Word is getting out around the office now that I am going to Uganda. I had told my immediate team when I first heard I had been selected but in recent weeks it has suddenly become more visible. I have scheduled myself time to visit WaterAid HQ for pre-trip briefings, had various visits to the doctors for consultations on what vaccines are needed and have been reading the briefing documents sent from WaterAid. A number of colleagues have started to ask questions....Why are you the one chosen to go to Uganda? Why/When/How did you get involved in WaterAid? so I thought I would answer them below.
In 2008 I received an email from a colleague inviting me to participate in the Severn Trent Water Mountain Challenge for WaterAid. I am a keen walker so the prospect of a 20 mile hike around the Peak District sounded quite appealing. "Sign me up" I replied (whilst praying for some reasonable weather).
A month before the event and in my usual last minute manner I realised that I actually knew very little about the charity I would soon be asking people to sponsor. Some research was definitely needed! A quick click through to the WaterAid site and I had easily lost a couple of hours reading about the work WaterAid carries out. What shocked me however is the scale of the crisis WaterAid are trying to address. The statistics are staggering. I could not get my head around how over 700million people (roughly 11 times the population of the UK) do not have access to safe water supplies. It opened my eyes to the issue and how easy it is in the UK to take water and access to a toilet for granted.
Now that i was bought into the cause I went about gaining sponsorship. It was definitely the sponsorship that helped motivate me to finish as the weather gods were not on our side, we were rained on for 9 hours and ended up getting lost forcing us to walk an extra three miles.
However the less fun parts were soon forgotten I am now the treasurer for the Severn Trent Mountain Challenge Event and have helped to organise and run charity balls. I love a challenge so I still enjoy fundraising; I regularly take part in the Mountain Challenge Event (even though I tell myself it's my last year each year) and have also taken part in the WaterAid Cycle Challenge up in Yorkshire.
The Uganda trip will hopefully enable me to have a clear understanding of how the money I have raised personally and all of the money raised through the events I have been involved in is being used to improve lives by giving access to water and toilet facilities.