Websites of the Week- Sport Relief Special

March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Sport Relief is finally here as thousands of people will be pounding the pavements this weekend to run their Sport Relief mile. But before all that running we get to enjoy a Sport Relief telethon on BBC One this evening from 7pm.

With this in mind I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s website of the week to www.sportrelief.com  and document some of the Sport Relief challenges which have caught my eye in recent weeks and months.

John Bishop’s Week of Hell- Only a couple of weeks ago we saw comedian John Bishop cycle, row and run from Paris to London for Sport Relief. I followed John’s challenge via both the Sport Relief website and Radio One– I even wrote about John Bishop’s Week of Hell here on my blog.

Astonished by the endurance which John showed throughout and the amount of public support which he received I was keen to tune into BBC One’s documentary “John Bishop’s Sport Relief Hell” last night which televised his challenge in full. After watching the programme I realised just how hellish John’s Week of Hell was.

john bishop finish line

John Bishop for Sport Relief

Despite being completely exhausted, both mentally and physically, John’s determination to make the finish line in Trafalgar Square never wavered and I think that this is the reason why he succeed. John’s challenge was a pleasure to watch and a remarkable achievement which has encouraged thousands of others to take part in the Sport Relief mile.

Can you believe that John covered 295 miles and burned 39,872 calories? For more information on John Bishop’s Week of Hell check out his Sport Relief webpage which has video, photos and a donation link- Enjoy!

Helen Skelton’s Polar Challenge- Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton is fearless and no stranger to Sport Relief challenges. So this year she was determined to push herself to the limit by skiing, bike riding and kiting 500 miles across the Antarctic to the South Pole.

Helen faced extraordinary conditions with freezing temperatures of-48 ˚C and terrain which proved difficult to travel across. Despite such she managed to trek the 500 miles, pulling a sledge of essentials weighing 82kg behind her, successfully reaching the South Pole in only 18 days.

Helen Skelton polar challenge

Helen Skelton in the South Pole

I was eager to keep track of Helen’s challenge because she had set herself such an ambitious task. No one has ever used a bike to travel across the Antarctic before and this method was met with some hesitation from experts. I was also keen to see how she would keep herself on track in such an isolated place. Luckily for us Helen kept an online blog which documented her journey and was a real pleasure to read.

Helen’s Polar Challenge is detailed in full on her webpage on www.sportrelief.com which also includes more information on the World Record that Helen broke during her trek to the South Pole.

David Walliams Vs. The Thames- Another celebrity who is no stranger to Sport Relief is comedian David Walliams who has pervious swam the English Channel for Sport Relief. In September 2011 he took on the dangerous and gruelling task of swimming the River Thames.

After swimming in unpredictable water which was not only dirty but laden with traffic its came as little surprise that David become poorly during his swim. Nevertheless he successfully swam day after day for 8 days, racking up a phenomenal 140 miles and breathtakingly 111352 strokes- ouch!

David Walliams the thames

David Walliams for Sport Relief

David’s commitment to Sport Relief proves what a worthy charity Sport Relief is, helping both families abroad and here in the UK, some of whom will be featured on the Sport Relief telethon this evening.

Like John and Helen, David has a Sport Relief webpage which documents his challenge including photographs, his River Thames route and funny videos which really are worth watching especially if you’re a fan of David Walliams comedy- him dancing to Abba’s Dancing Queen is a definite highlight.

Sport Relief is on BBC One from 7pm tonight and Sport Relief Mile events are taking place across the UK on Sunday for more information visit the Sport Relief website.

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Annette’s Websites of the Week- Fairtrade Fortnight, Sports Relief, Saga Holidays

March 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

Take a Step for Fairtrade It’s Fairtrade Fortnight (27th Feb- 11th March) and to celebrate Fairtrade have launched the ‘Take a Step’ campaign which encourages more people to purchase and actively support Fairtrade produce.

Fairtrade would like everyone to take a step through buying Fairtrade, holding a Fairtrade event or simply sharing the campaign with family and friends. Once you’ve taken your step document it on the Take a Step in 2012’s website www.fairtrade.org.uk.

Fairtrade Take a Step

Fairtrade- Take A Step Website

Currently 166,670 people (including myself) have taken part in helping Fairtrade progress. This growing support is display on the website’s interactive timeline which collates people’s personal pledges, Facebook updates, Fairtrade related tweets and newly created Fairtrade events. 

It’s a really interesting site which explains lots about Fairtrade and how you can support.  For a giggle watch the Take a Step videos that showcase the wide range of Fairtrade products now available everything from chocolates, wines, coffee and even fashionable clothing.

Saga HolidaysSince the Costa Cruising disaster some people have been put off traveling. It’s often the case after such a highly publicised incident people worry that something similar may happen to them whilst away on holiday. Sadly this lack in confidence means that many people decide to not take a holiday at all.

