Fundraising: Me and my charity

Dave Harvey works at the Highways Agency in Leeds. He started supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care for family reasons, and has raised a total of £12,000 for the charity since 1998.

Why did you choose Marie Curie Cancer Care? Both my parents died from cancer in the early 1990s. A few years later, I read in the Ilkley Gazette - my local paper - an article about the charity and its need for donations.

I got in touch with its regional head of fundraising, and she told me about the charity's various sponsored walks. My first challenge was in 1998 - I walked coast to coast from Cumbria to Yorkshire with a colleague, and raised £4,000.

How many challenges have you taken part in? Five. I am just about to fly to the Himalayas, where I am going to climb Everest from base camp, at 9,000 feet, to 18,000 feet. I have raised £4,000 already. It's the second time I have been to the region - I have also done the Annapurna Range trek. That idea was suggested by my contact at Marie Curie.

I also walked 260 miles through the Lake District in 1999, raising £3,500.

The other challenges I have done are the West Highland Way and the Great North Run, both of which I did in 2002. I usually secure donations outside stores in my local area before I take on a new challenge. My colleagues are very supportive - I've also organised three office raffles.

Have you received any support for your Everest challenge? Yes - I have a good set of Damart thermals to take with me. The company heard about my challenge and said it wanted to help. It will make my journey a whole lot easier. If you are wrapped up warm, you can focus on the job in hand.

Do you volunteer for Marie Curie too? I have a busy job, but I told the charity I was happy to help at weekends. It told me I should become a professional fundraiser because I seem to be quite good at it - I was flattered.

What are your other charities? I also support Macmillan nurses because, like Marie Curie, it provides really good cancer care services. A mailshot presenting its work came through the post one day, and I have given it £15 every month since.

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