Rockinghorse gets ‘virtual’ help from supporters during lock-down

Sadie Berry-Robinson decided to take on a new challenge to explore the Sussex countryside around where she lives and raise money for local charity while she was at it.

Sadie, from Haywards Heath, is the Practice Development Nurse for Paediatric Services at the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Chichester, and has been a Rockinghorse supporter for a while, even designing a Christmas card for the charity last year.

Support when it’s needed

So when COVID struck earlier this year, Sadie knew how much support Rockinghorse would need during the crisis: “I knew what a massive impact it would have on charities, especially the smaller ones like Rockinghorse, and I wanted to try and do something to help.

“From my previous role working in for the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, I was aware of how much help they provide. So, I took a look on their website to see if there was anything on there about how I could support them, and I found the Virtual 5k run. My partner Damian and I had started running so we thought this might be a perfect opportunity to carry on with it along with raising some money.

“We had been running a lot around Haywards Heath, where we live, but we wanted to try and explore some of the beautiful countryside around us so set ourselves the challenge of running the 5k, five times over five weeks around five different routes.”

The view across to Brighton seafront

Beautiful scenery

So, Sadie and Damian chose routes around the Cissbury Ring, Brighton Seafront, Ashdown Forest, Ardingly Reservoir and Cuckmere Haven, all of which have stunning views of the county from countryside to seafront.

As Sadie explains; “We’re used to running the 5k distance, but it was so nice to go somewhere different. Running has been a real help in keeping me fit but has also been great in helping me manage my well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also great to know that we’re supporting a local charity that makes such a difference in the community.”

So far Sadie has raised over £250 for her efforts and has really enjoyed the challenge: “It’s been great to explore some of the countryside near where we live – without this we would never really have known all the beauty that Sussex has to offer. Plus, it’s great to know that we have been able to do something as part of our everyday exercise to help out a great charity.”

Other virtual support

This 5k challenge is one of many that we have been encouraging their supporters to get involved over the last few months to help boost their fundraising. We have organised virtual quizzes, a Run, Ride and Ramble challenge aiming to clock up enough kilometres to circumnavigate the globe and a Game for Rockinghorse campaign to encourage gamers to set up livestream gaming events.

Ryan Heal, CEO of Rockinghorse explains more: “We’ve had to adapt really quickly to the changing face of fundraising since March. Usually we would have a range of events and experiences lined up throughout the year for our supporters to get involved with but we have had to hit the pause button on many of those and come up with new ideas overnight.

“Whilst it’s been a real challenge, I have been amazed at how both the team here at Rockinghorse, and our wonderful supporters, like Sadie, have risen to the challenge. And however much has been raised, every single pound is going straight to where it’s most needed; supporting sick babies and children throughout the county.”

Over the next few months, we are hoping to resume more of their external events including two iDrops from the British Airways i360 and a Footgolf event in September and October. So keep a look out on the website for more information on how to get involved, or to donate.

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