With this in mind I thought that I’d share with you the Saga Holiday website. A company who have become crucial in the over 50 market place Saga excel in all areas but even more so in holiday packages exclusively for travellers over the age of 50.

Saga Holidays Website

Saga Holiday website

Their holiday selection is incredibly vast. Offering holidays to destination far and wide customers can choose from a European city break to a month in South America. Further Saga specialise in interest related breaks for people who enjoy dancing, music, archaeological and walking.

Travelling with Saga as an older traveller also means that you will gain all of the relevant information needed to travel safely – travel insurance, policies for older passengers, necessary medical check-ups prior to travelling etc.

And if you’re still not put off cruising I would highly recommend looking into Saga’s range of Cruise liners which tour the world in grand cruising style. Visit www.saga.co.uk/holidays for more travel inspiration exclusive to over 50s.

John Bishop’s Week of Hell for Sport Relief- Earlier this week I wrote about comedian John Bishop’s ‘Week of Hell’ for Sport Relief. Challenged to cycle, row and run from Paris to London in only 5 days, John was in for a tough week but was certain that he could pull it off.

On his final day of the challenge John is now running the final stretch. From Gravesend in Kent to the finish line in Trafalgar Square, London where I’m sure celebrations will take place when he passes the finish line.

john Bishop Sports Relief

John Bishop's Sport Relief Challenge

I’ve followed the challenge via BBC Radio One this week and have to say that I’m astonished by the public support which John Bishop has received. An enormous £968,009 has been donated by Radio One listeners alone, which is far beyond what anyone was hoping for. 

John Bishop’s Week of Hell has been another Sport Relief challenge which has been a joy to watch. Huge congratulations to John for all of his hard work and perseverance this last week- an astonishing contribution which will be appreciated greatly.

Support John by making a donation on the Sport Relief website today.

‘Bishop’s Week of Hell’ – John Bishop’s Sport Relief Challenge

February 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Stand-up comedian John Bishop is joining the list of celebrities who have pushed themselves to the limits for Sport Relief. Braving an endurance challenge titled ‘Bishop’s Week of Hell’ he will cycle, row and run from Paris to London in only five days.

Starting his ‘Week of Hell’ this morning John set off from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Leaving the beautiful French city by bike he is currently cycling across northern France to Calais where he will be joined by TV presenter Davina McCall, former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff and Olympian Denise Lewis.

John Bishop Week of Hell

John Bishop - Bishop's Week of Hell

The foursome will take to a rowing boat and row across the channel to Dover- they’ve now officially been granted permission by the French authorities who initially denied access to the route due to complications with shipping lanes.

When they reach English shores John will swop his life jacket for running shoes as he sets off to Trafalgar Square by foot- a gut wrenching three marathons in three days. It’s estimated that the comic will cover over 290 miles in his feat for Sport Relief victory.

John Bishop in training

John Bishop in training prior to Sport Relief challenge

I’m generally a fan of Sport Relief Challenges and recently enjoyed following Helen Skelton’s trek in the Antarctica. So I’ll be keen to keep an eye on John’s progress during his ‘Week of Hell’.  Fingers crossed the channel won’t be too choppy to cross.

You can follow John Bishop’s challenge on the Sport Relief website where you can sponsor John too. Good luck and best wishes to John and all of the celebrities joining him along the way!

Helen Skelton reaches the South Pole

January 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Earlier this month I wrote ‘Helen Skelton’s Polar Challenge Sport Relief’, which discusses the Blue Peter presenter’s challenge to travel 500 miles across the Antarctica to reach the South Pole for Sport Relief.

Pushing herself to the limit Helen made the brash decision to travel the 500 miles mainly by bike, however, she also used ski and kite as alternatives.

Helen Skelton South Pole

At the finish line in the South Pole

Recording her travels Helen kept a blog diary which penned her thoughts along the way. The blog is a great read, documenting both the highs and lows of the expedition and giving an insight into how tough and tiring the sub-zero terrain actually was. 

Despite suffering from blistered feet, a nasty cough, dehydrating and poorly stomachs, Helen and her trekking team successfully made it to the finish line in the South Pole last night. Helen was said to ecstatic having completed the trek in only 18 days (she initially planned the expedition to take 20).

A fantastic achievement in itself, Helen also managed to break a Guinness World Record for ‘Fastest 100km by ski kite’, which she did in a fantastic 7 hours and 28 minutes, whilst undertaking the South Pole Challenge.

Helen Skelton south pole expedition

Helen pulled a 82kg sledge for the 500 mile trip

In an interview today Helen said “My body hurts in so many different places, mentally I’m exhausted” but that having seen who Sport Relief funding goes to and how it changes their lives, she visited a village in Sierra Leone recently. Helen said she “can’t possibly complain”, which makes refreshing reading from someone who is so able to influence youngster across the country.   

