Interview with a Doer: Anna

Featured imageOn the 1st August 2011 Anna Hughes took your average Saturday afternoon bike ride to a bit of an awesome extreme. Setting off from Tower Bridge in London she proceeded cycle round the entire coast of Britain.

In case some of you wondered, that means she cycled 4,030 miles in 72 days. Its the equivalent of cycling from London to Iran!

Despite being undoubtably shattered after this amazing adventure, we were lucky enough to have Anna answer a few questions for us. Hopefully this will inspire a few of you to set up your own challenge and get Doing.

How did it go?

It was amazing – I had an incredible 10 weeks. There were a couple of low moments when I thought “I can’t do it!” but mostly I loved being on the open road every day, in the fresh air, seeing our amazing coastline, and enjoying riding my bike and getting super fit. I kept a diary here: (we’ve been reading Anna’s blog here at The DoNation headquarters and must say it is definitly worth a read)

Why did you decide to raise sponsorship through The DoNation?

I didn’t want to raise money on the trip – loads of people do sponsored bike rides, and I wanted to do this for myself. One of the reasons I did it though was to have a low-carbon holiday and demonstrate that you can have an amazing adventure without doing the traditional holiday things like getting on a plane. One of my friends pointed me in the direction of The DoNation and it fit perfectly. Even down to the timing – my friends could spend the two months I was on my trip doing something to reduce their carbon footprint themselves!

How did your friends respond to your request?

They were really positive about the idea, although I didn’t get as many pledges as I’d hoped. I think because most of my friends are greenies, so they do most of this stuff anyway. The people who could have made a huge difference by signing up (colleagues, people I met along the way) unfortunately didn’t pledge to do anything which was a bit of a shame. But hopefully the friends who signed up will have done their pledges, with some even changing their behaviourin the long run, and it will have made a difference.

How did it make you feel?

I’m really happy to be doing something to promote low-carbon living and raising awareness of climate change through encouraging others to make small changes in their lifestyles. Although I’m disappointed all my friends didn’t go vegan for two months!

Are there any top tips you’d share with someone else raising sponsorship?

Try and promote your page as widely as possible – especially if all your friends are ‘greeny’ types like mine! Getting one colleague to start leaving their car at home one day a week may be more valuable than one of your friends having one less cup of tea a day.

Also, if I did it again, I wouldn’t raise money at all, but instead insist that people sponsor me in carbon. Many people asked me during the trip if I were doing it for sponsorship, and if I had said “yes, you can sponsor me in carbon reduction” that may have helped. And make up some business cards with the website address on it to hand out to people who may be interested.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

I love the idea of DoNation and I think the website is great, with practical ways to change little things in your lifestyle that can make a big difference. I hope it grows in popularity and people get inspired by it!

Some great advise from Anna for any of you considering raising sponsorship. For those of you inspired by Anna’s words here and by her personal blog its not too late to sponsor her.

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