Marketing Manager, Debbie Connolly, is representing the firm in the Distance Challenge. She aiming to raise £300 for this important cause, by cycling 100 miles on the exercise bike at her local leisure centre during May 2015.
One of the children who has benefited from Barnardos support is 14 year old Aaliyah. She had a poor relationship with her parents and started hanging around with older men, who unfortunately abused her. On one occasion a 'boyfriend' pulled her out of his car by her hair and threatened to cut off her legs with an axe, before driving her to a hotel room "to have his friends come over and do what they wanted to me", as she put it chillingly.
Barnardo’s was there for Aaliyah and one of their projects for sexually exploited children helped her to escape from that nightmare world. She is now in safe accommodation, out of reach of her tormentors and says: "Barnardo’s are my family and thanks to them I’ve turned my life around." Without Barnardo’s, who would have been there for Aaliyah? You can help to change the lives of children like Aaliyah and give whatever you can at our Just Giving Page. Aaliyah is a real person, but her name has been changed to protect her privacy.
Participants of the Distance Challenge can contribute towards the overall total in any ‘non-motorised’ activity of their choice - walking, running, cycling, swimming and even dancing are all actively encouraged, with a method of tracking your mileage. The collective 2,300 mile target is the overall distance from QualitySolicitors head office to Barnardo’s headquarters in Ilford, Essex via every one of the high street law firms in the QualitySolicitors network: from Newton Abbott, in the south to Aberdeen in the north. Highlights of the challenge will be released throughout the month on social media and can be followed on Twitter, via the hashtag #QS4Barnardos
The Distance Challenge is the latest initiative in the partnership between QualitySolicitors & Barnardo’s, which dates back to 2010 and was established to enable Barnardo’s supporters and QualitySolicitors’ clients intending to remember the charity in their Wills without charge. Gifts in Wills account for half of the money donated to Barnardo’s by the public and provide vital funds to deliver services for disadvantaged children across the UK, in areas such as care and child sexual exploitation. To date, over 2,000 scheme participants have chosen to leave a legacy to Barnardo’s in their Wills, helping to ensure that vulnerable children who will need Barnardo’s support in the future, will have someone to turn to.
In addition to the Will Scheme, staff at QualitySolicitors have gone the extra mile to support and raise awareness for Barnardo’s work, from visiting Barnardo’s projects and retail stores, to speaking at jointly run events to promote Will writing and the partnership and raising money via other wonderful initiatives such as ‘Wear Green to Work’ and the ‘Big Bake Off for Barnardo’s’.
Debbie comments: Everyone at QualitySolicitors Bradbury Roberts & Raby is excited about this latest Barnardo’s Challenge. It represents a real opportunity for all of our staff, and anyone else who wants to, to get behind such a worthy cause.
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has generously donated so far! Barnardo’s plays a crucial role in our society and it’s upsetting to imagine what would happen to children like Aaliyah without their lifeline. I enjoy keeping fit so the challenge was a great way to fundraise for this important cause at the same time! As a firm we’re committed to raising as much as we can, so I hope other people will click on this link on this page, watch the promotional video and give whatever they can!"
Dylan Carroll, Partnership Manager at Barnardo’s comments: “We are so proud of our partnership with QualitySolicitors that is now running into its fifth year. QualitySolicitors has been a really supportive partner helping Barnardo’s to deliver a whole host of fundraising initiatives, including the Will Scheme, which is designed to help safeguard the UK’s most disadvantaged children in the future. We look forward to watching the progress of the QualitySolicitors Distance Challenge for Barnardo’s and are confident it will make a positive impact to the lives of some of the most hard to reach young people we support across the UK today. Thank you to all who will once again, go the extra mile to support our work.”
Read some of the Barnardo's news updates here.