The Foundation recently provided match-funding support to Thomas Wark, a residential childcare worker with Spark of Genius, which is part of the CareTech Group, for his fundraising efforts for Diabetes UK. Thomas tells his story about his charity fundraising below.
“Three years ago, I went to the local swimming pool for the first time in over 20 years. I found to my embarrassment that I was out of breath after swimming one length of 25 metres. Swimming was never a favoured pastime of mine, however I decided after this visit I needed to become fitter. I then began to swim two or three occasions most weeks and gradually I was able to swim up to 30 lengths each visit. I was beginning to feel healthier and fitter as a result.
In January of this year, I was approached by a fellow swimmer and was asked to take part in Swim22. The aim of this is to swim the equivalent of the English Channel – 22 miles – in a 3-month period, whilst also raising funds for Diabetes UK. Initially I declined, feeling incapable and too busy, which was a true reflection at the time. I equally felt disappointed in myself for having this attitude.
I quickly came to realise the much-needed help some of my family had received in years gone by due to having diabetes and I also realised how my own health had improved through regular swimming. My attitude completely changed. I became excited to have the opportunity in some small way, to be able to help others. I signed up for Swim22 and became determined to succeed in my challenge.
I raised £545.00 and completed my 22 miles in 13 visits to the pool. This averages out at 109 lengths per visit. On my second visit I actually managed to swim 210 lengths, without stopping. This is over three miles!
The money raised has come at an important time. More than 4.5 million live with diabetes in the UK. And every two minutes someone else is diagnosed. More people than ever are experiencing complications because of their diabetes. Every pound raised can change even more lives, through research, information and support.
By putting the needs of others before my own, I have exceeded my wildest expectations.
To top it all, I learned through my work about the CareTech Foundation. I made some enquiries and was delighted by the interest, support and encouragement shown by Sara Smith, the Foundation Manager.
I am grateful to family, friends and sponsors for their enthusiastic support. I am equally humbled and grateful to Sara and CareTech, for investing in their employees, such as I. This speaks volumes of CareTech as a company, and I feel privileged they have joined this journey with me.”
Cheryle Jones, an Instructor’s Assistant at the Martello Centre in Kent, raised over £500 by taking part in the Diabetes UK 1 Million Step Challenge. Cheryle tells her story below:
“This year, I decided to take part in the Diabetes UK 1 million step challenge to raise money for vital research for both Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes. I chose to support this particular charity as I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic when I was a teenager. Having been diagnosed 23 years ago, I know what it is like to have to manage your daily life and your diabetes first-hand and would like to think that some day there will be a cure, maybe not for me but for future generations.
“The challenge took place from the 1st July to the 30th September and, on average, I had to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. I used to drive everywhere so for me this was a challenge! I found it easier thanks to the lovely weather we had this year and the fact that my car finally decided enough was enough! I hit my target mid-September and, by the time the deadline was up, I had walked an extra 30,000 steps and raised £573.00. I feel fitter and better for doing the challenge and am still walking almost everywhere, weather permitting.
I would like to thank the CareTech Foundation for their donation and bumping up my grand total to a massive £823.00. Every pound raised can help change more lives and support diabetics with treatment and the support they need. I am grateful to friends, family & colleagues for sponsoring me and encouraging me to do this.”