Fundraising Challenge Aiming For Blaze Of Glory!

Good Shepherd Operations Manager Lee Smith is blazing a trail – quite literally – by taking on a gruelling fundraising challenge to raise funds for the charity which supports people experiencing homeless and vulnerability across Wolverhampton.

Lee is taking on an eight-hour fitness marathon of successive sessions of the Blaze workout, a type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) gym-based exercise which combines cardio-vascular work with strength, boxing and martial arts skills.

The hugely energetic ‘Blaze-athon’ fundraiser will take place from 9am-5pm at the David Lloyd Health Club in Dudley on Saturday, July 6th, where Lee is hoping to be supported by colleagues and volunteers from the Good Shepherd, who are also welcome to join him for an individual session!

It will also be part of this year’s Miles into Meals fundraising campaign from the Good Shepherd, encouraging people to take on their own challenge, however large or small, to support the charity.  

“Fundraising is such an important part of the Good Shepherd in terms of helping us support those in the community who need us, and we are always really appreciative of people who take on challenges for the charity or make donations,” says Lee, who has been at the Good Shepherd for seven months after spending 16 years with Wolves Foundation.

“I think it’s also important for staff to try and get involved where possible, so I decided I’d try and do something to help promote awareness to a new audience as well as vital fundraising.

“The Good Shepherd and Wolves Foundation have worked closely on different projects for many years, and it’s a charity whose work I have always admired.

“I feel very privileged to be able to work with the staff and the clients that we engage with, and also very passionate about ending homelessness and helping to provide pathways out of poverty.

“My daughter Francesca has an interest in trying to help people and has previously carried out different fundraising activities for the Good Shepherd, and I felt it was time to put myself forward and get involved.”

Just one session of Blaze is a physical challenge in itself, but Lee has now embarked on a stringent training programme to put himself through the pain barrier by taking on back-to-back workouts – eight of them! – for his epic fundraiser.

Blaze Supervisor Niamh Norton from David Lloyd has been hugely supportive of the challenge and it is hoped that members from David Lloyd will also be keen to get on board with the sessions and help Lee break through the pain barrier!

“It’s not something I have ever even contemplated before and it will be extremely tough to get through it but, if I am asking people to support myself and the Good Shepherd, I wanted to make it something which was going to really push me,” Lee adds.

“Niamh and the staff at David Lloyd have been brilliant with their support and in allowing me to take on the challenge and letting us have a presence to promote the charity.

“It would be great to see as many people there as possible on the day not just as I will probably need every bit of encouragement going but also to speak to Good Shepherd staff and volunteers and find out more about the charity and where the funds will go.”

“As a club we’re very excited to get behind such an amazing local charity and show our support by helping Lee get through this crazy challenge,” says Niamh.

“There is no doubt it will be physically and mentally tough, and I don’t think the enormity of the challenge will hit home till the actual day.

“But with the help of instructors, members, charity colleagues and volunteers, we’ll help Lee smash it.”

The clubroom at David Lloyd will be open throughout the challenge for spectators who come to support to purchase refreshments.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at Lee’s fundraising page by clicking here.

More information about Miles into Meals will be announced soon, encouraging people to take on their own challenge be it walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, or whatever they would like to do! Please note that anyone taking part in any Good Shepherd event does so at their own risk.

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