Since I turned 40 not so long ago (oh, it was six years ago), I've really focused my attention on raising money for Tickled Pink. Tickled Pink raises money for Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign and it means a lot to us at Asda. It was founded 16-years-ago and we've raised nearly 29 million, there or there abouts.
I've been charity fundraising since I was 16-years-old, my dad took poorly with cancer and I lost my father from cancer when I was about 18. He was a big strapping lad, a navy man and a policeman. To see what cancer can do to an individual of his ability was heart wrenching.
That's why I am so passionate about this cause and why I take on so many tough challenges year after year! One year, we cycled 20 miles around Snowdon, we then parked up our bikes and ran to the top, 7,000 foot in terms of ascent and descent, and then back on the bikes for a 15-mile gruelling cycle finished with a two and a half mile kayak in wet and windy in Wales!
Despite the hard work, I do have so many funny stories from all my challenges. Being on a tandem for the first time from Lands End to John O'Groats is one bizarre situation I've put myself in! Before we set off, we had no idea what a tandem looked like!
It turned out the bike that we got sponsored, it were a male and a female bike. Well, my cycling partner was a male and he was weighing in at 17 and a half stone. We had absolutely no idea we had an inferior bike to start off with!
I do remember, seven o'clock in the morning, we're cycling along and I say to my partner 'sit still' and he says 'I am sat still!' And I say 'Sit still, we're going down a hill at 35 miles an hour!' I recall seeing him come into my peripheral vision. We'd actually snapped the frame and he'd started to drift! We were able to stop and thankfully didn't hurt ourselves. We also managed to get another bike so we were able to carry on. That was not just a funny moment but also a delicate moment - we didn't know if we were going to survive or not!
Because I've been charity fundraising for such a long time it's become an annual event, which my colleagues at Asda and my supply base really look forward to getting involved in. It sets them a personal challenge every year. And in regards to the charity, are they happy we are raising it for Tickled Pink? Absolutely yes.
The next challenge is going to be the Windermere Iron Man Challenge. Well, it's not the official one, it's a route we're going to design ourselves! We have 20 teams of four and are aiming to raise 50k for Tickled Pink. I don't think the route is that bad but some people are telling me I'm out of my mind!
For anyone out there who wants to get into fundraising, the important thing to know is that it's not always about looking for those events which raise hundreds of thousands of pounds or millions of pounds. Take the little and often approach. Things like a tombola at lunch time, fancy dress, dress down days, sponsored walks, any kind of sponsored event which is dead simple to pull together, are the way to go. Every penny counts and get as many people involved as you possibly can.
As for me, I've been blessed in regards to good health and fitness and if I'm in a position where I can make a difference, for many years to come I am going to continue to raise money for charity so be assured, it ain't a flash in the pan. Every year you'll see an event of some kind from me, it might be a small one, or a huge one but Tickled Pink is going to get my support.
Follow Jim Viggars on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BCCare