Fundraising Goodies.

Some very kind and generous companies send me products to review. Products which I subsequently give away as competition prizes/use as fundraising raffle/auction prizes to fund/promote my ataxia fundraising/awareness-raising events (and the next event is a wee round-the-world by train journey).

Current Goody List:

Malibu Sun products (worth £39). Donated by Malibu Sun. | Win on Twitter | Win on Facebook

Jericho Malt Scotch Whisky (RRP £45). Donated by The Lost Distillery Company. | Win on Twitter | Win on Facebook

Einhell Multitool (RRP £50). Donated by AFL Building Supplies. | Win on Twitter | Win on Facebook

If you are interested in any specific product, simply indicate your interest by retweeting or sharing the relevant Twitter or Facebook post for that item and tag a friend who you think may also be interested.

It’s as simple as that.

Once I have decided how I will dispose of each of these products, I will contact anyone who has indicated an interest in that specific item.

Previously donated items (used to promote previous fundraising events, just to give you an idea of what gets donated):

  • Luxury penthouse suite stay at The Grand in Folkestone. Donated by: The Grand.
  • £100 voucher for lunch at Michelin-starred Northcote in Lancashire. Donated by: Northcote.
  • The Ultimate Train Fanatic’s Goody Bag. Stylish, leather, Blue Train-branded travel accessories. Donated by: Ethos Marketing.
  • Signed DVD. Partners in Crime DVD, signed by series stars David Walliams and Jessica Raine. Donated by: Acorn DVD.
  • Afternoon Tea for 2 at the Cottonwood Hotel, Bournemouth. Donated by: Cottonwood Hotel.
  • Breo Aspect Watch. RRP: £44.95. Donated by: Breo.
  • Fikkerts Luxury Wild Flower Gift Box by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. RRP £30. Donated by: Meadow In My Garden.
  • Midweek Stay for two at the Colwall Park Hotel, Worcs. Donated by: Colwall Park Hotel.
  • Spa Day for Two at the stunning “eforea” Spa, Hilton Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Donated by: Hilton Ageas Bowl.
  • The entire range of Beech’s Fine Chocolate Thins. RRP £20. Donated by: Beech’s Fine Chocolates.
  • Breo Sundown Sunglasses. RRP: £18. Donated by: Breo.
  • Cafe Style Sandwich Press from Breville. RRP £25. Donated by: Us Two Friends Food and Lifestyle Blog.
  • £30 Voucher for Bunches – Flowers By Post. Donated by: Bunches.
  • Caudalie Divine Oil Gift Set. RRP £46. Donated by: Ajala Spa – Grange St.Pauls Hotel, London.
  • Breo Orb10 Watch. RRP: £44.95. Donated by: Breo.
  • Hardback copy of “Coast” by Rachel Allen, recipes inspired by Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Coast. RRP £20. Donated by: Good Food Channel UKTV.
  • Highland Titles – Become a Lord or Lady Gift Set (100 sq.ft.). RRP £120. Donated by: Highland Titles.
  • £50 Voucher to spend at Hush. Donated by: Hush Stylish Womanswear.
  • Lunch/dinner for two at Les Gourmets des Ternes, Knightsbridge, London. Donated by: Les Gourmets des Ternes.
  • Midweek Stay for two at the Cliff House Hotel, Southbourne. Donated by: Cliff House Hotel.
  • Mary Jean Handcrafted Soaps and Skincare (in canvas/wood presentation bag). RRP £[?]. Donated by: Mary Jean.
  • Breo TwoTone Sunglasses. RRP: £16. Donated by: Breo.
  • £50 voucher to spend in the fabulous Rupee Room Indian Restaurant in Ayr. Donated by: The Rupee Room.
  • A pair of return train tickets, valid for travel between any 2 stations in Scotland. Donated by: ScotRail.
  • Self-tanning products from Tantruth. RRP £45 . Donated by: Sally Beauty.
  • £50 SIM card and spare mobile phone battery. Donated by: TPO (UK).
  • £50 voucher for Lunch for two at the Urban Meadow Cafe in London. Donated by: Urban Meadow Cafe.
  • Lunch for four at award-winning Yasmeen Restaurant, London. Donated by: Yasmeen Restaurant.
  • Stay for two at The Glenfarg, Perthshire [since closed]. Donated by: The Glenfarg.

