Leeds supermum’s year of charity challenges

Sarah Bushnell aims to raise �1,000 for St Gemma's Hospice by challenges such as giving up chocolate. PIC: James Hardisty
Sarah Bushnell aims to raise �1,000 for St Gemma's Hospice by challenges such as giving up chocolate. PIC: James Hardisty
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For many, doing a charity challenge such as a fun-run or Dry January forms part of New Year’s resolution.

But Whinmoor mum Sarah Bushnell has taken things 11 steps further, by committing to 12 charity fundraisers over the course of 2016.

Sarah, 29, decided to fundraise for St Gemma’s Hospice in Moortown after they cared for her grandmother, Sheila McDonald, as she battled cancer.

And she has already completed one challenge – giving up chocolate throughout the whole of January.

Her February task is take part in Bark in the Park, a sponsored dog walk, along with her dogs Logan, Poppy and Sadie.

And she has a whole host of other challenges, ranging from fun-runs to raffles, in the months to come.

Her year of fundraising will end at St Gemma’s annual Santa Dash in December.

Sarah said: “I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution, and I just thought – why not? It’s a charity that means a lot to my family.

“My grandma stayed in St Gemma’s over Christmas 2014, and the hospice arranged for my granddad Ken to come and have his Christmas dinner with her.

“We always have Christmas dinner at my Grandma’s, so it was so nice of them to arrange it.”

Sarah’s grandmother has returned to her home in Moortown since her stay at St Gemma’s, and is supporting her through her challenges, alongside Sarah’s partner, Alex, her son Charlie, five, and step-son Riley, nine.

Sarah dubbed her no-chocolate challenge “the de-chox”, and added: “For the first few days of the year, it was hard as I was on holiday but I had a KitKat on February 1 and it was amazing.”

And she is looking forward to the tasks ahead. She said: “I’m not especially fit so there’s a lot of practice and effort going in. I’m using a walking app and I’m documenting it all on Facebook.”

To help Sarah reach her target of £1,000, donate at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/saintsatstgemmas


Sarah Bushnell’s charity challenges for the first six months of 2016 include:

January: Giving up chocolate for the whole month for a “de-chox”.

February: Bark in the Park sponsored walk with dogs Logan, Poppy and Sadie.

March: Organising a charity raffle, in which Sarah will donate a homemade ‘Malteser Tree’ as a prize.

April: Leeds Bubble Rush - a fun-run through a sea of colourful bubbles at Harewood House.

May: Leeds Gung-Ho - a giant inflatable obstacle course.

June: Leeds 10k Midnight Walk.