Coinciding with the traditional start to the volleyball season, but unable to run any indoor sports activities, we decided to bring our club together to keep fit while raising funds for the club and charity. In a normal year, Manchester Marvels Volleyball organize summer activities and outdoor festivals that raise money to pay our teams’ league entry fees. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that we were unable to run any of these activities and raise any money. So the club came up with a creative challenge in order to fundraise for team expenses and our chosen charity, George House Trust.
Our volleyball club is based at Dean Trust Ardwick school on Stockport Road and we were keen on supporting a charity that is based in the local area. Following discussions about which charity to support, one of our club members suggested George House Trust, a national charity based in Ardwick, close to our venue, that he was originally planning on volunteering for before the lockdown in March changed everyone’s plans. Our club committee members were all very impressed with the information about the charity’s support services and the amazing work they do all around the country, so the decision to fundraise for George House Trust was an easy one to make. George House Trust has been providing HIV support, advice and advocacy services to improve health outcomes since 1985. They are a service user-centred organisation, with a diverse team of highly trained and knowledgeable staff and volunteers. They provide services to people living with, or affected by, HIV. Charity Statement (from website): At George House Trust we have a very clear vision - for all people living with HIV in the North West to live happy and health lives and be free from stigma and discrimination. Our vision is for all people to know their HIV status and to be HIV aware. If you have been recently diagnosed with HIV, you may have many questions running through your mind and you may be wondering what help and advice is available to you to support you in coming to terms with the diagnosis. Take some time to read their pages about HIV and living with HIV. If you are living with HIV and would like to talk to one of their advisers, you can book an appointment online for a date and time to suit you. It’s quick and secure and they will send you confirmation and a reminder. Alternatively, you can call them. If you’re a medical professional, you can refer someone to George House Trust’s services with their consent. You can refer those who are newly diagnosed and anyone who has been living with HIV for some time. When we started mid-September under the assumption of a delayed November start to the volleyball season, the club’s original fundraising goal aimed to raise at least £8,000: £5,477 to cover the teams’ competition expenses and the rest to be donated to George House Trust. If we did not reach £8,000, one third of the total raised would be donated to George House Trust. As a club, we have been cycling / running / walking / swimming / etc, the distance (one way) to each / different opposition venue in the 2020 / 2021 National League season, measured from our home venue Dean Trust Ardwick. So we are “going” to every venue, even though Covid-19 restrictions have prevented any matches from taking place. The longest trip for a team this year would have been 247 miles to Weymouth and the shortest would have been 3 miles to Tameside. The total distance we need to cover for our challenge is 2,406 miles, which is the total distance to every different venue we play at. You can keep up with us on social media as we tick off every venue when we reach the required distance. Join in and contribute to our total distance or complete a distance to a venue yourself. Every donation will push us on to cover more distance and support our charitable cause. To date, we have managed to raise £1,310 with contributions from 42 supporters and have covered 866 miles. Our highest donations have been of £100, by four different individuals. One amazing club member has so far covered a grand total of 391 miles by herself. Fundraising is very difficult in these times. Club members have not been able to get together and take part in volleyball, there are no competitions taking place, members have lost jobs and encountered difficulties with education and properties. We are so proud that despite all that, everyone is staying in high spirits, taking part and supporting each other. Because competitions are not happening, it’s hard to motivate members to donate, so we are now raising funds for the 2021-2022 season. As we will most likely have no income for this whole year due to Covid-19 restrictions on indoor sports, this is currently our only way to raise funds to ensure the club can continue to compete in the future. Our revised aim is to raise 50% of our original target (£4,000) to cover all required team entry fees for 2021-2022 competitions; this would mean a £1,300 donation to George House Trust, whose fundraising has also been negatively affected by the pandemic. We aim to complete our challenge and raise these funds by the end of 2020. 2021-2022 competition entries: Four National Volleyball League teams Three Greater Manchester Local League teams Junior national championships for under 18s, under 16s and under 15s Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix How to get involved: - Donate via our JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/manchestermarvelsvolleyball - Spread the word, share our cause and help us raise more - Contribute by covering some miles and letting us know you have - Follow our progress on social media