challenges, charity, exercise, fun stuff, refuge

#Walk4Refuge 

Sunday saw me hobbling around London raising money for Refuge. Here’s some photos. 

Tower Bridge
From the modern to the ancient
Tower of London
City Hall, Walkie Talkie, Gherkin
Shakespeare’s Globe
Tate Modern & Millennium Bridge
City of contrasts
Goodie bag
Number
The route
Medal

You can still sponsor me (all money goes to Refuge) here: https://walk4.everydayhero.com/uk/madeleine 

adventures, challenges, charity, exercise

#BoldisBeautiful

So you may remember approximately a year ago I took part in the first #BoldisBeautiful march sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics in aid of women’s charities Refuge and Look Good Feel Better.

Well it rolled around again and my 10k partner Rehana and I signed up.

Last Sunday was boiling hot and I melted somewhat as we marched our way around London. There were 600 ish people, mostly women, a few men, some children and at least three dogs taking part.

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Route in pink

Having mangled my knee a few weeks before I was a bit worried about hobbling along but it was only after we stopped that I was in pain, so that was something.

At checkpoints, including the Good Ship Benefit, we were given goodies and funny marching gear (pompoms, capes) to speed us along.

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My goody bag
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Cape
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Make up bag
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Pompoms
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Marcher number 309, that's me!
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Cookie

I received a medal to go with last year’s and brought home a giant pair of tweezers to terrify the Mr with (he has two giant caterpillars on his face forever trying to meet one another).

If you want to get involved, head to your nearest Benefit Brow Bar and get yours waxed, all profits go to the charities and you get a free product to say thank you.

Last year’s had a few hiccups that spoilt it and while this year’s wasn’t perfect (one of the checkpoints definitely wasn’t wheelchair friendly) despite the sunburn, it was really fun and I will be signing up for next year’s event.

adventures, challenges, charity, exercise, life

Walk4 round up

My feet are throbbing and I am knackered so here’s a photo round up of the walk4 Refuge. Apologies for the less than stellar photos, the sun was in my eyes and my phone was struggling.

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A quick pep talk at the beginning in sunny Wapping
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St Katherine's Marina
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Ancient and Modern London
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Giant pink balloons on the North Bank
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A church tower
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Bridge over fairly calm waters
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A glimpse of St Paul's
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Old Man Thames
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Shakespeare's Globe
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A river view
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Art boat
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Bridges
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National Theatre, South Bank
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MI6 building
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Wahaca, South Bank, yum
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South Bank Undercroft Skate Park
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Street music
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London Eye
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Houses of Parliament
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A dragon guarding The City of London
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HMS Belfast
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Coming back to the Tower
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Tower Bridge
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Last bridge of the day
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The modern city viewed from the ancient
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Gherkin meets Tower
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Medal time

The day was really good, approximately 300 people, men, women, children, dogs, took part. Every £60 raised is a night in a safe place. An incredibly vital cause, rounded off with lemonade, goodie bags and winning in the champagne raffle.

There were lots of other charity walks taking place as well, for Cancer Research, Diabetes, MS, and a very cool dapper gentleman’s vintage motorbike ride for breast cancer – they looked amazing.

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Shame all the roadworks got in the way, but I’m sure you’ll find better photos out there.

Great to see so many people raising funds for the causes they care about.

You still have time to sponsor me, while I recover from my blisters and aches.

ramblingmads

adventures, challenges, charity, exercise, healthy, refuge, upcoming

Walk 4

This September I am doing a charity walk for an organization I am quite fond of – Refuge.

They are the UK’s biggest domestic abuse charity and support women and children fleeing abusive situations. They receive no government funding and as the Government tighten the country’s collective belts, sadly organisations like Refuge are needed more.

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Terrible photo, sorry

I am asking, very nicely, if you could sponsor me. All of the money goes to Refuge, nothing will be in my pocket.

So click here and give whatever you can.

