Laura Davies, from our brewing team, booked her place on the London to Paris bike ride as part of our Greene King Miles for Macmillan fundraising challenge and is now starting to realise what she has got herself in for…

You might be asking why I am doing this crazy challenge. Well, it’s simple. Macmillan really helped support my Grandad when he was diagnosed with cancer and gave a huge amount of support to my family, so I would love to give something back.

Now, I’m a relatively fit person. I do long distance running for fun (yes, for fun!) and have climbed mountains, to name just a couple of things. I have also done a little bit of cycling in the past, having bought my first ever road bike in August last year, but I know this is going to be a huge challenge.

It’s now February, which means it’s time to get focused on the challenge ahead. I’m looking forward to lighter mornings and evenings when I can cover 100 miles a week by cycling to work. This will help my training as well as my longer weekend rides.

At the moment it is all a bit of a daunting prospect, not just the cycling and the thought of the saddle sores, but the fundraising bit too, but I know it is all achievable, despite sometimes feeling like I am in a competition with friends on social media who are also fundraising for other brilliant charities!

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Day one I set up my JustGiving page, made it look pretty and then shared it across my social media pages like there was no tomorrow. I set my target for £1,600, which I can increase if things go well.
  • Made a Facebook fan page which I am currently using as a personal blog where I share information about how my training and fundraising is going.
  • Set up a personal email signature with a couple of sentences about what I am doing, including my JustGiving page.
  • In December I decided to have a clear-out of some of my illustration work from university and hosted a Facebook online auction. It raised over £150!
  • Applied for the Greene King TopUp Scheme. For personal challenges in aid of Macmillan, Greene King can add a 20% top up, up to £1,000.
  • Organised a Valentine’s Day Bake Sale with some of my colleagues and raised £390 thanks to all the yummy treats!
  • Held a coffee morning and raffle at my local village church, which raised £420 thanks to the generosity of the people in my community.

I am now busy planning the next few projects but I am already just over £20 from hitting my original target, which is amazing, I am so pleased. I have been overwhelmed by people’s support so far, even receiving donations from people I’ve never met so thank you so much if you’ve donated!

The more I fundraise and the more I train the more excited I am to get on my bike and get on the road to Paris!