You may remember back in January we told you how our Marketing Manager, Emily Glew, is set to unleash her wild side and hone her survival skills in the Amazon rain-forest in aid of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity?
Well now, with just 31 days to go, we caught up with Emily to find out how her fundraising, training and adventure preparation has been going…
Q. How did you find out about the challenge, and what made you want to get involved?
A. The Amazon Adventure is truly a once in a lifetime experience where I’ll get to see and experience things I’d never get the chance to anywhere else. I’ve always been an outdoor person, and a self-confessed thrill-seeker, and had come across this challenge hosted by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity at an awards evening I’d attended on behalf of Paycare, which also supports the charity.
As soon as I found out they were looking for willing volunteers to take part I knew it was something I wanted to get involved with. Although it’ll be an amazing opportunity for me personally, and it will no doubt push me out of my comfort zone, the goal is to raise as much as I can for a charity that saves so many lives across the region.
Q. It’s just 31 days until you jet off to Brazil! How are you feeling now that your epic adventure is drawing closer?
A. It’s a real mix of feeling excited and a little bit nervous! Everyone keeps reminding me that I’ll be sharing my hammock with a whole host of creepy-crawlies which isn’t the most pleasant thought! But honestly, it’s really just excitement that I’m feeling right now… maybe the nerves will set in once I start to pack my bags and head to the airport!
Q. So, tell us a bit about what you’ve been doing to prepare for the trek?
A. I’ll be the first to admit that before I signed up to this challenge my fitness levels weren’t great! I’ve always enjoyed walking in the countryside, but with the cold, wet and windy weather we were having over Winter, it just wasn’t the most inviting thought to spend my precious weekends outside climbing hills!
So, instead, I promised myself I would join (and regularly attend!) the gym.
With Paycare Perks I was able to get 10% discount off my membership for the year, and with a gym conveniently located on my walk home from work there really was no excuse!
I’ve been regularly going between 2-3 times a week since January, and I’ve genuinely never felt better! The change I’ve felt in myself is fantastic, and not only have I felt it’s made a difference to my physical health but my mental health too.
Working in the marketing team here at Paycare I know we regularly provide our Policyholders and corporate customers with blogs and guides which talk about the benefits of looking after yourself by eating right and exercising regularly, but it’s easy to forget just how much of a difference it can make!
In fact, I’ve been enjoying the exercise so much that I’ve also been having a Personal Training session every two weeks in between regular visits to the gym. Together we’ve been working on a combination of strength training and high intensity cardio exercises, which I know will prove invaluable when I come to carry my day-pack in the jungle heat and humidity!
Q. And how is the fundraising going?
A. It’s going really well. Everyone at Paycare has been so generous with their support, including the business themselves. But I think what’s been the most surprising, and such a lovely thing, is just how much support I’ve been given by our Policyholders, Suppliers, Customers and Partners.
Whether it’s been donations online, pocket change in my collection bucket or simply well-wishes via social media, it’s been fantastic to see so many people backing me. And, there have even been a few anonymous donations to my JustGiving page too, so I’d really like to take the opportunity to thank each and every person that’s taken the time to donate.
The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is such a worthy cause, and one that’s close to so many people’s hearts, so I think that’s why so many people have got behind the challenge and donated.
The charity has three air ambulances which operate primarily across six counties as well as supporting the surrounding regions, responding to over 2,000 calls a year. They are able to reach 90 per cent of the area they cover within eight minutes, and their fast response dramatically increases the chances of survival by getting patients to hospital within 60 minutes after their injury (within the ‘Golden Hour’).
But Midlands Air Ambulance Charity receives no funding from the Government or the National Lottery, meaning they rely on public donations to the tune of £9m to keep the service going each year.
It costs around £2,500 every time an air ambulance is sent to a patient – so the more money I can raise the better to ensure they can continue their vital work. Any of us, or our family members or friends, could need an air ambulance one day so I’m really hopeful that when I come to embark on the trek I’ll have exceeded my target of £6,000.”
Wow Emily, that sounds amazing! You really have been busy, and it’s fantastic to hear how much of a positive impact all this training is having on your health and wellbeing.
There’s nothing left for us to say now except good luck! We know you’ll smash it and do yourself and Paycare proud whilst you’re out there representing Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. We can’t wait to catch up with you afterwards to hear all about your epic adventure!
And remember, you can find out more about Emily’s Amazon Adventure and donate over at https://www.paycare.org/amazon-trek/ ☺
Check out some photos of Emily training below – keep at it girl!