Meningitis Now staff member Clara Wiggins

Charley's 52-week fundraising challenge for Meningitis Now

Clara Wiggins | 27th January 2020

Eating nothing but baby food for a week, using no plastic and learning all the American states in alphabetical order were just some of the whacky challenges taken on by one of our supporters to raise money for Meningitis Now

Charley's 52 week fundraising challenge for Meningitis Now

Brave Charley Green challenged her friends and family to challenge her – every week, for a whole year - and they certainly didn’t disappoint! From giving up social media completely for the first week of January through to eating turkey every day in December, Charley really did get more than she had probably bargained for.

But it was all worth it in the end and Charley has raised nearly £1,000 – with the total still rising. Not only that, she’s also had the benefit of staying sober in October, learning to meditate, and taking cold showers for a week in winter!

Charley decided to raise money for Meningitis Now because her brother Will contracted the disease when he was 25. Charley said it had been a difficult time for their family although luckily Will made a full recovery. But three years on, as she hit her thirtieth birthday, she wanted to do something really special to mark the occasion – so the 52-week challenge was born.

“Over the course of 2019 a friend or family member set me a challenge which was to be completed in a week,” she said. “This included learning Chinese, doing a music video, no social media, trying a new food and many physical challenges like completing all the elements of an Ironman over three weeks!"

“There were some fun, some difficult and some impossible challenges. I found the baby food the hardest as it was physically and mentally challenging and it didn’t help that I was eating too little!"

Really impressed

“I enjoyed most of them but climbing Kilimanjaro was very rewarding and the treasure hunt was great fun… I am glad it’s over as doing something every week was quite tough but I found it really fun and would encourage people to do it as it’s different but also keeps you focused!”

Meningitis Now Community Fundraiser Kat Hollywell said she was really impressed with Charley’s efforts – as well as fascinated by some of the challenges her friends and family members came up with.

“This sounds like a huge amount of fun, although I can see some of these challenges really must have been quite tough!” she said.

“But we’re really grateful for all the work she’s put in to complete these tasks and hopefully she realises that all her fundraising efforts will go to good use helping people living with the impact of meningitis, raising awareness about the disease, and paying for vital research”.


Some of the other challenges Charley took on include: 

  • “I’m a Celebrity challenge” - could only eat rice and beans every day.
  • Positivity week - had to turn everything into a positive.
  • Zero food waste - had to use every part of the food including the potato skins, and eat a slice of lemon that was placed in my lemonade.
  • 700 page book - had to sit and read a 700 page book in a week. This was difficult as my concentration span isn’t great!
  • Kilimanjaro on the stepper - between myself and two friends we hiked Kilimanjaro on the stepper.
  • Treasure hunt - a friend gave me a list of seven unusual food items to find around London. First, I had to work out what they were and where they might be. I explored lots of parts of London I’ve not spent much time in before.
  • Only independent shops - I could only go to independents so butchers and greengrocers, and also independent restaurants! I really enjoyed giving back to locals.
  • Rubik’s cube - this was impossible and unfortunately I didn’t manage to complete it.
  • Vegan - I went vegan for the week which was really eye opening! It has taught me that I don’t need meat with every meal!
  • Tinned food - a work colleague challenged me to eat only tinned food all week - this was terrible as I couldn’t season anything!
  • Christmas in July – had to invite a few friends over and have a full turkey roast and there was even some presents!
  • 18 bridges across London - had to take a photo of myself on each bridge, so went on a fun cycle to each one on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Odd shoes - had to wear odd shoes around London every day! Was pretty awkward at work!
  • Phonetic alphabet - had to learn it.
  • Boomerang - had to try and successfully throw a boomerang, a lot harder than you think!
  • Litter picking - had to litter pick around London - there was a lot!
  • Irish counties - had to learn the Irish counties in alphabetical order.
  • Frosty the snowman – had to learn to play this on the guitar, pretty difficult as I had never played the guitar in my life before!
  • Baby schedule – had to be up at 11pm, 3am and 5am throughout the night! This was horrible.
  • Chopsticks – had to only use chopsticks to eat, definitely meant I ate smaller portions as it took a lot of time!

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