Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BBC Do Something Great Campaign

I was contacted recently by someone from the BBC who was interested in my fund-raising and volunteering for Alzheimer's Research UK. They have started a campaign to encourage people to volunteer for example in their local community, at sports events, visiting elderly or vulnerable people who are alone etc.

Apparently not as many people do this nowadays - we're often described as cash rich but time poor which is very sad. I grew up in a culture of volunteering to give something back to society as both my parents did exactly that and so it has always been a part of my life whether it's raising money for a charity or helping out in my local community. I find it very rewarding and it's nice to feel that you can make a difference to someones life.

At first I was just asked a few questions by email, then a phone call and then finally I became one of 3 local people to be filmed for the local news programme. This of course was another excellent opportunity to champion ARUK! A date was booked for a reporter to visit us at home and then one afternoon the lovely Chrissie Reidy arrived, thankfully on a day when the sun was shining!

After a cup of coffee and a chat we headed outside for some filming.

There's always a shot of me putting on my running shoes

Getting the microphone in place

Rolling and unrolling the last scarf I knitted at London marathon 2013 (I auctioned it off as usual but the highest bidder gave it back to me so I could keep it - how lovely).

Chrissie finding just the right place to film me

Last time we had a film crew here they ran after me whilst filming and the horses got really upset and started galloping around 'cos they thought I was in danger, bless them! No worries this time though as Chrissie was doing it all on her own.

Then for the serious bit. I had 45 seconds to get my message across about why ARUK is so important to me and how volunteering to help them by fund-raising and speaking out about dementia has enriched my life too and helped encourage other people to do the same. I tried desperately to get a mention in for Join dementia Research but there just wasn't enough time so had to abandon that idea.

Then she did some filming inside, taking in my medals and Guinness World Record certificates.

Then we did a final check on everything and she took a selfie of us together which went out on her Twitter feed.

It was supposed to be aired the same day and Chrissie had planned a Facebook 'live' film of us heading inside to look at my medals etc but when she phoned the Producer she was told that things had changed (as they do!) and it wouldn't be going out until the next day. Hey ho. All of that took around 2 hours and she then had to head back to the studios to edit it. 

When it aired the next day I got loads of emails from people who know me, which was nice, and I hope that at least one person was inspired to volunteer in some way. It was great that they chose 3 quite different stories for the spot - a lady who volunteers at a cafe helping vulnerable people, a young man who volunteers as a Guide at a National Trust property and me.

Apart from my marathoning/fund-raising, the thing we all have in common is that we donate our time which for me is the most precious gift I can give.

I was supposed to be doing another interview on BBC Radio 4 on the Saturday after but that was cancelled as the programme had moved onto a different topic. I've been trying to get to a parkrun to talk about ARUK's latest fund-raising campaign Running Down Dementia where they are asking parkrunners to pledge to run 100k and raise £100 during the summer but unfortunately I didn't find out in time to reschedule my Saturday morning. My next free Saturday is in July so I'm hoping to get along to chat with people then.

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