Camping, memes and Speedos – Six of 2021’s best fundraising efforts

Mick Cullen, otherwise known as Speedo Mick, arrives in Liverpool, where he finished a 2,500-mile, five-month trek across the UK and Ireland (PA)
Mick Cullen, otherwise known as Speedo Mick, arrives in Liverpool, where he finished a 2,500-mile, five-month trek across the UK and Ireland (PA)
PA Wire

The pandemic has proved no match for determined campaigners this year as millions have been raised in aid of a variety of causes.

From keen campers to 24-hour drumathons, here is a selection of some of 2021’s greatest fundraising efforts.

– Charity camper says he is ‘not coming in soon’

Max Woosey, 12, has been camping nightly since March 2020 to raise money for a local hospice that cared for his neighbour Rick Abbott.

Max has since raised more than £570,000 for North Devon Hospice – and on August 10 this year, marked his 500th night by wild camping.

“I’m not coming in soon. I love it in the outdoors, it’s just so much fun,” Max said.

His mother Rachael Woosey told the PA news agency: “We are so incredibly proud of what Max has done.

“The hospice is one of the few which hasn’t had to make bed cuts or redundancies and that is down to his fundraising.”

– Face of “blinking guy” viral Gif raises thousands for MS charity

Drew Scanlon, known as “Blinking Guy” or “Blinking White Guy”, is estimated to have been used more than 1.7 billion times across the internet to express disbelief or confusion – the Gif even has its own Twitter page.

Mr Scanlon used the internet fame for good in September – by soliciting donations for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society to aid with research and advocacy for the disease.

He appealed to his Twitter followers and many chipped in, helping Mr Scanlon raise more than 75,000 dollars (£54,000) and break his 2019 record of nearly 34,000 dollars (£24,000) – the first time he used the meme to raise funds.

– Former rugby player completes 48 marathons in 30 days in memory of his mother

William Goodge, who took on 48 marathons in 30 days across September and October in memory of his mother, said she was with him “every step of the way”.

There were tears as Mr Goodge crossed the finish line in London after a whirlwind few weeks that saw him cover more than 1,200 miles.

The model from Bedfordshire took on marathons in all 48 English counties, and raised more than £37,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support which supported his mother Amanda in the Macmillan Primrose Unit at Bedford Hospital.

William Goodge said his late mother, Amanda, was with him \u2018every step of the way\u2019 (William Goodge/PA)

“This experience has been one of a lifetime and I have memories and feelings you cannot buy or plan for… I’m grateful I was able to do it. My mum was with me every step of the way,” Mr Goodge said.

BBC Weatherman Owain Wyn Evans raises £2 million for Children In Need with 24-hour drumathon

The Welsh broadcaster began his gruelling challenge on the BBC Breakfast show in the morning of November 12, drumming through the day and night until completing the fundraiser early on the Saturday.

He finished his marathon drumming session to Britney Spears’s hit track Baby One More Time, chosen as the pop star celebrated her conservatorship being officially terminated on Friday after 13 years.

After completing the challenge, Evans said: “I’m feeling overwhelmed, people have been so generous.

“I can’t believe it’s over, surprisingly my hands have held up okay but we’ve had some problems with my arms because they’ve been moving for 24 hours.”

Kevin Sinfield runs 101 miles in 24 hours in the name of former teammate

Former Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield made a triumphant, if painful, return to Headingley after completing the fundraising challenge in November.

Around 1,000 supporters were at his old ground to witness the completion of his 101-mile run from Leicester to Leeds inside 24 hours.

Sinfield has raised more than £500,000 for the MND Association and the Leeds Hospitals Charity to build a new care home in the name of his former Leeds teammate Rob Burrow who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019.

Kevin Sinfield with Rob Burrow at Headingley (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“The support along the route has been incredible right from the start. It was certainly a battle – we wanted a battle and we certainly got one. I’m broken – I don’t know when I’ll be able to run again,” Sinfield told BBC Breakfast.

“Rob knows how much we love and care about him.”

– Speedo Mick raises nearly £180,000 after walking 2,500 miles in nothing but swimwear

Everton fan Michael Cullen, now more commonly known as Speedo Mick, celebrated his 57th birthday in December by crossing a finish line at Liverpool’s Pier Head at the end of his Giving Back Tour, which saw him walk across the UK and Ireland in snow, wind and rain, wearing only his swimming trunks.

The five-month trek raised almost £180,000 for charities which support homelessness, mental health and disadvantaged young people.

Mick Cullen, otherwise known as Speedo Mick, said he is \u2018living my best life\u2019 after raising \u00a3180,000 for charity (PA)

Mr Cullen said the support he received along the way had been “phenomenal”.

He added: “I was amazed that a lot of people, even in the Outer Hebrides, have heard about my exploits in my knickers.”

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