Here come the girls…but where are the boys?

Dove House Hospice is a charity providing palliative care to people with life-limiting illnesses across Hull and the East Riding. The annual running costs for the whole hospice is 6.1 million and we are only funded for 45 days of the year, so fundraising is a huge part of keeping our hospice going for the other 320 days of every year. We hold over 10 events each year, from skydives to summer fun days, and we are lucky to be supported by wonderful local people who come along and get involved. However, it is also a struggle to keep re-inventing old events and make fundraising fun!

Our biggest and brightest event this year (and every year for us!) is our Midnight Walk. Almost 500 women walked 6 miles through Hull town centre in the middle of the night this August during our carnival themed event. Each woman was provided with a specially designed t-shirt and a fluffy neon pink feather boa. The event lived on the next day, as bright pink feathers floated through the streets of Hull like a huge pink chicken had magically visited the city in the middle of the night! We also arranged face painting and, as a samba band got all the ladies in a carnival mood, fire breathers and stilt walkers entertained everyone. It was a wonderful atmosphere and no-one could miss our fundraising walkers in their striking neon pink accessories. Each woman is asked to raise £20 for the hospice and last year’s event raised over £30,000, so we are hoping for a similar success this year once everyone has had chance to collect their sponsorship.

With the success of our money raising girls, we thought it was time for the boys to get involved. This year we launched our very first Fancy Drag Race. We asked men to dress up their finest dresses and wigs and apply their best make up to take part in a short run through the city centre. However, despite advertising, only one man signed up! It seems the women have really shown the boys how to step up for their local hospice!

This trend appears to be continuing, as 10 wonderful women have registered to take part in our very first Great Dove House Bake Off on Saturday 26 October. Each one will be serving afternoon tea to everyone who buys a ticket to our grand finale, whilst being judged by our local equivalents of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. This is a brand new venture into the fundraising event unknown, so we have no idea how much we could raise, but we know one thing for sure – we can rely on women to help us and have a great time while they’re doing it too!

Of course, there are hundreds of men who raise thousands of pounds each year for us and we absolutely appreciate their hard work and support. In the past, we’ve had one man run 7 marathons in 7 days and another cycle across the whole of America to raise £10,000. Yet, we can’t seem to encourage men to join one of our events and take part as a group. Any help from fundraisers out there would be greatly appreciated! I guess this group of female fundraisers from Dove House Hospice are asking: what do men really want?

Story submitted by Becky Barnes of Dove House Hospice

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