354 miles walked (equiv Bristol to Glasgow) in 12 days sleeping rough each night raising over £7,000 for Macmillan and CCP
iPlus Marketing believe in supporting charities and putting something back into the community. In 2018, we will be launching our annual charity fundraiser, and this year it will be led by one of our Directors, Phil Coley. iPlus Marketing have decided to call this charity fundraiser #ChallengingBoundaries, in reference to the charities being supported, and how individuals can begin to challenge their boundaries and perceptions.
On September 30th 2018, Phil set off on a walk of over 350 miles from Gloucester Royal Hospital, walking the boundary of Gloucestershire - including South Gloucestershire, sleeping rough along the way and ending the walk at Cheltenham Racecourse, including a night sleeping out at Kingsholm, home of Gloucester Rugby Club, which was part of ‘World Homeless Day’.
The charity challenge raised funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and for Gloucestershire-based, CCP.
In June 2017, Phil’s wife Kirsti, was diagnosed with stage 2 skin cancer - diagnosed and initially treated at Gloucester Royal Hospital - where the cancer nurses are funded by Macmillan Cancer Support. Kirsti continues her treatment at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, on the very edge of the southern boundary of the county.
Macmillan Cancer Support knows how cancer can affect everyone – patients and loved-ones alike; be it health, relationships, work, or everyday life. They are there for you every step of the way; during treatment, to help you cope with work and money worries, and they will always listen if you need to talk. #LifeWithCancer
In 2018 Macmillan Cancer Support funded an ‘Information Pod’ in the Atrium of Gloucester Royal Hospital, providing local support and free advice for patients and their families. The initial cost for setting up the Pod will be almost £20,000. In addition, they are funding an Information Manager for three years requiring a combined total investment of nearly £180,000. Half of the monies raised through #ChallengingBoundaries went towards the running of the Information Pod.
Local Gloucestershire charity, CCP, believes that a successful family life is the foundation on which strong communities are made. A safe and stable home is the foundation that enables a family to be successful. However, too many families are in temporary and unstable housing and, therefore, too many children are being negatively impacted by their accommodation circumstances.
In the UK “the spike in homelessness and rough sleeping throughout this decade is a source of deep disquiet and concern. In 2015/16 local authorities reported responding to the threat of, or actual, homelessness for 327,390 households, up from 254,320 in 2009/10 (Source: Information from Public Policy Exchange). Similarly, rough sleeping has increased by 102% over the same period. Latest figures suggest these rises show no sign of abating; 4134 people were documented sleeping rough in Autumn 2016, rising 16% in 12 months.
When asked why he undertook such a tough challenge, Phil said "I really wanted to do something to support my wife; we have been through so much and, as much as you try to support your partner, you still are left with the feeling of ‘What else can I do to help?’. As a company, iPlus Marketing support CCP and Kirsti very much wanted Macmillan Cancer Support to benefit from this challenge too. It was then that we decided to split any monies raised between these two equally deserving charities”, Phil said.
The aim of the challenge was to raise awareness of cancer and the great work that Macmillan Cancer Support does in providing care and support for cancer patients, along with supporting CCP in their quest of raising awareness of homelessness with young adults. The walk will hopefully have raised awareness of how everyone can push the boundaries for searching for cures - or solutions - to challenges they face.
"I am doing this for Kirsti. We were married two years ago and, prior to that, it had been a tough few years for many reasons. Kirsti was my rock throughout and this is my chance to give something back in a manner we both see fit. We are not out of the woods on the cancer yet – it’s a long process with more surgery and treatment still to come, but it’s not stopping either of us!”, Phil continued prior to the start of his walk.