Our 30 Day Home Challenge Journeys

My Life 25 February 2021

Our wonderful Cardiomyopathy UK staff have now finished their 30 Day Home Challenges. We caught up with them and discovered how they got on.... 

Read our original blog post about their challenges here

Sheila Nardone, Head of Fundraising 

I started my 30 Day Home Challenge at the beginning of lockdown as I wanted to do something constructive to help others. I chose to practise a more healthy life style, which involved taking walks everyday. Louis (my 14 year old son) and I walked for 45-60 minutes in the beautiful countryside near where we live. On our walks we chatted about all manner of subjects including; 'if you could be any plant or animal, what would you be?' Louis wanted to be human being or a creature from Star Wars. I said a tree on the edge of a wood with a lovely view!

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Originally I set my fundraising target at £150, but half way through offered to do my 30th walk dressed as a rubber duck if I could double my target. It worked. I achieved over £450 and reached 100 miles. 

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I didn't want to stop there, so I decided to keep my walking challenge going. Now I'm (virtually) walking the distance to Paris -236 miles- by the end of May. My latest costume will be Emile Zola if I can reach £700. It's nail biting to see if I can make it!

Without the challenge I wouldn't have been disciplined enough to walk every day. It has now become our special time to unwind from the stresses of lockdown and enjoy the scenery. It was hard to motivate myself on days when it rained or was windy, but I'm so glad I did as I feel a lot fitter now. It's time I'll never forget! 

Jaye Chassebi, Community Fundraiser

For my 30 Day Home Challenge I undertook 30 days of home cooking and baking. I learnt how easy it can be to cook basic recipes such as bread and biscuits, and even full meals - including a roast dinner. Before lockdown, I would often order food or have a ready meal when I couldn’t be bothered to cook- or when I didn’t fancy what I already had in the house (I'm sure we're all guilty of this!).

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Limited access to the supermarket and the empty shelves at the beginning of lockdown shocked me as to how much I, and many other people, rely on pre-packaged food. One difficulty I faced was not being able to find the ingredients that I needed for some recipes, or that I didn't have it to hand at the time of cooking. However, I discovered that there are websites that create recipes based on the ingredients you have available. This challenge has shown me the simplicity of cooking and became a reminder to use up food in the cupboards before I go shopping. 

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As the days went by,  my recipes tended to become healthier. The start of the challenge consisted of pizza, biscuits, and cake; whereas by the end I focused on salads and soups. This experience really opened my eyes about what I was eating and showed me how easy it can be to eat healthily and to have a balanced diet. It was amazing to be able to control what I was putting into my meals. I loved sharing my food photos and recipes with my friends and family.

Going forward, I will continue to cook and bake as often as I can. I am looking forward to when lockdown is over, so I can invite my friends and family to impress them with my new recipes and flavours!

Jo Marychurch, Digital Media and Communications Officer

For 30 days I sketched and painted a range of watercolour animals. I've been painting on and off for years, and I wanted to get back into it for a while. This challenge was the perfect excuse. Over the last 30 days, I have painted everything from a Bumble Bee (Day 1) to a Flamingo (Day 6), a Toucan (Day 22) and even a couple of pet portraits!

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Like Sheila, I too am lucky to live in the countryside, and this really influenced my drawing. When I was stuck for inspiration I simply looked out of my window or took a walk. Sadly there are no local dinosaurs though- that one was a suggestion from my other half! I don't have a favourite drawing, although I was really pleased with how the mouse came out (on Day 15) and also how effective the simplicity of painting the penguins was. 

Some days were more difficult than others- watercolour can take a long time to dry, and finding the motivation to paint late at night after work was tricky. There were (inevitably) a couple of paintings that I wasn't happy with and a few tears- but it's all of the creative process! I learnt so much about the medium of watercolour, and that less structure and pencil outline, is in fact, more. I also got to practise my brush techniques and I am now more confident in painting textured fur. My favourite part is to paint the eyes as I feel they add so much expression to the finished piece. 

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The only downside is now I want more painting equipment (and probably extra space in our house to store everything!) I'm hoping to auction these paintings to hopefully raise more funds for Cardiomyopathy UK, so if one takes your eye get in touch via media@cardiomyopathy.org.

View all watercolours painted here: Jo Marychurch's Just Giving page

Together we raised £880.75. Thank you to everyone for all your support!

Inspired by our staff challenges or think you can do one better? Sign up for your own 30 Day Challenge today! Download your free e-fundraising pack here. (This includes a challenge chart and instructions on how to set up your own fundraising online)

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