If you’re a regular Wildcat Fitness Blog reader or social media follower you’ll know I don’t shy away from a physical challenge. Over the past few years I’ve gone from not being able to support my own body weight to push ups and heavy deadlifts, and from barely being able to run for the bus to hill sprints and tuck jumps. So this year I thought it was time for a new way to push myself, which is why I am taking on the not only physically but hugely mental challenge of Abseil for the Animals – the UK’s highest freefall abseil in aid of an amazing charity – The Mayhew Animal Home. Why a mental challenge? Because I’m not great with heights and even the thought of being at the top of that 300ft sculpture (the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Olympic Park) and looking down, knowing I have to jump off makes my palms sweat just sitting here, so goodness knows how I’ll do it on the day – but – one thing is for sure – I will do it – because I am determined to raise as much money as possible for these incredible animals and this incredible cause, and here’s why.
So let’s start from the beginning as to how this all came about. Over Christmas I went to visit my parents in Devon, and we went to The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. I loved meeting all the rescued donkeys and reading some of their stories, but more importantly I was inspired to learn more about the history of the Sanctuary, and the fact that it was set up by one woman – Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, and that her legacy created the centre and international rescue programme that exists now. I thought if she could donate her life’s work to helping disadvantaged animals and educating others about their welfare, then I should be able to not only find time in my busy schedule to give something back, but also be able to use my social media following and influence to do something good (rather than just posting ab workouts and protein shake recommendations). I realise that in comparison my social media following is small compared to some other fitness bloggers and influencers who have over 250k – but even so – with my Instagram account at currently just over 10k followers, even if 1/4 of them are inspired to donate to charity by something I post then it has been more than worth it. So, I decided that one of my New Years Resolutions should be to use my social media for charity and good causes where possible.
A few weeks ago I read about the The Mayhew’s Abseil for the Animals on a local West London news site, and instantly thought this could be something I could take on to raise money and awareness for The Mayhew Animal Home. I have never done an abseil….. so why not take on the highest freefall one in the UK?! So why put myself through something that scares me silly? Because I believe in the work The Mayhew do and want to do whatever I can to support them.
In 2011, I got my cat Khloe. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a cat who was loved more (some might say spoilt!) but I believe she deserves it. When I got Khloe she was a skinny, nervous wreck who spent the first few days I had her either hiding behind the fridge or under the bed. I had to sit with her to get her to eat as she was scared she was going to be attacked whilst eating, as she had been living with a much older cat who hated her and would fight her at any given opportunity, so she spent the first few months of her life hiding and trying not to get beaten up. I rescued her from this and have given her a loving forever home. But had I not, she would have ended up at The Mayhew.
This week I visited The Mayhew to meet some of the current residents waiting for forever homes. There are so many gorgeous and loving cats and dogs living there, safe and happy, but with heart breaking stories behind them. Cats who were abused, dogs who were found living rough in the park, even a cat who had her kittens in the home as she was found wondering the streets heavily pregnant but also malnourished. If it weren’t for The Mayhew these kittens would have been born out on the street and both they and their Mum’s life could have ended very differently. But thanks to The Mayhew they have hope. Now they are safe, warm, fed and looked after as they wait to meet their potential new owners. And this is all possible because of donations from the public. The Mayhew receives no public funding and is entirely reliant on donations and event sponsorship – such as the sponsorship of my abseil next month.
As well as rescuing and rehoming cats and dogs, The Mayhew aim to educate the local community about animal welfare to help prevent further cases of abuse and neglect, as well as many other projects such as Trap, Neuter, Return (for stray animals), Mayhew International which works to promote companion animal welfare in countries such as India, Russia, Afghanistan and Nepal (including International vet training at the Home in West London) and Therapaws – working with the elderly by bringing animals into care homes to promote emotional and physical wellbeing. The Mayhew does so much both locally and globally and without it, animals such as Oreo, Usher, Mark and Darcy (who you can meet in my YouTube video here) may have had nowhere to go and the unthinkable could have happened. But because of this incredible charity all of them – and thousands more animals (many of whom have been abused, neglected or abandoned) will get a second chance in life to be happy and find their forever home.
So as scary as the abseil will be for me, I am determined to use this opportunity to raise as much awareness but most importantly as much money for The Mayhew as possible.
PLEASE support me in this by sponsoring my abseil! The link to do so is here:
Every donation – no matter how small – will make a huge difference to the lives of so many animals and allow The Mayhew to continue their amazing work.
To find out more about The Mayhew click here:
Thank you so much for your support, and see you at the bottom of The Orbit – and just to remind you that I’m not exaggerating about it being scary…. think of me here at the top on 30th April and please sponsor me generously! My shaking hands and the animals of The Mayhew will thank you!