Tuesday 30th June, 2020

Team Insight went the extra mile(s) for Willow Foundation

Miles for Willow Foundation

From Monday 25th May to Tuesday 23rd June, 21 members of the Insight Legal team put on their trainers, set their Stravas and planned to clock up an impressive number of miles to raise much needed funds for our Charity of the Year; Willow Foundation

The target was for 913 miles; the distance between all 4 Insight offices – Farnborough, Manchester, Glasgow & Belfast 

The Charity Committee at Insight named the challenge the Insight Office Dash and the target miles were to be covered on foot by running, cycling, walking, anything that meant the feet were moving over a period of 30 days.  Our Chairman Brian Welsh, set himself a personal challenge of cycling 500 of these miles.

Willow Foundation believe in quality of life and quality of time. Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days.

Each year they aim to fulfil 1,000 Special Days – a day to anticipate, to share and to remember when happy memories really do count. Sadly, for some, it’s a last chance to fulfil a dream with the people that really matter. Thankfully for many more their Special Day is an important opportunity to put much-needed normality back into living.

On average each Special Day costs Willow Foundation £1250, so we started our fund-raising target as the same, in the hope to achieve at least one of these days with the funds raised.

Brian Welsh sets the scene;

A fundraising event idea was presented to me by the Insight Charity Committee as one the latest ideas on how we could engage within our communities to support the charity, especially at a time where it is difficult to raise funds due to the current lockdown situation. The team are well versed at pulling together when needed, but this time the problem was how to do the fundraising whilst working remotely – what could they do on their own, in their own time, keeping to the social distancing rule but being together with one common goal….?  Insight Office Dash was devised.

I’m really proud of the team; the way they communicated to keep each other motivated and pushing through the targets set, up the hills, along the long roads and in battling winds and rain…

There was lots of camaraderie and banter – especially towards me and my optimistic goal of 500 miles on my bike in 30 days! (you can read my lockdown story here).  I may have had doubts later on that I could achieve this, but never doubted the team’s efforts and commitment.

So, the Insight Office Dash started and as the days went by the original target of 913 miles was smashed, 15 days earlier than planned! The Just Giving donation target of £1250 was also reached thanks to the amazing supporters, some who have had first-hand experience of the wonderful work Willow do.

With still over 2 weeks to go and plenty of miles left in the team, no-one wanted to stop here, so it was decided to double both the targets, keep the trainers on and head around the virtual route of 913 miles again.

With the team in high spirits and keen to keep up the momentum and fund-raising, they aimed for the new distance target of 1826 miles and the new donation target of £2500 with the mission to now fund two of Willow’s Special Days.

The optimism never wavered and 10 days later the second distance target was achieved! How brilliant and motivated are Team Insight? – they literally couldn’t stop moving….

There were now personal distance targets being set – Brian was still on his way to getting the magic 500 miles in the saddle with 5 days to go! So he set the team a further goal ; to increase the target of miles and now head from our Glasgow Office to the office of one of his other business interests in Southampton

The challenge again notched up another gear to the next level and added a further 407 miles to keep the Insight Office Dashers going for another 6 days and to the end of the challenge.

With the additional miles now on the horizon, there was the bigger issue of getting the donations in.  

The members of the charity committee decided to increase the fundraising efforts and bought in the tactic of sending team members out in fancy dress to get more attention and support for Willow, plus make a few people smile on their journeys…

Ed and Ian were joint first winners in the social media poll to cycle/run/walk in full fancy dress – you can see their videos over on our facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/InsightLegalSoftware/

23rd June and Day 30 – TEAM INSIGHT DID IT!

2255.29 miles / over 30 days / 480 activities / 75.18 miles per day /

21 sets of tired feet and 21 very happy and proud faces.

74 donations / 101% achieved / £2531 donated / 2 Special Days funded
for Willow Foundation

Maria Alexander, Head of Community Fundraising & Volunteering for Willow;  

On behalf of us all at Willow I would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone involved in making such a generous donation possible. Not only did the team reach the intended target of £1250, they totally smashed it by doubling it! Thank you for all the miles achieved, we are so proud of everyone and hope that the end result was worth all the aching muscles.

Just one reason why the challenge was so important to the team; Kelsie’s Story

Kelsie (25) from Oldham was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was just seven days old. She and her husband had an amazing Special Day at Center Parcs where she had a magical experience with the Owl Encounter, something she had always wanted to do.

“I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at seven days old so it is all I have known for my twenty five years. Just before I applied for my Special Day I had a mental breakdown because my health had deteriorated and I couldn't see a way through.

Knowing I had a Special Day gave me something to look forward to, it made life easier for me as I knew I would soon be away from everything. I hoped to gain some down time, a break from reality.

My weekend at Center Parcs was the best weekend ever, all the activities were amazing but the one thing that I will remember forever and I have also ticked off my bucket list was the Owl Encounter. Owls are my favourite animals and to have a chance to actually see one right in front of my eyes was just magical.

The memories we made on my Special Day will never be forgotten as it was an incredible and amazing opportunity.”

You can still donate to our Just Giving page and fund more dreams, just like Kelsie's


Thank you to everyone who supported the Insight Team.  We’ve now had a rest and are up for the next challenge – what will it be? …. 

Oh and yes!  Brian did complete his 500 miles (on day 29... 46 miles in one morning is pretty impressive!)  

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