Here’s an account of her life-changing experience…
“The idea of the Rajasthan cycle challenge materialised just after I had started working as a supervisor at White Stuff Farnham in November 2012. Was it an adventure or a mid-life crisis that spurred me on? I’m still not sure! I signed up to the December 2013 challenge to allow myself plenty of time for fundraising for our shop’s local youth charity ‘40 Degreez’, and to train for the 267 mile (!) ride. The ball got rolling after Christmas 2012, with a few small baking and craft sales at the shop. As the baking bug bit, the events became larger and larger, including a sale at a local "Zumbathon" (4 hours of Zumba really makes people really hungry for cupcakes!), which raised about £200. All of my efforts were helped by White Stuff matched funding and lots of White Stuff goodies to raffle off in the shop.
My colleagues were all hugely supportive, helping out with selling raffle tickets, face painting and buying cupcakes. Local businesses, including restaurants and health clubs also made donations to my last big raffle which took place whilst I was in India. The whole cycle challenge was really a life-changing event. To cycle 267 miles in 6 days was something I didn't think possible when I started training and to do it in India was truly amazing. The scenery was stunning, the people were welcoming and I made some life-long friends, all whilst raising money for an excellent cause. To see and experience the stark contrast between India and the Western world is levelling and puts many of our daily problems firmly into context.”
Janet Maines, Chair of the Board of Trustees at 40 Degreez, said:
“We are very fortunate to be working in partnership with White Stuff, Farnham. The money raised by Lorraine was fantastic and has gone towards funding musical instruments; our young people are keen to learn how to play and want to form the ‘40 Degreez Centre Band’. Music is a great channel for their energy and apart from learning something new they are also acquiring some very useful life skills such as team work, leadership and communication. As a small charity, it’s always a struggle to raise sufficient funds with which to buy new equipment so the White Stuff donation was extremely timely and extremely well received. Thank you so much to Lorraine and the White Stuff Foundation.”
Ashley, one of the budding musicians at the charity said:
“The 40 Degreez Centre is a great place and we all do loads of interesting stuff there. The band was our idea and we have also been fundraising to get enough money to buy some more instruments. The donation from White Stuff allowed us to buy even more then we had dreamed. Thanks White Stuff, you’re awesome and well done Lorraine for cycling all that way to raise money for our band. You’re a star.”