It may be a cliché, but the New Year really does get a person thinking about the new challenges and goals that they can set themselves over the next 12 months.

Strode Park Foundation | New Year: New Challenge

Weight loss and improved fitness are indeed up there with the most common (who hasn’t eaten their way through a few too many cheeseboards and tins of chocolates these past few weeks?), but at the end of the day, these are very personal and generally only of benefit to the person in question.

One can easily combine a personal goal like this with helping to support a favourite charity by signing up for a sponsored event. This could be a marathon, a 5k jog or even a sponsored walk. The possibilities are endless and, with a bit of imagination, can also be a lot of fun!

Here at Strode Park Foundation, we love this idea of pushing ourselves and so always make sure that there are plenty of occasions in our fundraising events calendar where people can join in with various challenges.

Strode Park Foundation | New Year: New Challenge

This year we were fortunate enough to gain a place in the London Marathon and our successful candidate, Martin, sums up his inspiration perfectly on his fundraising page:

“So many people’s goals here at Strode Park Foundation are to get from A-B, their goals are harder than mine, I can choose not to do the challenge I am setting myself, wimp out and say it’s too hard, but they challenge themselves every day.

I can choose not to push myself to make myself a fitter person in mind and body and force myself to my limit, but they do that every day.

I chose to put myself forward for the marathon, as one of my personal goals, to push me to the limit to see if ‘I can’, just like the residents push themselves here every day to see if ‘they can’ because they would love the chance to walk and run and they wouldn’t say ‘No’.”

Of course, a marathon is certainly not for everyone, but there are lots of other fun ways to get involved…

Strode Park Foundation | New Year: New Challenge

Last year, we debuted our now annual ‘Chicken Run’ which saw a selection of runners (both experienced and beginner) dress up in chicken suits and run 10k along the Herne Bay coast. The weather was dreadful, the hour was early, but to see the enthusiasm from the runners and the great sense of fun that they all exhibited was inspiring. Many of the runners had decided to train primarily for this event, and so there was also immense pride in managing to complete the run as well as well as handing over the sponsorship money at the end.

We have also been running our ‘Stride & Ride for Strode’ event for 18 years which see residents, service users, volunteers and staff members alike dress up in an array of costumes to walk or ride several miles along the coast from Whitstable to Herne Bay Pier.  Many of our service users have severe physical disabilities, so this is a fantastic challenge for them and one that they are incredibly proud to have completed time and time again.

So there you have it, three very different events for people of all abilities: each one very challenging in their own way and all raising fantastic amounts of money for charity.

So, with that in mind, what will your resolution be this year..?

(Written by Christina Jones, Fundraiser at Strode Park Foundation)