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On the move: Jonny's 244km bike ride from coast to coast for ICS

 International Service ICS Team Leader Jonny Snowden also felt initially worried about fundraising but decided to launch into several physical challenges, turning his passion (keeping fit) into a fundraising success!

"When I first received the news that I was to be heading out to Burkina Faso, Africa, as a French-speaking Team Leader with International Service, I was absolutely over-joyed. When I finally calmed down, it dawned on me that I had to fundraise. But, I have never fundraised anything… I thought. Self-doubt is all too easy to find. You often question whether what you’re doing and how you’re doing it is correct, and whether your ideas are any good. Not to mention questioning how you can possibly raise the amount you have been set. You really do just have to believe in yourself!"

coast to coast

Pushing myself

"Now, I’m neither an athlete, nor am I unfit. But, knowing that I have enjoyed physical challenges before, I focused on how I could fundraise enough to meet my target through physically pushing myself.  With an interest in cycling, it was an obvious place to start. During my planning process (a fundamental part of any fundraising project), I realised that I was realistically going to have to do more than one fundraiser to achieve my goal. So, I considered what I else I could do."

"I took on the Sea-to-Sea challenge. Backwards. With an 88km uphill Day 1 from Tynemouth, it was always going to test me, but I relished the challenge. With a moving time of a little under 16 hours over two days to complete the 244km total journey, I finally rode into Whitehaven at 21:05 on the Sunday, having left Tynemouth at 9am on the Saturday. I tracked my progress using the GPS App, Strava, so that everyone sponsoring me could see exactly how I faired, and equally to prove I was actually doing it! Now, I am looking forward to completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge alongside fellow Team Leaders, Roh and Bryony, as well as swimming the length of England’s deepest lake, Wast Water, sometime in August (Roh is tagging along for that one too!)."


Jonny believes planning, a little dedication and a lot of determination are key to successful fundraising!

“You simply have to make time among your various facets of life. If it helps any, I’m fundraising whilst completing my M.A, working three part-time jobs, and training for entry into the Royal Air Force Police. There’s always a way round other commitments, and equally there is always the help and support of the Fundraising Support Officers! You’re not on your own, so you really should not feel like it – there’s a whole community of us.”

Sea to Sea cycle challenge

Lots to learn

Jonny has leant time management, how to communicate with a lot of different people, developed his interpersonal skills and become a lot more confident in his own abilities.

“That next job interview is going to be a doddle!”

“Everyone has skills and a comfort zone. Use those skills and push the boundaries of that comfort zone – you’ll be surprised at just how capable you are! As for me, I’m learning new things every day through my fundraising. Spread the word and be proud of what you are taking on – it’s an impressive addition to anyone’s repertoire of experience. Finally, enjoy every second of it.” – We think that’s great advice Jonny! So everyone - challenge yourselves, learn new skills, spread the word about ICS and enjoy yourselves!"

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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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