I met Richard just over two years ago when he phoned to speak to me about the Three Peaks Challenge he was planning in support of theBritish Heart Foundation.  

As a Fundraising Manger (FM) for the British HeartFoundation (BHF) I have many different heart related conversations, but our call was inspiring, it was uplifting and I knew then that this was something more than a one off walk.  Richard had so many ideas and over those two years he has brought those ideas and more to life.  He has also managed to raise over£2,500 by walking, leaping, pumping and sitting comfortably in a lovely warm cinema eating popcorn, watching Christmas films.

Four years ago I didn’t realise there were such jobs as“Fundraising Manager”.  I was an ICT teacher in a sixth form college and was busy talking careers with my students rather than thinking about my own.  This complete change in direction only came about after I decided to hold a ‘year off fundraising’ in memory of my father who we lost just over 20 years ago.  I had support from my own fantastic FM and together we had the most incredible year fundraising but more importantly reminiscing and having fun.

Half way through the year a job became available as the FM for Gloucestershire & Bristol.  I didn’t think I would stand a chance due to my lack of experience but I think Iwas so enthusiastic during the interview they probably thought they ought to give me a go.

So three years later here I am in a job that has made me so much happier and dare I say it, healthier.

My job is incredibly varied. One day I could be dressed up as the BHF mascot Mr Hearty, the next delivering CPR and presenting heart stats and facts to a company CEO with the hope that they will consider partnering with the BHF.

As a keen walker Met Walking was something I was interested in joining right from the beginning. From a health and wellbeing point of view the unique networking style ticks a lot of boxes and really does get hearts beating.  But also joining the walks has given me the opportunity to talk more about the BHF in Bristol; the life-saving research taking place at the University of Bristol and the difference we make to 10% ofBristol’s population affected by heart and circulatory disease.

I was absolutely delighted to hear that the BHF is the chosen charity for Met Walking and I see this as a partnership, an opportunity for me to be able to share what the BHF has to offer.  In particular I would like to make everyone aware of the health and wellbeing resources that you can either download or order for free from our website. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/publications

I am also passionate about raising further awareness of lifesaving CPR skills and am pleased to say that the first Met Walking / CPR session will be coming very soon.   ‘Annie Manikin’ and I will be joining the walkers at Glastonbury Tor on 23rd October to hold a have a go session.

I very much look forward to seeing you all there.

Sarah Standing
The British Heart Foundation