What exactly does this say about our society? The few people who have overcome severe insecurities, taken off their make up and posted a selfie are, combined with those who feel urgently that they need to do something, anything to promote awareness, woefully drowned out by the thousands who are posting because they, well, umm, fancy it?
When I launched Live Below the Line in the UK in 2012 I didn't think doing the challenge was going to be difficult at all. I thought those who screwed up their faces when I proposed the challenge were simply lazy. I remember being a student - the Smart Price pies, Pot Noodles and spaghetti shapes. Living on so little for over three years, how hard could living on £1 a day for five days really be?
The current reality, though, is that all too often newly diagnosed people are left alone and vulnerable, without access to the support they so desperately need. Confirmation of sight loss is devastating news. And it often comes with no practical advice, counselling, support or guidance. This is a terrible predicament for anyone facing this appalling situation.
Even though I work for a charity, I am rubbish at asking for money. Sometimes I feel more apprehensive about the fundraising than the actual training. Like most Brits, I have a deeply ingrained irrational fear of 'bothering' anyone. Yes it is a challenge and yes it can be hard work but I have to keep reminding myself that it's so worth it in the end.
Reading and hearing reports in the media each day, it is impossible to deny that there is increased awareness of the issue of loneliness and isolation in older people in the UK. Since I founded the charity 49 years ago, Contact the Elderly has been actively involved in combating loneliness, providing over a million face-to-face friendship links via our monthly tea parties
I cannot emphasise enough just how far removed I am from those annoying people who are seemingly born with a 6-pack and effortlessly cruise through runs without breaking a sweat. It's all about hard graft for me. Like many 'growing lads', I was a victim of chronic puppy fat/grow baggage at school and running was the last thing I wanted to do.