Thank you ladies and gents in advance. I’ll keep you posted.

ramblingmads

adventures, challenges, charity, refuge

#BoldisBeautiful charity walk

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On Sunday my friend Janet and I undertook the #boldisbeautiful walk in Central London in support of Refuge and Look Good, Feel Better sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics.

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Refuge is a charity I have a lot of time for, having spent the last few years working for a charity that supports victims of crime, and Look Good, Feel Better helps women fighting cancer to learn how to use skincare and make up to boost their confidence despite the changes to their bodies and skin.

This is the first year Benefit have run this, and it shows.

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Our route

We were told to wear minimal make up as we would get a makeover en route. This meant a spot of lip gloss and some blusher, which wasn’t quite up to Benefit’s claim.

We were given freebies of sample sized items at each checkpoint and offered others to buy (all proceeds to the charities). As well as a make up bag to keep them in.

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There was branded water bottle available, which was definitely needed in the hot sun. Everyone was given a canvas bag to keep their treats in, a pair of comedy glasses, a cape, cookie and T-shirt. We also received a medal at the finish line.

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However there were some serious issues.

My friend is a wheelchair user, and parts of the route were so badly planned as to be completely inaccessible. There was a info box on the sign up sheet stating wheelchair users should speak to an organizer, so we did and were told it would be fine. It was not.

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Tired, fed up super woman

Then there was the frankly offensive sizing issue with the t-shirts. A medium fitted a four year old girl there with her mum but not any adult women. One girl I spoke too said she was a size 8 but needed a large. The XXL tees ran out incredibly quickly as they were the only ones that fitted anyone comfortably.

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XL - are you kidding me??

The average size woman in the UK is a 16, so why order t-shirts for a charity event supporting women that fat shames?? I couldn’t even get the supposed XL over my rugby player shoulders, let alone my boobs. Because of this I felt like I wasn’t really part of anything and seeing the same five generically pretty girls being photographed for all the promotional material was quite frustrating.

Women come in all shapes and sizes and can be victims of domestic abuse or contract cancer regardless. Disabled women are four times more likely to be victimized, their abusers are usually intimate partners or family members who take on caring roles.

There was almost no promotion done, I only knew about it as I’m on Refuge’s mailing list. Janet went into a Benefit store on Saturday and the staff didn’t know it was happening.

Finally. At the end of the walk, a party atmosphere was being encouraged so imagine our horror when Blurred Lines came on over the PA system. At an event supporting Refuge is a song about date rape appropriate?? Is that song ever appropriate?

When I mentioned this on Instagram, Benefit had the cheek to claim it was a public playlist. Clearly it didn’t occur to anyone to vet the playlist and check there wasn’t anything inappropriate on it.

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Everything I lugged home

I personally think it was a good idea but just executed a little poorly. Hopefully lessons will be learned and adjustments made to make it feel more inclusive.

My energies are now focused on the 10k London Bridges walk in September for Refuge. Look out for my sponsorship requests. :):)

ramblingmads

books, charity, giveaway

23rd April – World Book Night

Every year I sign up to be a World Book Night giver, and this year is no different. I have collected my copies of  Charity Norman’s After The Fall and am ready to give them away.

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WBN was set up to celebrate and foster a love of reading and is now run by The Reading Agency. It is a charitable initiative supported by the publishing industry (which supplies hundreds of books for volunteers to hand out).

I have been involved since the start, when publisher Jamie Byng launched it on a freezing cold night five years ago in Trafalgar Square. Since then I have handed out dozens of books, from poetry in Soho Square, to fantasy on the Underground, free books are popping up everywhere this week.

If you see someone handing out books, take one, read it, pass it on.

To celebrate the event I am offering copies via Instagram to anyone who tells me what reading means to them.

The book is about what happens to a family after a serious accident, secrets and what happens when you keep them. Set in New Zealand it chronicles the lives of the McNamara family after five-year-old Finn falls from the upstairs veranda.

I really enjoyed it when I first read it, it’s quite compelling.

So, what’s your favourite read?

ramblingmads