‘Do what you can’: our fundraising challenge launch 2024

Would you like to help end homelessness in York? Would you like to see people who’ve experienced homelessness supported; not only by putting a roof over their heads, but by equipping them with life skills to help prevent a return to homelessness in the future? If so, then you are exactly the sort of person we need!

We are looking for 10 individuals to take on one of our fundraising challenges. We’ve highlighted some ideas below, but feel free to use your own fundraising ideas too. Don’t panic: we’re not asking anyone to run a marathon, or abseil a skyscraper, or jump out of an aeroplane (although if that’s the sort of thing you’d be up for, we wouldn’t stand in your way!). Rather, our fundraising challenges are designed to highlight one of the many situations faced by people living in poverty and those who experience homelessness. Some are sponsored tasks, others are ways you can get together with other people and save money that you then pass onto Restore. Hopefully there’s something for everyone and just reading through will ignite a spark of inspiration for what you could do to show your support for us in the coming year. As a certain supermarket are fond of telling us(!) ‘Every Little Helps’.

The challenges

Remember, these are just suggestions; if you have an idea for something you could do as a fundraising activity, then do let us know! The six ideas listed below are based around experiencing one aspect of life that many Restore residents and others like them have faced.  Don’t forget; we’re not asking you to do all of them! You just need to pick one. To help narrow down your options, we’ve arranged them into 3 different groups: two challenges related to food poverty; two connected to accessibility issues, and finally, two challenges which highlight rough sleeping and surviving outdoors.

Food-poverty challenges


Donate your takeaway

[1] People experiencing homelessness or living in poverty often don’t have access to decent cooking facilities, or the ability to prepare nutritious meals at home. However, takeaway food is often vastly more expensive than cooking at home, which for those on a limited budget means their money doesn’t go as far as it could. If you’re a household of four who get a takeaway once a week, a month’s worth of takeaways would set you back around £130! By forsaking your takeaways for just one month and donating the cost to Restore instead, that money could be used by our housing support team to train people on low incomes in cooking skills that will help them to make their food budget go much further.


Soup Sundays

[2] Similar to the takeaway idea, this challenge focuses on substituting your Sunday Roast or Pub lunch with soup and donating the difference to Restore. Soup Sunday would be a great challenge to take on as a group: maybe this is something your whole church could do one week, as a way of supporting Restore and raising awareness of food poverty issues in the U.K.? If everyone in your fellowship stayed after your morning service and shared a soup lunch, and you collected donations based on what their Sunday lunch would have cost them, this could be a fantastic way to support Restore in the year ahead. If people enjoy it, you could even consider making it a regular event!

Accessibility challenges


Car amnesty

[3] Could you relinquish your car and use only walking, cycling or public transport to navigate through your working week? A car is a luxury few people on low incomes can afford, so this is daily life for most of our residents. In taking on this challenge, you would ask your friends and family to sponsor you to go completely car-free for one whole week. As you work out how to make sure you get to work on time, collect the kids from school and do your weekly grocery shop, you will develop an appreciation for what life is like for people on low incomes without their own mode of transport. You’ll also reduce your carbon-footprint for a week, so you’d be helping the planet as well as Restore!

Phone free-48

[4] Anyone who is a parent of a teenager will be painfully aware of how generation Z seem to be surgically attached to their devices. Wifi connection is taken for granted, and those dreaded ‘no phone signal’ areas are avoided like the Bermuda Triangle.

So, a 48-hour phone amnesty is a perfect sponsored challenge to set for your teens! Maybe you could commit to do this as a family, or encourage your church youth group to participate all together? In addition to helping young people realise there is life BEYOND THE SCREEN, you can help them contemplate what life is like for people with no access to online services. When we think about how much of our lives we now control online, and think about what options are available for people with no internet access, it becomes clear the disadvantages faced by those whose incomes don’t allow for unlimited data. How do you apply for jobs? Contact the local council? Monitor your bank account? A sponsored 48-phone amnesty would raise awareness of these issues, and with the money you raise, we could help provide support to residents and facilitate their access to online services.

Outdoor survival challenges


Sleep out

[5] This is a sponsored challenge to raise awareness of the issues faced by those who have experienced rough sleeping. We’ve run our dream in your den sponsored event, aimed at primary school age children, for a couple of years now, and we’ve also had university students complete a sleepout in recent months. The sleep-out challenge is suitable for a wide range of people and can be undertaken individually or in a team. There are some caveats and health considerations to consider, and we encourage anyone considering this challenge to ensure they have a designated space place to use, such as an enclosed rear garden, and that you pay close attention to weather warnings etc in the lead up to your planned sleepout. Whilst planning your sleepout, consider things such as ‘will I have a change of clothes?’ ‘what if it rains?’ and ‘will I have access to a bathroom?’ These are only minor concerns if you’re sleeping out for one night, but if this were to become your everyday existence, I’m sure you can begin to see how challenging life would be.

Walk the walls in your pjs

[6]  For anyone who was inspired by my own walk around the city walls dressed as a donkey last year(!), this challenge is a bit of fun, asking people to sponsor you to walk around the city walls of York as many times as you can in a set period of time. The pyjama aspect is optional, although it – like the sleepout challenge mentioned above – highlights the question of being confined to life in the outdoors without appropriate protection from the elements. You could offer the pyjamas as an added incentive to your friends and family to sponsor you, promising to complete the challenge in your nightwear if you raise over a certain amount before the challenge begins. If your pyjamas aren’t suitable for being out in public (!) perhaps you could offer to do it in fancy dress instead?

How it works

So, now you’ve read the challenge ideas, what happens next?

  • Click here to sign up to take on a challenge for Restore in 2024.
  • Select which challenge you would like to undertake, or create your own.
  • Select a month of the year in which you aim to complete your challenge (this isn’t set in stone, it just helps us to have a rough timeframe).
  • We’ll send you a link to some social media graphics you can use to share your participation with your friends and family.
  • If your challenge is a sponsored event, nearer the time we’ll get in touch to help you set up a Totalgiving page, where you can collect sponsorship and the money comes directly to Restore. We’ll stay in touch until you’ve completed your challenge to help you stay on track and provide any support we can.

We hope this article has shown you how simple fundraising for Restore can be, and has inspired you to take on one of our challenges. Keep an eye on our socials for further updates!

If you would like to know more about the work we do, please follow us on FacebookX (Twitter) or Instagram. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter. If you would like to support our work financially, please donate here. Thank you.

[1] Statistics in graphic info from https://sphr.nihr.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/one-in-five-uk-adults-eat-meals-out-or-order-takeaways-in-each-week/ and https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/exploringhowtheaveragepriceofindividualitemshaschangedinthelastyear/2023-05-03

[2] Statistics in graphics from https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/exploringhowtheaveragepriceofindividualitemshaschangedinthelastyear/2023-05-03 and  https://www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/news/23851009.much-sunday-roast-cost-cook-home/

[3] Statistics in graphic from https://www.firstbus.co.uk/york/tickets/ticket-prices and https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/fuel-watch

[4] Statistics in graphic from https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/studies/mobile-statistics/

[5] Statistics in graphic from https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022

[6] Statistics in graphic from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/step-count-adult-lifetime-round-world-three-times-b573751.html