Well, I don’t know about you but I am shattered. The last ten weeks have been such a roller coaster that I am not sure I even know where to start with processing what has happened.
So much has happened with #TeamHonkRelay that we never anticipated. As I have said before, the Relay started with only a brief plan that we knew we could finalise as we went along. And the more it did go along, the more it gathered momentum, especially on social media. A second trip to Africa came along in the middle of it, with only a couple of weeks notice. An invite to Downing Street came with only days notice!
I have always been a bit apologetic about being blogger in the past. When people I don’t know very well say “well how has that come about?” I reply with “I am one of those annoying bloggers you read about”. I have always had the feeling that society at large has looked down their noses at bloggers a bit. Felt that most bloggers were just mums at a keyboard. Typing out recipes or sharing photos of their little darling. Or people just trying to blag freebies.
Not anymore baby. I have stood in No 10 and talked about blogging with THE Prime Minister. Have chatted with THE Richard Curtis about how social media has helped with his vision to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Blogging is doing that. Bloggers are helping to do that.
The Relay has been enormous fun. Yes at times stressful as Penny, Annie and I struggled to get round obstacles whilst still trying to run our blogs, families, homes, jobs and general crises that come up from time to time. But for the most part, awe inspiring. Inspiring full stop.
Friendships being made between bloggers that have chatted online for years but have never actually met. Schools working together. Businesses jumping in and offering something to help or auction off to raise yet more money. Bloggers putting themselves through a cycle ride, a run, swimming, walking in the rain and then begging their friends and family for sponsorship.
And begging them again.
For #LastingChange. Lasting change in Africa, for the communities we were welcomed into, who with the support of Sport Relief are really helping themselves out of poverty. For bloggers who have worked together to make something amazing happen, nearly £27,000 raised in ten weeks. Smashing the £20,000 target we set.
For #LastingChange for me personally. I never thought we would pull this off. That a charity would listen to us when we approached them with a fund raising idea. That they didn’t laugh and say “we have a bit of a track record of raising millions, I am not sure we really need your help”. That not only have they listened but supported and offered every assistance. I think other charities could learn a lot from how Sport/Comic Relief do things.
Massive thanks to Penny and Annie who put up with me being a luddite when it comes to technical stuff and when the only constructive thing I can do is order ice cream from room service.
Massive thanks too to Bruce and the teens who have put up with me being more stressed than a stressed thing and then disappearing off for five days. “I need to work from home for four days, Boss, my wife is off to Africa” is not a conversation Bruce has everyday.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all the supportive tweets, emails, texts, blog comments, this truly was a team effort.
Normal service will now be resumed.
Same time next year?