Mencap looking for support for charity challenges

GLORIA Steinem is well-known for saying, ‘It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than to watch it accumulate.’

As many who have fundraised for Mencap, the voice of learning disability in Northern Ireland, can testify to, fundraising is one of the most gratifying activities imaginable but often enthusiastic supporters find it difficult to know where to start.

However, in trying economic times, it is vital to remember that no event is too big or too small, too advanced or too simple – from abseiling challenges to marathons and beard-growing contests to wacky races - charities like Mencap are highlighting the benefits of fundraising activities to their supporters as well as showcasing how integral funds raised are applied in local communities.

Mencap Challenges provide unique opportunities for people to raise funds for a local charity whilst experiencing amazing personal achievements and fun activities such as treks, marathons, extreme sports and sponsored walks. The funds raised from these fantastic challenges allow Mencap to continue their vital work supporting children and adults living with a learning disability, here in Northern Ireland.

The benefits of the overseas challenges are threefold - firstly, they raise money for charity, so there is a sense of ‘giving back’. Secondly, challenges like these allow people to go to different places and do amazing things, that due to life commitments, they may not have previously been able to do. Plus Mencap organises group trips so there is a sense of teamwork, shared life experience and achievement for those who take the plunge.

Finally, as many of the challenges involve an element of fitness, the third reason the challenges are so popular is the health benefit. Signing up for a five day desert trek or a 26.2 mile marathon takes some training — but the upside is that participants feel fitter and happier while the charity also benefits.

For thrill seekers in search of an exhilarating way to help others, Mencap’s flagship challenge for 2012, Cycle Vietnam Cambodia (18th-29th Oct 2012) runs from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice-paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia. Participants will pedal through the rolling hills of this friendly country towards one of the most impressive sights in Southeast Asia, the Royal Temples of Angkor Wat. Fascinating insights into the region’s cultures, ancient and modern, are a real highlight of this challenge, perfect for those in search of the challenge of a lifetime. Mencap provides accommodation, food, transport, medics, guides and moral support, only asking participants to pay a registration fee and raise a minimum sponsorship.

For more information on the wide range of challenges and fundraising opportunities available with Mencap, please call Justine on 02890691351 or log onto