We threw down the gauntlet to you last year and challenged you to join us on the virtual road to Kabul.
Teams were given a 48-hour period in which to complete a 24-hour event to rack up the 3,599 miles required to complete this challenge.
At the end of the challenge, a whopping 1,885 miles were covered by the teams. This fell short of the initial set target of 3,599 miles, so what did we do? We pulled up our big baggy pants and we carried on.
No sleep till Kabul we all cried. Although, this wasn’t strictly true as we all went home to our beds after the event, where many of us took a week to recover. But, once we had refuelled and rubbed some Deep Heat into our aching joints, we started clocking up the miles again, vowing to reach Kabul by Christmas.
Not only did we reach Kabul, but we clocked up some extra miles to boot. Team members were all ages, from teens to octogenarians, and the feedback we have had from those taking part has been fantastic.
We had veterans, serving members and their families taking part together in the event just as we had planned. Brampton Veterans, in Cumbria, even took one of their dogs along to help clock up the miles. They all came together to raise funds, not quite knowing what to expect as they set off, but all ending their challenge with a huge sense of pride in their achievements.
Many a joke was shared, and new friendships were forged along our virtual road to Kabul. Enough to give us the incentive to crack on with organising the next ‘Big Challenge’. This challenge was our first official ‘We Are Veterans Big Challenge’ and although we had various setbacks throughout 2019, which meant delays in launching our website and advertising the event, we did pretty well.
When we first floated our fundraising idea to veterans in 2018, they told us “If you build it, they will come”. So, we did. And, they did. We even got an invite to The Palace of Westminster to the launch of our 2019 chosen charity, Veterans Orthopaedic Centre’s (VOC) fundraising launch, where we met some very important peeps who were also excited about our fundraising plans for military charities.
Our fundraising for the VOC came to an end at midnight on 31st December 2019. However, with a late entry to the ‘2019 Big Challenge’, we saw another member of Shrewsbury Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club, Clare Hughes Aaron, adding to our virtual mileage as she trekked from Lukla, Nepal to Everest’s Base Camp in March. This has taken our fundraising for the VOC to over £7,400 with donations still coming in.
Our Just Giving team page will remain open until after the event in March. Sadly, our ‘2020 Big Challenge’ has been postponed, but we are working on putting the ‘2021 Big Challenge’ together.
So, as we close the ‘2019 Big Challenge’, the team at ‘We Are Veterans’ would like to say a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who joined us in our challenge. To all the team members and those that have supported us along the way. To everyone who has donated not just to the VOC charity, but to our website fund.
Thank you to Conrad, from Broadbean Digital, who is super patient with us whilst we also attempt to raise corporate funds to pay him for the excellent work he does for us on our website.
Thank you to Vauxhall Greenhous Shrewsbury, RAF Shawbury, Helen Knight and Lt Col Meyer who have all supported ‘We Are Veterans’.