Over the last year, Nicky Clark, from Littlehampton, has completed 50 challenges for her 50th birthday, raising over £7,000 for local children's hospice, Chestnut Tree House.
The idea came when Nicky was struggling of ways to celebrate her 49th birthday whilst in lockdown in 2020, so she asked friends and family to donate what they would have spent on her gift to Chestnut Tree House children's hospice in return for a homemade bake. Nicky raised £250 from this and was determined to raise more.
Fast-forward to May 2022, Nicky has almost completed her 50 challenges and is getting ready to celebrate her 51st birthday later this month. "It's been an incredible year," says Nicky. "1389Km ran/walked covering John O'Groats to Lands End, 270 tube stations visited, and countless memories made, I have almost finished my 50 challenges and I'm feeling better than ever! Unfortunately, due to health issues, I had to swap a few challenges and have two to complete later in the year, one of them being The Great South Run. But I'm so proud of what I've accomplished so far!"
From skydives and abseils, to binge-watching 50 episodes of a TV series and dying my hair bright pink, Nicky has had a jam-packed year taking on various challenges. "All of the challenges I took on were difficult for different reasons," says Nicky. "Obviously the skydive, abseil and getting on a horse were the scariest, but then one of my challenges was to visit every London Underground station in one day which very difficult to plan. I also gave up wine for 50 days, so that is up there as one of my hardest challenges!"
When asked how she was feeling that her year of challenges is almost over, Nicky says, "I feel quite sad really, but I'm going to keep challenging myself. The last year has been so empowering, and it's given me the confidence to push myself and try new things. I have a new zest for life and I'm looking forward to pushing myself further - and building up my newfound medal collection even more!"
Nicky's original fundraising target for Chestnut Tree House was £1,500, and she's currently raised over £7,000. "I'm so proud of how much I've raised for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice," says Nicky. "And I'm even prouder that I now work for this amazing charity in their Fundraising Team, I can't quite believe that's happened.
"If you're thinking about taking on a challenge and doing something out of your comfort zone, then do it. This last year has taught me that age really is just a number, and anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I won't be doing 51 challenges for my 51st birthday - but I might consider it again for my 60th!"