No pun intended, but this whole inspirational, educational expedition thing is snowballing!

I’ve had 15 or so articles in local papers, I’ve been interviewed on BBC radio, I have the chance to write this blog for an amazing website and the ice-ing (that was intended) on the cake is that a film crew from Teacher’s TV has started following our build up and will be heading south with us.

The fundraising side is also going well thanks to some incredible people in local companies – with special mention to Connells, Hallmark Travel, Select Education, ATL and Rix & Kay Solicitors. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, however.

If you are trying to generate publicity or raise funds for something then here are my learning points so far: 

  • Personalise every e-mail or letter. 
  • Don’t expect a reply to your personalised e-mail/letter. You will have to call to get anywhere. 
  • Keep notes. 
  • Get pictures into every piece of correspondence. 
  • Don’t confuse ‘no response’ with ‘no’. 
  • Make sure you can show you are helping yourself as well as asking for help. When I went to companies to ask for money they liked the fact that I was selling stuff at car boot sales, running carnation-giving schemes, organising raffles, selling postcards etc. 
  • Embrace junk mail … if those companies are trying to advertise locally then surely sponsoring a local good cause will make them stand out?! 
  • Most importantly, build relationships.

It hasn’t all gone to plan. One journalist seemed to think that Antarctica and the Arctic were the same place. The film crew have only got footage of us trying on our sensible boots so far – and the easiest way to get in the press is to dress in silly clothes! To cap it all, I’m fairly certain that I said Punta Anus, rather than Punta Arenas on BBC radio.