One of my street urchins
It was way back in Cornwall that people started offering us money and it’s continued in fits and starts up the country. Some coppers here, a pound there, the odd fiver. We were warned about this by Dave, an old Groater who completed the challenge ride earlier this year. “There’s an assumption if you’re doing LEJOG then you must be trying to raise money. I did it because I love cycling but there were a few times I felt quite uncomfortable explaining that to people who obviously wanted to give me a fiver!!”
To begin with we tried Dave’s tack of refusing money, trying to explain the intrinsic pleasure of riding without a charitable motive, but I ended up feeling selfish and the people with their hands in their pockets seemed quite dissappointed not to be able to give. So we concluded it was probably better to accept donations and find a good cause to give them to. Matthew found an old Pudsey bear money box in his rucksack of toys, I found some gaffer tape to seal it in the tool kit, Kirstie made a notice and we started accepting donations for Children in Need from anyone keen enough to offer us money.
It took a while for the kids to get the idea. “Are we children in need?” asked Cameron after one sweet old lady put several pounds of her pension into the pot. “Thanks,” said Matthew cheekily after another fellow pushed a tenner into his money box, “That will buy lots of ice creams.” And then of course the whole BBC phone-line scandal broke, rocking confidence in our chosen charity. But none of this seems to stop the committed giver from establishing our charitable status and forcing loose change upon us. We’d prefer notes though, they’re much lighter!
Anyway, to avoid any confusion and put things on a more formal footing, we’ve made the whole thing official, registered with Children In Need and set-up an online sponsorship page to collect donations. So, if you’re reading this and feel moved to support us in supporting them, then follow this link and donate to your heart’s content. Who knows, we may even get to John O Groats and finish collecting before November’s Children in Need Appeal. Now that would be something.