Christy, our Community and Volunteering Manager, is well known in our team for loving a challenge - personal, professional and sporting! This spirit has really helped us get through the last year and keep a positive outlook. Although we do now have a bit of light at the end of the tunnel with our roadmap out of lockdown, we won't be back to taking part in large events together just yet. But there are still loads of ways you can stay connected, get involved and support The Yard. Christy shares her experiences here...

"I have always been a big supporter of challenge events. There is something magical about crossing the finish line, feeling connected to others taking part and raising money for a cause that you feel passionate about. Covid-19 has been difficult for so many reasons but for me, one of the hardest things has been keeping up my motivation and connectivity with my team mates, friends and colleagues. I’m a very active person who enjoys playing sport and exercising so moving to working out at home has been a tricky transition. It is not quite the same doing a burpee alone in your living room. 

In September last year, I set up a Virtual Kiltwalk challenge with some of my colleagues, creating a team on Strava which encouraged all of us to walk or run as many times (virtually) around all three The Yard sites in two weeks. This team challenge gave me extra encouragement to get outside, to walk instead of getting the bus and to start to build the healthy habit of adding a daily walk into my lunchtime routine – giving me some much needed time away from the screen. Alongside this I also felt more connected to my colleagues, all of whom were working in different locations and on different patterns. As someone who enjoys social interaction, I have found remote working extremely lonely and it is easy to feel disconnected from the rest of your team and your organisation. Creating this challenge helped reduce some of this isolation and reminded me that we are all in this together. In total, the team walked 265.10 miles – over a marathon each and raised an incredible £2,202.82 for The Yard!

One of the amazing things about taking part in the Virtual Kiltwalk is the 50% top up from the Hunter Foundation that all fundraisers receive on the money they raise. This funding significantly increased our final total and it was nice to tell individual donors that for every £10 they donated, The Yard would receive £15. We were also able to set our own challenge, adjusting it as more people joined - with some people deciding to run and others walk! You can be creative as you like - cycle, swim, dance - making the challenge your own is encouraged. 

I would recommend the Kiltwalk to anyone who is looking for some motivation to carry them through March and April. As the days are getting lighter and (hopefully) the restrictions continue to move forward to a more positive future, uniting together with colleagues, family or friends to take part in an event like the Kiltwalk could help us stay connected whilst we are apart, just a little bit longer."

To find out more about joining The Yard's Kiltwalk team, visit our event page.