As anyone who’s been paying attention will know, I’m about to cycle across the US of A on a senselessly over-complicated journey of female empowerment, sporty and otherwise. While my mission is a worthy one with some underlying altruism, I’m effectively going on a long holiday and it would be disingenuous to say I’m doing it “for” a specific charity – I’m not on a fundraising mission here.
I do, however, think these physical feats are a good way of reminding people that worthy causes exist. If you happen to enjoy the stupidity of what I’m doing and you’ve got a fiver to spare, there are a couple of causes dear to my heart that would very much like to have it.
My own personal happiness is something that I’ve taken a keener interest in over the last few years and particularly since I started this peculiar journey, which I hope is reflected in my scribblings and recent life choices. I am, however, aware that it is easier for some people to find happiness than it is others, something brought into sharp focus by my eldest brother Stephen taking his own life in 2004, aged just 25.
Suicide is by far and away the biggest killer of young men in the UK, a grim statistic that we should all aspire to remedy and one that the Samaritans aims to reduce through its excellent work, providing a safe space for people who are struggling to cope to talk. I have been raising money for this charity for a while now and probably won’t ever stop asking you to put your hand in your pocket for them. Dig deep and donate here.
As is now widely documented on this blog, I’m an Essex girl, hailing from the small town of Harwich. My challenge is predominantly about being a woman, but it is also about aspiration and the Harwich Mayflower Project is a small charity with big ambitions. The Mayflower, the vessel that transported them there Pilgrim Fathers to the US, was built in Harwich and captained by local dude, Christopher Jones, but it set sail “officially” from Plymouth and they’re always getting the credit for it!
Once a thriving maritime hub, my very own H-Town has suffered along with many others like it as industry in the UK has changed. With local opportunities dwindling, the Harwich Mayflower Project aims to reinvigorate the town, building a replica ship to sail to America in 2020 – the 400 year anniversary of the original crossing. Through this, they hope to put Harwich back on the map, at the same time creating apprenticeships and opportunities for local people. I think this is ace, and I also want a ticket on that crossing, so please check out their awesome work here.