Shelley Hutchinson is a valued follower and active participant in the work that we do. Her efforts on Sunday speak for themselves and were an inspiration to me, as they should be to you. I can only thank her for her hard work and effort and as she knows, every penny will be used to take the fight on to new and different levels.
Thanks again, Shelley. I hope others will follow your lead in some way.
Shelley Hutchinson’s Story
I’m still buzzing! I’m sat here with a glass of vino in my hand, reflecting on the past few weeks whilst gazing at my medal for the Bristol 10k that I successfully completed yesterday.
The reason I’m buzzing is because that medal is worth so much more than just a personal goal of completing a running challenge – it helped me raise £1020 for Operation Frankish and such an important issue of increasing animal abuse sentences to 5 years.
Not gonna lie I really struggle with running as you may have seen from my video logs! But its a proven method of relief for mental health (if you can get out to start with) and then when combined with a challenge of raising money for a cause you are extremely passionate about (Operation Frankish) then it becomes slightly more achievable! And with a bit of support from a cameraman, a lad on a swegway and a funding page, I’ve felt happier in these last few weeks than I have in months.
I hope you’re still reading because if you follow Operation Frankish then there’s a damn good chance you care about animals and can’t stand seeing the constant abuse that floods our Facebook/social pages! I’m not made of money and I have responded to pleas of financial support by rounding up family members and asking them to give a few quid rarely managing to make £60. I took inspiration from Luci who ran a fundraising stall in support of OF and raised over £300. I thought ‘that girl is incredible and if she can do it so can I’, so I signed up for the Bristol 10k and set up a JustGiving page.
https://we.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Shelley10KOpFrankish (still open for donations)
I’ve not been hugely successful in the past with fundraising but I needed to do something – I am sickened by the fact that the animal abuse punishment in this country is criminal in itself so I knew I needed to just try. It makes me depressed, angry, and feeling entirely useless and helpless when I see yet another act of barbaric abuse on a defenceless animal. This helped me to believe in my ability to help when I have so little to contribute financially myself.
So I started to train, and vlog my progress so that my sponsors could feel that little bit more involved with my journey. I believe it made it all the more personal. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy, technology failed me many times as did my own anxiety, but I got through it knowing that people were behind me and supporting me all the way.
I posted the videos along with a link to my JustGiving page and just tried to add a personal touch and made sure I thanked people and kept them updated on my progress. I then decided to add links to comments on fb pages where another rotten case of animal abuse had occurred and gone viral (Craig McKinley) and implore those commenting that they didn’t need to feel helpless as they actually COULD help by donating or at least sharing my own fundraising mission or following Operation Frankish.
I then decided to do a little local fundraising by printing 200 leaflets and posting them to my neighbourhood. It offered them the chance to sponsor me to be in with a chance of winning £10. Each £2 was an entry into the draw. This raised an extra £30 (when I took out the prize money). Again I did a live video on Facebook when I drew the winning ticket.
I started to look forward to checking my emails to see ‘you have received a donation’ and then finding out the amount I had raised to that point. From what I thought would initially make perhaps £200 if I was lucky, turned into a grand!
When it came to event day I was nervous as hell, but as heavy as my legs felt I imagined the pain Baby felt and it spurred me on knowing I could help such a great cause. She still needs justice as do all the other innocent victims! I had informed all my sponsors and followers of OF of a live tracking app so they could be involved throughout my race and track my progress, again wishing to involve everyone in my journey as much as possible.
When I crossed the finish line I felt such a wave of emotion and relief and pride in myself that words can’t really explain. And then moments after I had put on my medal, i checked my email again and nearly fell over!!! I had received an anonymous donation of £225.
People really do care about animals and can’t stand the abuse but often feel helpless as to know how to help or what to do. I really hope this gives others the inspiration to do a sponsored run in support of Operation Frankish or choose another fundraising idea. I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to know you have managed to completely fund an event that will be organised by OPERATION FRANKISH and get that one step closer to changing the laws on punishment for those vile and sadistic animal abusers xx