I never joined a society when I started university. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the rhythm for cheerleading, the flare for big band and I didn’t think geek society was going to suit. But Chantelle, my team leader had spammed York St John Univeristy's virtual space to recruit people so Dig Deep was advertised on Facebook, literally on every page possible. Honestly, I didn’t know much about Mount Kilimanjaro other than what I’d heard from Toto; not a proud moment for a Geography student.
Reaching the ‘Roof of Africa’ seemed like a world away from the November drizzle of North Yorkshire. Luckily, I had my family to support my fundraising. From the beginning food was our priority, as it always is in the Brass family. All of the events we hosted were orientated around feeding people; Big Breakfasts, Cake Sales, Bingo nights and Sweet bags are surprisingly manageable and effective ways of fundraising.
However intimidating fundraising targets may have seemed at the beginning, that soon disperses. With Sarah in the Sheffield office, Kilimanjaro Facebook page and emails I was continuously supplied with new ideas and support.
One of the things we are told in briefings is how close you will become to your team; I wasn’t sure how instant this would be; and no one likes forced friendship. But, it actually happened. My Dig Deep family wasn’t just my team I climbed with; it’s also the infectiously compassionate porters and guides.
You can’t not become absorbed in the beauty of Kili when you are surrounded by the breath taking scenery and all these incredible people singing and dancing.
Simply, I got to spend seventeen days East Africa. Climbing with a fab team and working with truly incredible organisations; all whilst supporting the projects that Dig Deep manage. All topped off with a break in Zanzibar and two days on safari.
So, I am going back. In June I am tackling Mount Kenya with my twin sister (no doubt she will pick up Swahili better than I did and probably won’t get as sunburnt either!)
We both agree that when fundraising you need to be a bit cheeky; ask people for donations and companies for raffle prizes- if you don’t ask you don’t get!! Also, flood people with information; they’re more likely to donate if they know where their money is actually going.
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work with Dig Deep on a few levels.
As a student fundraiser
On work placement in their offices doing research for some new challenges (exciting!)
AND in 2018 I’ll be a Team Leader for Mount Kilimanjaro
So, I now get to recruit people too, it’s difficult to explain to people why they should do it, so instead I’ll be covering Facebook with videos; photos and information evening dates. Even if you just have a teeny tiny interest you should attend.
If anything, it’ll be to get the word out about Dig Deep and the remarkable work that they are doing by providing clean water and sanitation to rural communities in Kenya.