March 4 CENS is back and this time, it’s even bigger. Sponsored by Lanswood, this year we are asking everyone to take part in our fundraising challenge to raise money for CENS. You can go it alone or work as a team, as you take 1 million steps throughout the month of March. It’s simple to register, and you will receive a free March 4 CENS vest and a welcome pack full of inspiration, tips and advice to help you succeed in your challenge. Then all you have to do, is join the Facebook Group and get stepping.
Last year, march 4 CENS raised over £4,000, which was incredible. But it’s not just about the fundraising. Everyone who took part in the challenge got fitter, made new friends and felt healthier and happier. Here is Suzie’s story.….
Once we had signed up to the challenge, it was so easy to get started with our fundraising. We really wanted to raise money for CENS as they urgently needed funds due to the impact of the pandemic. Taking steps to fundraise seemed like a relevant activity – it’s accessible to everyone and let’s face it, we had all been walking more over the lockdown. I called up a few friends who loved the idea and we agreed that taking 1 million steps in a month would be a challenge, but achievable – especially if we formed teams. And so we began on our March 4 CENS journey.
Teams formed, we all agreed to raise at least £100 each and got cracking.
Telling people about our event was simple as everyone has social media these days, so we posted on Facebook and Instagram. CENS publicised it on their platforms and website too – so the donations soon started rolling in. Collecting the money was pretty easy. JustGiving accounts are really simple to set up, as is Facebook fundraising. CENS also provided a sponsorship form to download, so we had all the options.
The physical challenge itself was pretty tough – there were 2 in my team, so we had to walk 16,000 steps a day, which is around 13km. This may not sound a lot, but committing to do it every day was hard. If we missed a day or 2, we suddenly had a far bigger distance to cover the next day in order to make it up. I aimed to take at least 10,000 steps a day, but my hardest day was 40,000.
But there were huge upsides to the challenge too. Just being outside and discovering new routes and experiencing the fresh air and nature was great for the body and mind. Getting together with a walking buddy was good too. Just walking alongside someone, chatting and laughing was great for the soul.
On top of that, we were getting amazingly fit. One friend lost an entire stone in weight and we all felt stronger, healthier and more energised. Some of us ran, some walked, some even paddleboarded whilst taking a few steps, but it all added up, and by the end of March, we had raised about £4,000 and taken over 7 million steps between us.
Time To Celebrate
Our final day was a huge celebration. It was a beautiful sunny start, and a group of us arranged to meet in Wivenhoe and walk to the shelter in Colchester, where we met up with the Manager of CENS, Marina. After a few photos, we marched back to the river front in Wivenhoe, where we donned high heels for the final mile, before a few more photos and an awards ceremony. Awards for the most blisters, best selfie and most unusual activity whilst stepping were handed out, before heading home to put our feet up for a well-earned rest.
March 4 CENS 2023
Have I kept up the steps? Well, I definitely walk further every day now. I make sure I get outside and enjoy the fresh air more and make an effort to regularly meet up with the others for exercise and chats. Would I do it again? Absolutely! In fact, I have already started to think of a new team name and am recruiting all my friends to take part too. It really took very little effort to organise and we all gained so much from the experience, whilst raising money.
March 4 CENS 2023 is now open for registration! This year we are delighted that Lanswood are sponsoring the event, so every single penny raised will go towards helping a homeless person. To register and find out more head to the Events page.