I think you’ll agree that Helen has done astonishingly well.  A triumphant ending to a magnificent challenge -I can’t think of a better way to get more people involved in Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile.

Show Helen your support by sponsoring her- click here.

Helen Skelton’s Polar Challenge Sport Relief

January 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m always amazed when I hear some of the things which people do in the name of charity, even more so when people push the limits to the absolute extreme.  There seems to be no stopping Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton whose latest exhibition – Helen’s Polar Challenge– is just extraordinary.

The small but mighty presenter successfully kayaked the length of the River Amazon (2010 miles) for Sport Relief in 2010, becoming the world record holder for longest solo kayak journey in history. Then in 2011 she tightrope walked 150 meters between Battersea Power Station in a bid to raise funds for Comic Relief.

Helen-Skelton

Not content with her already incredible achievements- she is well and truly becoming a sporting success in her own right- Helen is now conquering the Antarctic on her quest to reach the South Pole.

To get there she has to travel a total of 500 miles in just 20 days. Up against some of the world’s toughest terrain and sub-zero temperatures Helen has chosen to travel predominately by bike (she’ll also use ski and kite when necessary). The bicycle method is considered extremely unconventional but with purpose built equipment Helen is confident her plan will pull through.

Helen Skelton south pole bike

Having spent Christmas training Helen officially began her journey yesterday morning (delayed by one day due to poor weather conditions) and has been, and will continue to keep an online blog diary documenting her journey, including sore feet and unenviable blisters.  

I’ve read all about her journey so far and will be doing so daily with my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly for Helen and her team. It’s an incredible challenge, which is not only for a fantastic cause but proof that with hard work and determination anything can be possible.

Good luck Helen!

Annette’s Websites of the Week 29tth August- 3rd September 2011

September 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

sport relief logohttp://www.sportrelief.com– This week has been especially sporty with Team GB scoring a gold medal in the World Athletic Championships and 70 year old Roger Allsopp becoming the oldest person to swim the English Channel.

Such great sporting achievements provide an excellent excuse to talk about ‘Sports Relief’ the charity event ran in conjunction with Comic Relief.

This year actor and all around entertainer David Walliams is getting involved with Sports Relief again after participating in 2006 where he swam the English Channel. Later in 2008 he braved the shark infested waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, and in 2010 he took part in celebrity cycle relay to Land’s Ends.

Now David is embracing on his most dangerous and tasking Sports Relief challenge yet. He will swim the River Thames in eight continuous days covering a total of 140 miles starting from Lechlade in Gloucestershire and finishing in Central London with Big Ben as his finishing post.

David Walliams

David will be faced with the brutal current of the Thames alongside busy traffic and unpredictable weather. His swim begins on Monday 5th September; all money raised will go toward Sports Relief. I’d like to offer David the very best of luck and will be tracking David challenge online.

Sponsor David Walliams River Thames Sports Relief Challenge- here.

Age-UK-Logo-Webwww.ageuk.org.uk –Age UK has featured on my favourite websites of the week previously and this is because I’m a huge fan of Age UK and the work which they do to support the elderly. Packed with endless and most importantly helpful information the website truly is a go to source for the elderly or carers.

Furthermore I admire the creative thinking which Age UK applies to their campaigns. Their latest is the annual Big Knit which is been ran alongside healthy smoothie company Innocent. To accompany their campaign Age UK has created a wonderful knitting pattern booklet– the perfect way to get started on mini woolly hats.

Age UK.org.uk it’s a great site, which I really enjoy scrolling through from time to time. To find out more about Age UK and specifically the Big Knit 2011 event visit the website.

the big knit age uk

theWI_logowww.thewi.org.uk – As much as I adore my e-reader, my saviour when on holiday or travelling, I will never lose my love towards books; curling the spine, flicking the pages from chapter to chapter and using a tatty old bookmark which travels from novel to novel.

However, it would seem that people have either stopped enjoying great literature or are instead making the most of technology to read great stories. As our libraries, the homes of great literature are sadly at risk of closure.

The Women’s Institute, an organisation which has shaped the lives of many women throughout the country are running ‘Love your Libraries’ campaign to encourage people to support libraries and show how much value libraries have on education and local communities.

love your librariesAs a former teacher I know the importance which libraries have on educating. Furthermore when I created my own business a trip to my local library was my starting point. Here I loaned every business book I could find and read each one from cover to cover. These are resources which wouldn’t have been accessible to me without my local library, and such held information which has been fundamental in my success.

For these reasons I am whole heartedly behind The WI’s ‘Love Your Libraries’ campaign and hope that lots of others get behind the campaign too. What could be more important to a community that a library filled with fantastic books?

Download a petition support form from The WI official website now.

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