Leeds Celtic Cheerleaders

How we adapted our Winston’s Wish fundraising event because of coronavirus

A team of 41 girls from the University of Leeds Celtics Cheerleaders were planning to run the Leeds Half Marathon to raise money for Winston’s Wish. Rather than cancelling their fundraising when the Half Marathon was postponed, the team decided to take on a different challenge.

Lucy Schofield, who nominated Winston’s Wish as their charity to support, explains how they adapted their fundraising in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why did you decide to take on your original challenge, the Leeds Half Marathon?

This year we decided that proper engagement with charities and the local community was the one thing our society, Leeds Celtic Cheerleaders, was missing. Leeds Half Marathon was the perfect opportunity for us, being pretty much on our doorstep! Deciding to do it as a team meant that we were all able to motivate each other and work through the training together.

Why did you choose to support Winston’s Wish?

I lost my dad when I was eight and I’ve seen all the amazing work Winston’s Wish does for kids that were just like me. We had an initial vote to decide which organization we would support as a society and I put forward Winston’s Wish. After hearing about the charity, the girls were really inspired and we recruited 41 girls to take on the Leeds Half Marathon challenge!

How have you had to change your fundraising challenge because of coronavirus?

We were all really upset to hear the Half Marathon was postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but we weren’t going to let that stop us! We didn’t want to let down the charity or all of the people who had donated by cancelling the challenge completely so we came up with the idea of a solo run.

We have girls living in pretty much every part of the country, so between us we are going to run the 190-mile journey from London to Leeds. We will be recording the run and putting together a video on our Instagram channel @uniofleedscheer which we hope will also raise more awareness for Winston’s Wish.

Do you have any advice for others who have had their fundraising events cancelled?

There are so many things you can do instead! It’s obviously so disheartening when something you’ve been working so hard for is cancelled or postponed but it’s really important not to give up. If you’re creative you can definitely come up with some alternatives, such as running a mile a day for a whole month or doing a virtual zumbathon. Keep in mind the reason you decided to support a charity in the first place and, after this is all over they’re going to need your help more than ever.


You can donate to the Leeds Celtic Cheerleaders challenge here

If you would like to talk to us about organising or adapting your own fundraising event, then please contact our fundraising team on community@winstonswish.org