In a couple of weeks, on the 5th February, it will be my 38th birthday. Now anyone who knows me will tell you that my birthday is all about the celebrations, no matter what age I am, be it a lovely dinner out, a boozy night at the pub with lots of friends or a big house party. However this year I will be celebrating it – if that is the right way to describe it – by walking 15 miles around London, pretty much non-stop, for charity. As you do.
If you have been following me on social media over the last few weeks you will have heard me reference #TeamHonk, #TeamHonkRelay and #Honkopoly a fair amount. Team Honk is made up of 3 outstanding UK bloggers: Tanya from Mummy Barrow, Annie from Mammasaurus and Penny from Aresidence who got together last year to see what bloggers could do to raise money for Comic Relief; this saw them witnessing Comic Relief’s work first-hand in Ghana, as well as climbing Snowdon with pants on their heads to raise money. You can read more about Team Honk in an interview with Mummy Barrow over on Not another mummy blog here.
This year Team Honk came up with the epic idea of holding a blogger to blogger relay from Land’s End in Cornwall, to John O’Groats in Scotland (for my non-UK readers, these are the two extreme points of Great Britain). This involves 250 bloggers (and friends and families and pets) getting together to relay a baton 3,000 miles across the UK over a 10 week period. In the winter. All for Sport Relief.
It is important to point out here, that most of these bloggers have never met each other before, we chat online through social media and our blogs, but so many of us have never come face to face, yet we are coming together in this team effort to raise money for Sport Relief, to help change lives at home and abroad.
I happily stated my interest to take part in the London leg quite a while ago, then found out the date. The 5th February. My birthday. Did I really want to give up my birthday to dash around London carrying a baton with a load of people I’d never met before? Why should I bother? There were others who would do it, so surely I could just do it another time.
But I couldn’t not do it, it just felt wrong somehow, I had to do my bit. So I threw my name in for the London leg. On my birthday. (The lovely families I childmind for are kindly letting me have this day off so I can join in – thank you!) Then the next thing I knew, I got a message from Sarah from Grenglish, sent to Vanessa at HPMcQ and me, saying “I think we need to get organising this London leg”, and before I knew it every spare minute of every day was being spent organising what has now become Honkopoly.
Vanessa had the great idea that if we are going to be taking the baton around London for the day, then what better route to use than the Monopoly one? And Honkopoly was born.
So, on the 5th February, 25-30 bloggers (including yours truly) will be joining in at various times throughout the day (as work and childcare commitments allow them) to take the Team Honk baton around London. We will be dressed in Monopoly-themed Sport Relief outfits – I will be rocking a rather fetching Sport Relief onesie with a Mr Monopoly top hat and moustache – and we will hit every colour on the Monopoly board, along with all the stations, Monopoly GO (did you know that it’s in Lambeth North?) where we hope to collect £200 and even the Tower of London (get out of jail). We will also be kicking the day off at Comic Relief’s HQ in Vauxhall. Here is an idea of where we’ll be going:
This is the route that the baton (and we) will be covering:
- Vauxhall station to Comic Relief HQ
- Comic Relief HQ to Victoria via Buckingham Palace
- Victoria to Pall Mall
- Pall Mall to Piccadilly via Piccadilly Circus
- Piccadilly to Park Lane via the Ritz Hotel
- Park Lane to Oxford Street via Hyde Park and Marble Arch
- Oxford Street to Marylebone station
- Marylebone station to Euston Road
- Euston Road to Kings Cross
- Kings Cross to Liverpool Street (by bus)
- Liverpool Street to Whitechapel
- Whitechapel to Vine Street
- Vine Street to the Tower of London
- Tower of London to Fenchurch Street
- Fenchurch Street to Bank
- Bank to Trafalgar Square (by bus)
- Trafalgar Square to Lambeth North
- Lambeth North to Waterloo where the baton travels by train to the team in Fleet, Hampshire
(Except where mentioned the above will all be on foot)
If you will be anywhere near any of these places on the 5th February, do please let me know, it would be great to have people cheering us on. A special call out to my commuter friends who go through Waterloo at around 5.30-6pm which is when we should be there… I know we will definitely need the support, as Sarah, Vanessa and I did a test run of the route this last Saturday: 10am – 5pm of walking with just a few short breaks, covering over 15 miles, so we were very ready for this when we got to Waterloo:
So what do I want/need from you my lovely readers, friends and family? Weeelllll, instead of spending £3 on a birthday card and stamp for me, I’d like you to sponsor me that money – or more – and leave me a birthday message/message of support on the London Team Honk fundraising page, which you can access by clicking here. Our goal is to raise £20,000 across the UK, which is £500 per regional team, and we would LOVE the London team to SMASH that target and to be the highest fundraisers across the UK, so please please please click on the link and give us your money. Even L has sponsored us this week’s pocket money, and she’s only 7, so there’s no excuse for anyone!
I know a lot of people think that sponsoring a small amount doesn’t make a difference but it does – just £1 could provide a hot meal for a child in the UK living in extreme poverty – so don’t buy me a birthday card and instead donate the money to Honkopoly.
You can also support the national Team Honk effort (and Sport Relief) and donate £5, by texting HONK to 70005. This costs £5 and your standard network message rate. You can see the terms and conditions at www.sportrelief.com/terms.
I want to say a big thank you in advance to my readers, as I know you won’t let me down, I know you’ll help us beat that target so I don’t feel so bad when I’m trekking 15 miles round London looking like an idiot ON MY BIRTHDAY. (Did I mention I’m doing it on my birthday?). So thank you, thank you, thank you
If this has inspired you to get involved the good news is that you can! Join the first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March. The public can join in the fun and games and the money-raising by running, swimming or cycling at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. For more information head over to Sport Relief.
In Support of Sport Relief, an initiative of Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).
I am linking up to this week’s Magic Moments as I don’t think you get much more magical than what Sport Relief is doing for those in need: