Fundraising for people with M.E. is challenging, as even the smallest things can feel like a marathon. Action for M.E. supporter Rachel Ephgrave took on what to her was the equivalent of a marathon, walking to the lamp post near her house 100 times.
“To those who run marathons, do triathlons, climb mountains and cycle vast distances, this may seem a trivial undertaking,” she said. “I can assure you it is not. To achieve this I needed to pace my energy carefully, ensuring that I reserved sufficient for the essentials, namely caring for my children.”
Rachel completed her challenge over seven months and raised more than £2,000 for Action for M.E. Due to her health some of her walks had to be done in two parts to allow her time to rest. We think Rachel is a marvel, and her strength is an inspiration.
You can watch Rachel talk about her own experiences of fundraising in the video below.
My M.E. Marathon is our way of celebrating people like Rachel who, despite their own challenges, do what they can to make our work possible.
If you'd like to get involved, see below for some M.E. friendly, low energy fundraising ideas. You can also email or call our fundraising team on 0117 927 9551, or say hello on Twitter using the #myMEmarathon hashtag.
Low energy fundraising
Bake sales or coffee mornings:
They're a classic for a reason. Easy to organise, welcoming and a great way to catch up with people and raise money.
Action for M.E. fundraiser Dionne Grover-Jacques raised £100 selling Pimms and cupcakes at her husband Robin’s studio. Dionne’s advice is to “keep it simple and save energy.” If you don’t have the energy to bake you could ask people to bring or donate items instead.
Inspired by her experiences of M.E., Pippa Stacey wanted to do something to brighten the day of people living with chronic illness.
What started as a creative hobby and "fun bit of charity work" has now become a non-profit business with customers in 68 countries. "This is something I still haven’t quite got my head around, especially since most of our work is carried out from my bed!" says Pippa. Want to know more? You can read more of Pippa's story here.
If you've been known as a bit of a chatterbox, why not try a sponsored silence – this can serve to highlight the isolating effects of M.E. as well as encouraging donations.
Jamie Beveridge, whose mother had lived with M.E. for 15 years when he chose to fundraise for us, raised more than £500 through a 16-hour sponsored silence.
In the past our fundraisers have sold knitting, art and jewellery to raise money.
Long time member and support Gill Joffe chose to raise money by selling jewellry she made. Her M.E. symptoms made this a struggle but by taking it slowly she's managed to setup her own online shop through eBay.
"Due to light sensitivity and a tiny capacity for cognitive heavy tasks I cannot manage sitting at a computer screen. However, I've slowly mastered eBay listing on an iPad, which I can use for tiny sessions while in bed. Using voice-to-text makes these tasks possible"
You can see Gill's jewellery in her eBay shop, or read more of her story in InterAction 95.
Even simple things, like putting out a collection tin, will help us make a vital difference to the people we support. We have collection tins, posters and leaflets we can send out free of charge for you to put out in local shops, GP surgeries or other places near you.
Do what works for you. If you have your own idea to raise funds and help highlight the reality of M.E., please get in touch.
Email or call our fundraising team on 0117 927 9551, or say hello on Twitter using the #myMEmarathon hashtag. Our fundraising team will be happy to support you all the way.