If you/your company would like to add to this list, by donating a product for me to review and then use as a competition/raffle prize or auction lot, please contact me via Twitter. The benefits to your company:

1. Exposure of my initial review. As well as featuring this permanently on the home page of the website, my review will also be shared with my social media audience (now in excess of 32,000 followers);

2. A lengthy exposure. The eventual competition/raffle/auction will be timed to happen just before the journey starts (to generate initial interest in the journey). This date is currently unknown, as it will depend on how soon I can amass the necessary funds and of how many of the costs of the journey that I can mitigate. But my initial target is for the start of the journey to coincide with “International Ataxia Awareness Day”. Which is September 25. So quite a while. This page, which will link to all donated product reviews, will be pushed daily until then;

3. Other media interest (proven). In addition to my own social media audience detailed above, these events are also attracting mass-media attention (both nationally and internationally). And as my next event, the “round-the-world by train” journey is even more interesting, I expect that this attention will only increase;

4. A pretty positive story to be associated with. Although I find it difficult to walk anywhere, I am using my ever-diminishing abilities to raise funds to find a future cure. I’m under no illusions that any cure will come in time to help me personally (it would need to be some sort of retroactive cure anyway), but there is absolutely no reason why future generations, some of them just children, should suffer a similar fate.

So, please, contact me via Twitter, and let me add your/your company’s name to this list.

Round-the-world by train? Wearing a kilt? Ataxia? Let me explain:

This will actually be my second attempt at this journey.

I made the first attempt in 2013, while I was still fit & healthy. This trip was abandoned in Novosibirsk (Siberia) when I first started to fall over for no obvious reason.

I returned to Scotland for medical tests to find out what the problem was. And after 17 months (!) of scans, lumbar punctures and blood tests, I was finally diagnosed as suffering from spinocerebellar ataxia.

A very rare (thankfully), incurable and progressive neurological condition which will ultimately see me in a wheelchair. Or worse.

As walking would be one of the first abilities that I would lose, I decided to raise funds for Araxia UK (the UK charity which helps fund the medical research which aims to find a cure for this condition). By walking! While I still could.

And quite successfully too. To date, I have raised £1,100 for Ataxia UK:

The longest of these walks was a 500-mile trek down the Mediterranean coast of Spain in 2016. With my trusty walking stick as usual. All previous walks:

And all the time while wearing my rather fetching kilt (to raise even more publicity: from the people who I talked to as I walked, and from the media – both national and international).

Again, this has been rather successful too:

My final “walk” was actually the highlight for me. I was invited to participate with the celebrities (Jonnie Peacock, Adam Hills and a whole host of CBE/MBE-awarded paralympians and Invictus Games competitors) at the nPower-sponsored “Winter Wonderwheels” event in December:

However, my ataxia has now progressed to the stage where long-distance walking is no longer possible for me. But I would still like to continue my ataxia fundraising/awareness-raising activities.

So while I can still walk for shorter distances, my mind has now returned to my round-the-world by train trip (the trip that I was in the middle of when ataxia first reared its ugly head in 2013). The route has had to be simplified somewhat, due to my new physical limitations (long-distance walking might be a thing of the past, but I can still get on a train and wander around city centres for a bit).

This time though, the trip will be another ataxia fundraising/awareness-raising event.

The trip itself needs funding though. And it won’t be cheap. I’m currently saving like a bugger to reach the target of how much I estimate that it will cost. But it may be a while before I can save this amount. So, In the meantime, I will continue my ataxia awareness-raising by reviewing donated products – and then encouraging people, on both Twitter and Facebook, to share these reviews by indicating an interest in a specific item (or items). And also by encouraging these same people to tag their friends who may also be interested (meaning that their friends also become aware of ataxia).

Hence the Fundraising Goodies.

So, to be in with a good chance laying your hands on some rather valuable swag, simply indicate your interest on the Twitter/Facebook post for that specific item (which will be announced on this page as and when items are donated), tagging your friends who might also be interested.

It’s as easy as that.

Once I have decided how I will dispose of these products, I will contact anyone who has indicated an interest in each specific item.

And as I now have a social media audience of over 32,000 followers and, as this is a pretty positive story to be associated with, it makes great business sense for these companies to have their names attached in some way (they *do* keep my postman rather busy).

So expect lots of goodies. 😀


Thank you!