Sunday, 26 October 2008

"it's early days, don't get carried away ..."

Anyone who has been watching this blog (and, come on, by the way, don't be shy, click on the follow me link and be a proud follower of 365) will know that I am committed to the 365challenge concept. When I came up with the idea, at first I thought it was a great way for me to motivate myself to put a serious amount of effort into supporting Cancer Research UK (CRUK) over a lengthy period. Then I realised that others liked the idea too and wanted to do their bit, so the concept developed, and became more flexible, as people developed their own 365challenges.

It was a no-brainer then for me to look at how to develop this idea further. I wanted to make 365challenge something that would grab the attention and serve as a way for more and more people to raise greater and greater amounts of money to support CRUK. And so I set about promoting the idea wherever I could. I spoke first with my local Area Volunteer Manager for CRUK, Liz, who got excited and told her boss, Peter, the Regional Manager.

He came to meet me, and ... he got excited too. And he went away and started telling people in CRUK.

Then, two weeks ago, Peter called me and asked me if I'd be willing to go to speak to the CRUK Central Region Volunteer Managers Conference, in Oxford in November, about the 365challenge. Duh ... yes! They wanted me to give a 30 minute presentation on the concept to around 50 people who deal with those people looking to do something to raise money for CRUK - the front-line folk who can promote the 365challenge to the public - of course I'll do it! That's brilliant, a chance to get this idea out there to an audience who want ideas they can push ... let me at them!

I was excited enough at this, but then last week, Peter was back to me. "Colin, I know you've agreed to come and talk to the Volunteer Managers Conference next month, but would you mind coming to another conference a few days before that one too ... this one is in Chester (so it's on your doorstep, and easier for you to get to) but ... it's the Events Team Conference ... I've been speaking to them and they are keen to learn more about 365challenge".

When and where is my reply - of course I'll speak to them ... oh, who are they, by the way ...?

A couple of calls later, and I know.

Now I AM excited. I have to temper this with the mantra "it's early days, don't get carried away ...", but ... John called me, the Events Team manager. This is the team that looks at fund-raising ideas for CRUK and decides whether or not to get behind them and support them formally. This is the team who got behind the "Race for Life" concept, and made it the huge national success that is has become.

60 or 70 of these people are coming to Chester next month, and little ole' me is going to have 30 minutes to get them as excited about the 365challenge as I am. John told me that he really likes the idea and thinks it could be something they would support. So ... if I pull this off, and they see the real potential for 365challenge ... this thing could be huge!

("it's early days, don't get carried away ...")

Watch this space!

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