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Better Connected Service Unites Ambitious Fundraising Couple

Meet Julian and Dawn, an amazing couple who don’t shy away from a challenge! They met via Better Connected, the online service we launched during the Covid pandemic which has been a huge success within our community. Better Connected delivers a lively calendar of events hosted via Zoom which provide members with learning disabilities with a friendly, safe community and dedicated team of staff to support them in making friends. The couple both thoroughly enjoy being members, with Dawn’s favourite Better Connected activity being Bingo and Julian’s being Dance Exercise.

Learning Disabilities and Isolation in the UK:

There are  an estimated 1.5 million people in the UK who have a learning disability and research suggests that those with learning disabilities are 800% more likely to report being lonely than the general population. A high level of social isolation can result in a range of negative physical and mental health issues which is why the work we do through our Better Connected service is so vital.

Julian and Dawn Give Back:

Since meeting online via Better Connected, a delightful friendship has blossomed between Julian and Dawn. To help cement their bond and to give back to the charity that brought them together, the couple have decided to join forces to raise money together for Guideposts. Julian initially set up his fundraising page for the Guideposts Global Challenge and started clocking up miles back in March, but since meeting Dawn, he has updated his page so that they can add their steps towards the challenge together, as a united team. 

Their story is so heartwarming that its even been picked up by the local Press. Here’s the article the Oxford Mail wrote about them.

The Guideposts Global Challenge:

The national lockdown has prevented traditional fundraising activities from taking place, so Guideposts decided to launch a virtual fundraising adventure and we are looking for people to join us. The mission is to travel 21,976 miles by the end of 2021 – enough to virtually travel all the way around the world. 

People contribute by walking, running, cycling or even travelling by wheelchair, a share of the distance around the globe and asking friends and family to sponsor you. Together, the aim is to raise £25,000 to improve the lives of people living with mental health issues, disabilities and caring responsibilities. 

Those who take part will be able to add their miles to a live totaliser on our virtual mission tracker to contribute to the combined journey across the globe. The amount you fundraise will contribute to the overall charity target and the growing amount raised for Guideposts Trust will be shown on the virtual mission site. 

To sign up, head to: https://guideposts.org.uk/global-challenge/

Why Julian joined the challenge:

“I was so happy with Guideposts and everything they had to offer during lockdown that I decided to join the Guideposts Global Challenge to give something back to a charity that means so much to me. I work at Blue Diamond Garden Centre in Bicester, so I hope that my return to work after Lockdown means I can get lots of miles added – as I work and walk really, really hard and far when I am there! 

Julian and Dawn’s heartfelt appeal for support:

Julian and Dawn have so far raised close to £1,000 towards their £5,000 target. If you would like to support them, please head to their Crowdfunder fundraiser page which can be found here. Here’s what they had to say:

“We met each other on the Guideposts Better Connected service, even though we have both been parts of Mates n Dates for ten years, but we had never met!! Our friendship has blossomed, so, I (Julian) asked Dawn if she would like to join me on the Guideposts Global Challenge to help us add steps and so we can fundraise together!! We are both looking forward to adding more miles onto the Mission Map and raising funds for a great charity that has helped both of us so much.

We are looking forward to going to the pub together soon, as we both like to have a drink (responsibility) and socialise with friends. We would love your support for all our hard work and efforts to walk around the world in less than a year with our Guideposts Global Challenge team of friends and supporters, and thank you very much for any donation you make to our Team of Two, Julian and Dawn.”

Funds raised will help the charity to carry on delivering vital services such as ‘Better Connected’ and to help them to extend the program UK wide. If you are in a position to help fund this vital work your donations are gratefully received.

To sponsor Julian and Dawn, go to crowdfunder.co.uk.

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