BGL’s Holli Posnett recently hit a huge milestone in her fundraising efforts for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, raising over £20,000. We caught up with her to find out more about how she did it.
Why are you fundraising?
I started fundraising for this particular amount in September 2017, in memory of my Mum who passed away in July 1998. I decided I wanted to mark her 20-year anniversary with raising money for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, where she passed away. My aim was to raise £5,000 by July 2018, which I wasn’t actually sure I would hit, but I did hit that target, so I decided to carry on. I chose Thorpe Hall because even 20 years ago when I was just 12, I still remember just how amazing the nurses and staff there were, and I just wanted to do more to help them because it has such a special place in my heart.
Three years ago, I hoped to raise £5,000 as a thank you to Thorpe Hall for everything they do, and what they did for me and my family. I never could have imagined it would’ve been possible to raise £20,000, and also become a BGL finalist for my work and receive a Civic Award. I’m totally blown away by all of the support.
What fundraising events have you done?
I’ll try and remember everything - here goes…
Getting involved in lots of running events with my family and friends
I run two BGL tuck shops
Various bake sales in and out of work
Fundraising at The Ploughman pub, which all included raffles
BGL's Business Technology team donated money to my fund instead of gifting colleagues Easter eggs and advent calendars one year
My biggest event was a beer festival at The Ploughman pub in December 2019 - it was over four days and we had a raffle and an auction. It was a huge success raising over £4,000!
BGL match funding has also been a huge help
Have you still been able to raise money during lockdown?
I put out an appeal around Covid-19 to help Sue Ryder and I managed to raise £1,300. We took part in the 2.6 challenge - this was completed in April and May when it should’ve been the London marathon. I got a team of people involved to run, walk, cycle, skate and horse ride for 26.2 miles over the week or 2.6 miles per day. This was a huge success and not only raised money but really motivated us all during lockdown. Even though we couldn’t do it all together, we used zoom calls, pictures and Facebook lives to help motivate us and we got our young children involved too.
This was a special event as it was the first time I arranged something that none of us could meet to do it. It perked us up at some lonely times, as I am sure many of us felt during the very beginning of lockdown. I had family and friends posting daily pictures of what they had done and in total we raised just over £1,300 which took my total to just over £19,500. Of course, this was then made up by BGL's match funding to help me smash the £20,000 target.
How many years has BGL matched your £1,000 allowance?
BGL has matched my fundraising four separate times; October 2017, August 2018, December 2019 and July 2020. A huge thank you to BGL because even though I worked really hard to fundraise, BGL really can boost your fundraising, and also it gives you the confidence to keep going and raising more.
What is it about BGL that makes a difference to Sue Ryder and your fundraising?
It’s not just about the match funding that they very kindly do, but the support from the business you get as well. They allow us to fundraise at work with my tuck shops and bake sales, but also the volunteering days really help too. I arranged a volunteering day at Thorpe Hall with some of the BGL Life team and just by them coming along and getting involved they were able to see what an amazing place it is. I was also a finalist for the BGL Community award, which I wasn’t expecting, but was amazed to become a finalist and I love how BGL recognises and encourages our fundraising efforts.
I may have hit £20,000 but I don’t think this is it, I’ll keep fundraising for Thorpe Hall because it is such an amazing place - they are so grateful to all of their fundraisers. I can’t wait until we’re allowed back there to get some more volunteering in.
Even though I set up this fundraising page on my own and had this idea to raise loads I couldn’t have done it on my own. It was only possible though with the support of amazing friends, family, colleagues, The Ploughman pub where most of my events took place, and of course, BGL to make this possible.