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Amazing ideas for London Marathon charity fundraising

Make-A-Wish UK

Natalie ran the London Marathon for us last year, here she explains how she raised the money, providing top tips for your own fundraising - and gives an insight into what it's like running for us!

natalie running the london marathon

Why did you decide to fundraise for Make-A-Wish?

I thought it was a fabulous charity where the money makes such a difference to such special children.

I love seeing happiness on my 5 year old's face, so if I can help anyone to do that I was going to try!

How did you fundraise for the London Marathon for us?

I created as many fundraising events as possible; I wanted to attract as many people as possible into getting involved. I also wanted things for people to do rather than just be asking for cash. Here's a list of all the things I got up to to raise the £2,000:

  • I held a Bake Off and subsequent cake sale.
  • I am a teacher and was fortunate enough to have the support of both Isambard School and Southfield Junior School; students from Isambard helped me to run a bag pack in Asda.
  • The students of Southfield held their Christmas Jumper Day in support of Make-A-Wish too.
  • I organised a Ladies Christmas Shopping Event; making money from table sales, entrance fee and a raffle. I have even been asked to hold it again!!
  • I ran the Swindon Half Marathon dressed as a fairy, the wings obviously helped as I achieved a PB!
  • My husband organised two 5ks; participants received a self designed medal 'Natalie's Marathon Journey' so they felt as though they were a part of my journey (which they were!)
  • I also held a wine tasting evening; friends very much enjoyed learning about wine and donating to a good cause at the same time.
  • Finally, I ran a sweepstake based on my finish time. This raised a lot of money with no financial outlay and little time; and the lovely winner donated her prize back into the fund. 
  • I was featured in local press regularly and was even on the radio twice. This also enabled people to sponsor me even if they didn't know me. I set up a fundraising Facebook page and promoted every event through there and Twitter.

I think donations can be categorised in three ways; marathon admiration, Make A Wish fans, and ever-supportive friends and family; mine definitely stepped up in this last category. I was overwhelmed by the generous support of family and friends.

How would you rate your London Marathon experience out of 10?

10!! I loved it; it was both harder and better than I ever thought. The support all the way around was phenomenal; at times I felt as though it was actually carrying me along. 

natalie with her thumbs up running the marathon

How did you find the support and experience with Make-A-Wish?

Fantastic! Events fundraiser Kim was in regular contact and was very supportive with my events. The weekly training emails were also good so I could see that I was along the right track.

Kim also supported me at Bath Half Marathon, which was nice! 

The massage and food after the marathon were very welcomed! It was like an after party, everyone in Make-A-Wish t-shirts on a high that you'd done it! 

What advice would you give to someone thinking of fundraising for Make-A-Wish?

Remember what and who you are fundraising for; shivering, asking for donations the week before Christmas in a cold Asda doorway has nothing on what some of these families go through.

Make-A-Wish could not have given me more support and I am so proud to have raised money for them. 

natalie with her medal smiling

What advice would you give to someone about to take on London Marathon?

Do it!!!

Crossing that line is a hard feeling to describe: excitement, pride, relief...oh and sheer exhaustion...and yet buzzing with elation! 

All the trainings in the dark, cold winter are forgotten as you come down the Mall and I promise you, it’ll all be worth it. 

You can no longer apply for a charity place as we have now filled all of our London Marathon 2017 charity places. You can still #RunForWishes if you have your own place, or by taking part in our other marathons and running events.