THIS month, we wanted to showcase the incredible fundraising efforts of DHA Planning, a town planning consultancy firm based in the South-East, who have undertaken several fundraising activities this year to make a difference to those born with clefts around the world.
The team at DHA were inspired to fundraise for Smile Train after Patrick Reedman, a Director at the company, had a daughter born with a cleft in 2021. While Patrick’s daughter was able to access free cleft treatment on the NHS, this isn’t the case for thousands of other children born with clefts around the world.
To help support these children, this year, DHA have made it their goal to raise as much as they can for Smile Train UK and it is their ‘Charity of the Year’. Their fundraising journey began with several dress-down office days and cake sales, which were both very popular. In May, the team hosted their biggest event so far and held a charity football match against their clients. After the match, there was a raffle, which boasted incredible prizes such as signed footballs by Arsenal and Manchester United Football Club! The whole day was hugely successful and raised more than £2,500.
Moving onto their biggest challenge so far, a group of 20 took part in the ‘Medway Medley’ on the 30th of June. The Medway Medley is an epic 75-mile challenge, consisting of a 22-mile walk, an 18-mile canoe, and a 35-mile bicycle ride. The team set off at 6am, walking 22 miles from the village of Turners Hill to the town of Tonbridge, where they hopped into canoes. The route took them down the River Medway, to the Allington Lock, where almost all managed to stay dry! After a brief but well-deserved break, the team braved the cycle ride and arrived at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey just after 11pm.
The challenge was incredibly challenging, leaving the group exhausted but immensely proud of their teamwork, perseverance, and the fundraising achievements they had made.
Commenting on the Medway Medley, Patrick Reedman, Director at DHA said:
“While we all trained extensively for this, using our lunch breaks for bike rides, evenings for hikes and weekends for canoeing, I don’t think any of us could have imagined how challenging the day would be. I am so proud of the whole team that took part and delighted that we have raised so much for Smile Train UK, a cause very close to my heart.
“If my daughter was born in another country, it is possible that she would have struggled to have the surgery she needed, and we would need Smile Train’s help. We have raised £5,425 for the charity so far, and I can’t wait to see how much more we can raise.”
To learn more about how to fundraise for Smile Train, please visit: https://www.smiletrain.org.uk/get-involved.