Pancake Day is next week!! That means Lent is almost upon us. A couple of years ago I wrote this on my personal blog: “No matter where I’ve been in my adult life I’ve always continued to embrace Lent, although over that time my outlook on Lent has somewhat changed. As a child it meant self-sacrifice only, giving up crisps or chocolate (only to gorge on egg after egg come Easter), and not truly appreciating why, following in the footsteps of my parents as many children do. Now as an adult it means so much more, it’s a time to let go of any grudges I’m harbouring, any emotional barriers I’ve been fearful to break, a time to reflect and make peace. A time when I think about the lives of others in comparison to my own and how I can ease the suffering of those within my community.” Today it rings more true than ever.
This year for lent, I will be giving something up – the lift at work (my legs are crying already ha). But I’ll also be using the Lenten season as a time to raise awareness (and funds) for those who do not choose to give something up, but are instead used to a life without not only luxuries but basic items. I have spent the last couple of weeks mulling this over, asking friends and family for their insight and building a list of ‘ideas’. Lent is roughly 6 weeks long (40 days), so each week I will take on a new challenge; each of which depicts something we perhaps take for granted but others live without. Throughout the 6 weeks I’ll be raising funds for Operation Drawstring’s Easter Campaign and Aston & Nechells Foodbank. The funds will be split evenly between the two. Here’s the agenda below:
Week 1 – No Social Media (14th Feb – 20th Feb)
Disconnecting from the social world for a week to start (you can text me your Valentines messages don’t worry). How bizarre it’ll be not to have the most up to date information instantly.
Week 2 – No Hot Water (21st Feb – 27th Feb)
Morning Coffee? Nope. Hot bath to while away the stresses of the working day? Not this week. Hot water bottle to help me sleep? Definitely not. A harsh reality for many, particularly those on our streets.
Week 3 – 1 outfit, 7 days (28th Feb – 6th March)
Despite frequently using the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ when getting ready to go somewhere, I do actually have a whole wardrobe full of things to wear. This week I’ll be sticking to just the one outfit (I’ll be washing it however in between – the idea here is to raise awareness of how lucky we are to have ‘choice’ in our lives).
Week 4 – Walk to Work (7th March – 13th March)
5 miles. Google reckons 1hr 30mins. How much do we take transport for granted? Need something from the shops? Jump in the car. Don’t fancy driving? Get the bus or a train. Need to get home late at night? Uber it is.
Week 5 – Live Below The Line (14th March – 20th March)
I’ve taken part in this challenge before – it used to be an annual initiative but I’ve not seen it since 2016. The idea is you live on £1 a day for all food and drink, in total I’ll have £7 to feed myself 3 meals a day for 7 days.
Week 6 – Goodbye Bed (21st March – 27th March)
This week has been the hardest to decide upon. I had a lot of suggestions which I’d like to fit in such as no make up, or no food variety but I think this one aligns best in terms of raising awareness. Those who sleep on our streets nightly do not have the luxury of a bed. So instead I’ll be sleeping on the sofa, or the floor, or maybe even a tent… we’ll see.
To make a donation you can click here – paypal.me/OperationDrawstring
I’ll be sharing my insights throughout the challenge on my personal accounts (except no social media week of course): Twitter – @kerrylynn21 and Instagram – @kerrylynn21 – I’ll also pop up a weekly blog to summarise.
If you’d like to get involved or join me on one of the challenges please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerry — x