We have been super busy bees in the office this week as 2015 departures are getting closer and closer! And plans are getting put in place for those of you travelling in 2016 and we are still processing some of your applications.

This particular Fundraising Friday Star has almost become my email pen pal! We have regular catch-ups and pretty much talk about anything.

Without further ado, meet our Fundraising Friday Star, Jade.

This time last year, I had only just got enough money to pay off my first payment of £772. Now I have raised my total of £3860 and extra!! I’m over the moon and so thankful for everyone who has helped me!!

I started talking to Sophie when my mum showed me Sophie‰’s email about entering the Fundraising Friday Star contest. I thought I‰’d let her know about my journey so far in November and what I had coming up next, we have been talking ever since!

I first found out about this trip from a few girls who went to Kenya last year, but never realised what the opportunity would be like until a teacher at school did an assembly dedicated to it! I sent my mum a text telling her about it as soon as I left the assembly hall, and before I knew it mum had agreed and I was signing up with a member of the Camps team! The overwhelming feeling of excitement was unreal, and it never goes away! It just grows everyday, and everything feels more real every day!

My first fundraising event was my sponsored silence for 24 hours! It was so hard, especially at school! All of my friends kept trying to wind me up and get me to give in, but I made it! Overall I made around £300! Unfortunately I can’t give an exact figure as one or two of my sponsor forms got lost! :(

In between all of my events, I have helped people out by cleaning or babysitting! I cleaned for a friend of my nans for £40 a time! I have also walked a family friend’s dog on several occasions! Additionally, I sold a lot of my old CD’s and DVD’s on music magpie and received £20 from this! I even did a few body shop parties.

My next event was my sponsored 15-mile walk around Mersea Island! I raised £208 pounds from this walk, but I will definitely wear proper shoes next time I do a lot of walking! (Hopefully the walking boots mum bought for me, ooo :) )

I have held two bootsales! The first one raised £100! The second raised a slightly smaller amount of £48.70! But hey, every little helps!

My favourite event so far has to be my Quiz Night!

It was certainly a very successful night, with £222.70 raised for my trip! But not only that, I received a lot of recognition from big companies, after writing to them or emailing them, such as Colchester United, who kindly donated four tickets to any social event at The Weston Homes Community Stadium, which I put as part of an auction! I also received a £10 voucher for Fun and Games! A friend of mine is the manager of Build A Bear and she was able to get me two bears, one of which I used at this quiz night, the other I hope to use very soon! Although he couldn’t help me, I received a reply from a lady on behalf of Joey Essex wishing me luck with my fundraising!

My Dad has even taken part in raising money for me! He loves a pint at his local so he can chill out after looking after my sisters, but he stayed sober for October in order to raise money for my trip! A smashing £260 was raised!

At this point I had raised a total of: £2869.35!! Which left £990.65 to go!

My next fundraising event was a Quiz Night with a Christmas themed round at the end! Tea, coffee and cakes will be on sale in the breaks! Linking to the Christmas theme, our school also held a Christmas Fayre. The five of us who are going to Kenya had a couple stalls kindly donated by the rotary clubs around Colchester!

I created a blog to show any and all sponsors my events/donations/jobs I have participated in from across the year I’ve been fundraising!

I also did a baked bean challenge at school during our lunch break; I took part in a challenge to dunk my face in baked beans for as long as I could. 3 of my teachers also took part with me!

The two other girls who are coming to Kenya with me went around with buckets collecting money, and altogether we raised about £27, which we shared between us!

I also found out I had another £307.13 in my school account which brings me to a total of £3188.58!! I’m so impressed!! :-)

Then I had a massive jump in my fundraising and only had £100 to go after putting £250 into my funds that I got for Christmas! I also received mega early birthday money and a donation from my auntie and cousin! I also had £20 coming from another cousin :)

I knew at this point I should have had a little more money in the school bank as well, but I wasn‰’t quite sure of the amount I had at the time!

I then got to send Sophie this email:

‘OH MY GOSH SOPHIE!!! £496 in my school account, £1531 in my Kenya account and £1930 already paid, which means I have all of my money!!!!! Still more events to come with the school and hopefully Easter!! :-) Thank you for all of your support!’

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has always supported me, my journey has been so worthwhile because of the support from each and every one of you!

I absolutely loved receiving that last email!!! WELL DONE JADE!

As ever, PLEASE send me over your fundraising story, it makes me smile when I get to read your stories! What I look for when picking a Fundraising Friday Star is what you felt when you first heard about the expedition, a few paragraphs about what you have been up to so far for your fundraising, any future fundraising plans and some pictures of your fundraising! LOTS of pictures! (pleeeeeease) But the pictures do need to be of a high quality that can be uploaded online‰! no fuzzy mugshots! 😉

Please email all entries to sophie.cohen@campsinternational.co.uk, I can‰Ûªt wait to hear from you all! 😀 Remember, every Fundraising Friday Star will win a FREE HEAD TORCH!

If you win, you will automatically be put into a draw to win an even bigger prize… every quarter we will choose one Fundraising Friday Star to win A FREE RUCKSACK, SLEEPING BAG LINER, TRAVEL TOWEL AND WATER BOTTLE!!! Which means less kit you’ll have to buy.