Wednesday 11 February 2015

Dance With Me. Sponsor Me. Dare Me. Train With Me. #TeamHonkDanceathon

I've been a big fan of Red Nose Day and Sport Relief - both of which come from Comic Relief - for as long as I can remember, so when I saw that Team Honk are doing a Danceathon, in the same venue, same day, with THE DANCEATHON it was a no brainer.
Take part in the first ever Comic Relief Danceathon on Sunday 8th March hosted by Claudia Winkleman at The SSE Arena, Wembley
I absolutely adore dancing, and there are certain beats that will get me dancing no matter where I am - Bhangra being one of them. Even carrying my baby doesn't stop me dancing, although that and being filmed did make me slightly award as you can see:

I often liken myself to the Fat Bottomed Girls of Queen's Song: Fat Bottomed Girls You Make the Rocking World Go Round. You would totally understand if you could see footage of me at a Salsa dancing class in Malta 2008, but sadly I can't find the MP4 to upload it here. You're saved from watching and I am saved the embarrassment ha!

But back to me and Comic Relief. I've always watched the show, on BBC1, but 2007 I took it further and did a last minute effort for Red Nose Day at work. Just that little initiative executed in 48 hours raised a few hundred pounds and shows the difference that each and every one of us can make! Actually I have just dug out the pic and it was over a thousand pounds, ooooh!

Fast forward to 2008 and I was on fire about the possibilities so I liaised with Comic Relief with a view to my employer being an official partner of Sport Relief 2008. It worked, and involved a year and a half of hard work, but we raised over 40 thousand pounds. We did so many initiatives. We did an on pack promotion, where 20 pounds from the sale of each product went to Comic Relief. We provided the prize for each and every member of the public who raised 500 pounds or more in sponsorship. My ex-colleague organised and hosted an actual Sport Relief Mile, and has continued to do so every two years since actually. As our Head Office was in London, a load of us did the London Sport Relief Mile and raised a fortune on each of our fundraising pages, as ultimately that is what it is all about! A stockist organised a walk. There were lots of initiatives, some of which I have probably forgotten. A highlight was that in addition to being AT the live BBC Show, a A few of us were also able to attend Sport Relief does The Apprentice, where I met Sir Alan Sugar, David Walliams, Kelly Holmes, Simon Cowell and Kelvin MacKenzie. We'd provided product for the "Apprentice's Shops" and Kelly Holmes shifted loads of our product in a bid to make her team win (it wasn't televised though). She was truly amazing and a bundle of energy. My findings were that Simon Cowell was short, Sir Alan likes to be called Sir so got cross and blanked me when I said "Hello Alan" (I know I am DUMB and nerves got the better of me) and when I tried to chat to David Walliams he looked at me suspiciously and said "are you a journalist?" LOL! No, not me! Oh and Kelvin MacKenzie was a diamond geezer and wrote out a large cheque.

In 2010, we were no longer involved but me and the Marketing Manager were really really nostalgic about it so at the VERY last minute we bought a ticket for the London Sport Relief Mile and went along, just the two of us. Our colleagues were really generous and we raised stupid amounts of money on our fundraising pages. In the days after I was Googling it and read what the Guardian had to say and was thrilled via that, to find this freelance photographer's photos uploaded to YouTube in a slideshow (below). The photos he took were very touching as I was 6 months pregnant, yet did the 3 mile option (starting off jogging and then walking). So yes, Aaron did 3 miles for Sport Relief in my tummy. The pics x 2 are at 1:16 and 1:36. I meant to contact the photographer and buy them, but as I was a workaholic back then I never ever got round to it:

Funnily enough, YEARS later, when I went to see the Press show of The Gruffalo Live, that very same photographer was there photographing the celebrities who attended the theatre. He gave me his card, but do you think I know where it is?!?!?!? Fail!

Anyway, I am finding this whole #TeamHonkDanceAthon thing infectious and am playing Saturday Night by Whigfield and lots of other upbeat songs constantly. The other evening I danced in my kitchen for TWO HOURS. I've gone a bit bonkers with it all truth be told. But it's making me move more and that has to be a good thing. Aaron's done some of the dancing with me, and last night was singing along to Whigfield "Salad Tonight Salad Tonight" which made me laugh till I cried. So appropriate as this is COMIC Relief after all LOL.

I will upload footage of me or Aaron or both dancing in our kitchen if YOU sponsor me. Pretty please? My fundraising page is dormant currently, as I've been a bit SHY thus far about sharing it. My big fat zero on my sponsorship page is all about to change as the lovely people at BetFair are sponsoring me, to get me off to a flying start. That will give my dancing shoes wings for sure! Now, Comic Relief asks that dancing participants raise 150 pounds in sponsorship (we do get to go to Wembley and meet celebs after all), so with BetFair enabling me to reach that total straight away I COULD rest on my laurels and focus on my dancing training, but no, I have set my target to 300, as I would like to raise the required 150 personally as well, but without a whole office of colleagues, as a lonely SAHM I have no idea how to do this unless YOU dear reader help me.

I am also working on a Red Nose Day 2015 initiative with school as I am on the PTA (actually I better finish this post as we have a meeting at 13:30 today), but a couple of them were reluctant about Comic Relief as they wrongly have the impression that "all the money goes to Africa" (concerned when at these times of austerity there are so many here in need at home). I put them straight because:

Comic Relief works on Domestic Violence - they've "helped to establish the National Domestic Violence Helpline, which has received over 1.5 million calls since it was set up in 2003".
But, being that Aaron is half African, I am delighted that we help overseas and at home. Charity does indeed begin at home, but it is heart warming to help people in need wherever they may be. Always thinking "there but for the grace of God go I".

I adore the #MyKidsDressedMe initiative that Pippa Story of Mum has come up with. For anyone who can't get to Wembley to do the danceathon the thing to do is #HonkFromHome and the being dressed by your kids thing is certainly a way to honk from home. You get to bring Comic Relief and Red Nose Day to the school gates by having to explain why you are dressed that way, and you can ask your school gates gang to text "Funny" to 70011 to donate a POUND.

So, I think now, I will go and find the Halloween Dress that Aaron wanted me to wear to school on Monday morning, and I might just wear it to my PTA meeting and get my lovely "fellow parent" ladies to send that text!!!!
Please sponsor me OR get involved in Comic Relief your own way. Like I said earlier, if you can't make Wembley for the #TeamHonkDanceAthon you CAN #HonkFromHome or you can just do lots of social sharing, to help raise awareness of this year's Red Nose Day.

I'll show you my dance moves if you sponsor me ;-)

At first, I wasn't going to sign up for the DanceAthon as I wrongly assumed it was full. It's NOT, sign up TODAY. I am looking at all of you, and staring at Mama and More's Zaz. Very happy that Tinuke has signed up, from Circus Mums.

If you want to keep up to date with all the news, follow @Team_Honk on Twitter.

Bye for now, Liska xxxx

All this training is changing my shape already. You want in? Sign up too and start dancing TODAY.

I'm linking up with All About You

Mama and More


  1. What a great iniative!
    Thank you for linking #AllAboutYou!
    (cohost #AllAboutYou)

  2. Can't think of a better way to change shape and look at your rocking and rolling with those celebs before! You're made for it and will defo sponsor you XX


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