Kris is the founder of Wheely Good Fitness, which offers exercise classes for both disabled and non-disabled people in Herefordshire. On April 3, he and a group of eager volunteers took over Hereford city centre to put on a flashmob as part of Kris’ fundraising efforts for the London Marathon. In this blog he talks about his relationship with Scope and what he hopes the flashmob will achieve.
My relationship with Scope came about because some of the people I do classes with are involved with them. However, bizarrely, if I go back to when I was eight, my best friend Stephen had high level cerebral palsy. He was actually supported by Scope back when it was called The Spastics Society. It’s funny that going back all that way there was a link with Scope.
It’s blossomed from there really.
The thing is with Scope, it’s so proactive. Its approach to disability and taboos is fantastic. With campaigns like End The Awkward, it really grabs the issues and says ‘we need to address this’.
The idea for doing the flashmob as part of my London Marathon fundraising came about two months ago. I saw one used as part of a fundraiser which was great.
Everyone who was taking part in the flashmob had donated a minimum of £10. We raised around £428 just from those people who took part. So not only were these people stepping outside of their comfort zone and embarrassing themselves, they actually paid for the pleasure of doing it!
We had a nice mix of people taking part. Some supported by Scope, some were simply Scope supporters and we also had people who take the fitness classes. We had nine wheelchair users which was great.
I’ve seen wheelchair users taking part in other flashmobs and they always tend to use exactly the same moves. I wanted to do something different. Obviously I had to adapt certain parts that wheelchair users can’t do but I was keen to get everyone involved. We actually did the wheelchair routine first and then adapted it for the non-disabled participants which was quite a nice twist.
There’s a lot of things I’m hoping from the flashmob. I want people to see people of many different ages taking part. We have people from 8 years old all the way through to 82. I want people to realise that age doesn’t matter, you can take part in anything.
I’m also hoping it will show a very positive view of disability, especially wheelchair users. We can actually do a lot of things – we don’t just sit there! I’m really hoping it will change peoples’ views of disability.
Think outside the box. One thing I’ve discovered with fundraising is that if you go along the normal routes, people are a little more complacent with it because they’ve seen it all before. But if you do something new and fresh, it captures their imagination!
One thing I did do was a five hour non stop push on a wheelchair treadmill. Those five hours raised over £1,000!
I think people do react to you doing something yourself. It’s always best to show that you’re making an effort instead of just standing there. The other thing is, like we’re doing today, take yourself to the crowd rather than trying to get the crowd to come to you.
If you’ve been inspired by Kris and his fundraising efforts, visit our website to see what fundraising events you can get involved with this year or read our tips on how to get the most out of your fundraising.