Q&A: Trekking Iceland for Beat
Kelly took part in a trek through the Icelandic wilderness to fundraise for Beat in July this year, and has answered some questions to inspire other fundraisers!
1. What made me sign up for the Iceland Trek in aid of Beat?
I found myself at a stagnant stage in my recovery and needed a focus to stay well. I also wanted to do something that would make me feel I could achieve something positive and do something completely independent.
I wanted a reason to remain well and prove to myself I could push myself.
2. What was my experience of fundraising?
It was hard at times. I signed up near to Christmas last year and so took the opportunity to seek out local events and fayres.
A lot of companies/people hadn't heard of the charity, but I was able to provide info and how helpful it had been for me.
3. What worked for me in terms of fundraising?
- I did a Christmas fayre and got family involved. I made cards, hot chocolates, chocolates, small gifts and other little bits. I made quite a bit from this and it was successful. I never realised how creative I was!
- I did a few car boot sales and asked round for bits to sell. Again, it was worth the freezing cold mornings, as I generated a lot of money from these. Anything that didn't sell I advertised on local selling sites and all money went to the fundraising pot. My sponsor form did the rounds at work and people were more than happy to donate. I also got friends and family to take them round.
- I did bake sales too (people always love cake!) and these were taken to work.
- I held a huge raffle and asked local businesses for support – some couldn't donate but some were really supportive, providing free food, gifts, hampers… good prizes get people interested!
- I set up an online giving page and shared on social media. This too was great. Finally, I sent collection tins to local coffee shops who were more than happy for me to leave my tins out with a note explaining what I was doing!
4. Personal highlights?
- Meeting my buddy – we got on so well! And we are still in contact!
- Following a day of horrific weather and nine hours of walking, we were asked by the guide if we wanted to walk to the other side of camp for another 30 mins. Only a handful of us agreed. We made it to the peak of part of the mountain and were greeted by THE most spectacular landscape scene. A huge drop beneath us, four of us just sat in silence in the sun for half an hour, nothing but silence, calm and peace. It made a huge impact on me.
- Seeing the landscape change as we approached the finish line. The ground became greener, wildlife emerged, there were more people other than ourselves, and colour was evident in the form of flowers. It brought a sense of closure to me.
5. Was it all I expected?
I didn't know what to expect and I was scared in all honesty! Nothing had prepared me for the weather. I thought it may have been a more intense trek (physically) but I think due to my training and the hours I put in, it wasn't as hard as I thought.
6. Advice to others considering it...
- Begin early with raising funds and training – it will fly by!
- Start small with walks and build – follow the plan but increase when you feel you can; don't hold back. Look at going further afield the longer you walk. You find yourself in places you wouldn't normally go.
- Go along with people when you can – it can be hard on your own sometimes and you need that motivation.
- Invest in good boots and bed them in around three months before you go – blisters are a no-no!
- Be open-minded – I'm the most unsociable, routine-based, anxious person who's scared of everything! I did it, though, and so can you!
7. Sum up my experience in 3 words....
Complete game changer.
Contributed by Kelly
Read more about Kelly's trek here.