy activity while they reached a fundraising goal together. Their initial goal: £2000.
With the magic of networking and social media posting, before Christmas there were already over 200 people signed up and ready to begin their 100 km. Our Managing Director of Lettings, Spencer, was all in. The first day of the challenge was to be boxing day, and they would begin with £20,000 already raised for the BHF!
Agents are a competitive bunch when it comes to charity. We're incredibly connected with our communities. The nature of our work means that we know so many of the people around us on a personal level. And because of this we can't help but want to do whatever we can to help make people's lives better. We see the results.
When you have agents in competition, great things can happen. January started off with a flurry of activity as a total of about 280 people began walking, running, and cycling for the BHF. Internationally renowned speaker, trainer, and real estate coach Josh Phegan even joined the challenge all the way from Australia!
"There was a really amazing community feel with everyone encouraging each other and celebrating each other's distances on Strava and social media. It was really something to be part of. Whether you did 2 km or 20 km, it didn't matter, you were part of it" says Spencer.
"Of course, there was also an element of competition. On days that I didn't have a lot of time or wasn't feeling up to it, I'd log on and see that my friends had put their distance in. So I'd go out anyway." This was one of those (snowy) days:
One agent decided to offer a £250 BHF donation reward for the best heart shape created by a gps tracker. Believe it or not, the prize went to none other than Lyra the labrador! Here is Lyra's entry:
And here is Spencer's submission for comparison. We think he did a pretty good job! He even tried to shade it in with a bit of family rugby practice:
So did he meet the 100 km target? Well by the end of January he had logged a total of 749 km between running and cycling! We have to admit we're all very proud.
Importantly, nearly £60,000 has been raised for the BHF on the main fundraising page, with about £8,000 raised elsewhere. Spencer himself has raised nearly £2,900 - here is his page if you'd like to donate.
At an online gathering of all of the participants this week we heard stories from people who had been helped by the BHF in one way or another. It was striking to learn just how many young and otherwise active and healthy people can be affected by a heart or circulatory condition.
For our friends, family members, neighbours, and people in our community, it's so important that we continue to do this kind of work.
Stay tuned for our next charity event, and of course, if you know of a charity that's doing incredible things to help in our community, please let us know!