Fundraising Heroes guest post: Megan and Megan's story
Megan and Megan
Last week we introduced you to two bright young fundraisers, Megan and Megan, who were about to undertake an ambitious fundraising challenge, attempting to live in poverty for a week. Let's see how they got on!
"It’s Megan and Megan here with our second blog post and what a week it was! From dog flaps to sub-zero temperatures, all the way to hurricane weather, we experienced it all last week!
We slept in the caravan last Sunday night so we could get straight into the challenge first thing Monday morning. Little did we know that sleep wasn’t an option. Mother Nature decided to pay a visit and give us a cheeky little shower - just kidding, it was torrential rain. Which kept us up most of the night with its constant hammering on the roof of the caravan. By the time we eventually got to sleep, it was time to get up for the first day back at school.
School was alright; however we missed out on breakfast as we’d been a bit silly the night before and put the bananas in the fridge, meaning they were a bit too chilly to eat. As we only had one lesson that day (hurrah!) we decided to take a stroll down to our local supermarket to pick up our groceries for the week. On our way to the supermarket, we had a little dilemma. Megan forgot to pick up her £10, meaning that we only had £10 to spend for a week’s worth of food! But we soon came to find out that this didn’t matter as we managed to purchase the goods for £9.71 And when we say goods, we mean low-price, value range food. Mmm mmm!
Megan, Megan, Pudsey and Blush go shopping on a budget.
When we eventually made it back to the caravan after one treacherous walk from the other side of town, we hadn’t realised just how cold it actually was inside. So there we were, eating our jam sandwiches in our coat and scarves! As the day drew to an end, the temperature in the caravan dropped significantly, making us feel colder than ever. Nothing made us warmer, so we slept with seven layers of blankets but it still didn’t work. Once again, we didn’t sleep much that night.
When we woke up, we were greeted with another little surprise. It was that cold during the night that the butter had frozen on the counter, resulting in us not having toast for breakfast. Typical. School on Tuesday proved to be a bit more difficult than Monday, due to the lack of sleep, food and warmth, meaning that concentrating in lessons became much harder. Our focus was more on how hungry and tired we were, rather than the work that was presented to us.
Eventually lunch time came around, meaning we got to scoff down a baguette and a mini tub of crisps between us. When we joined our group, we were greeted by comments which made us feel worse than ever. ‘You two are looking a bit pale today’ and ‘You look absolutely dreadful’ were just a few remarks mentioned. Because we aren’t wearing any makeup, this made us feel even more self-conscious, and we felt ugly and uncomfortable, all things that did not go down well with our self-esteem.
Back at the caravan, things were hotting up! Just joking, it was freezing. To warm ourselves up, we decided tonight was the night that we were going to eat… soup! Shopping on a budget meant we had to make some tough choices, and we not eating the type of food we were accustomed to, which was a bit of a shock.
It's soup time!
Once everything was tidied, we decided to take some cheeky selfies, only to find out that our hair looked a right state. But what’s a gal gonna do when she ain’t got no shower? EUREKA! We washed our hair in the sink. However, this proved to be a little more difficult than we anticipated.
It's not easy washing your hair in the sink.
As the day drew to a close, we decided we couldn’t go on any more without heating, so Megan’s Uncle Pete presented us with an idea. What idea you may be thinking, well hold on to your seats because we’re about to tell you. He suggested we could perhaps have heating for 24 hours, if we deducted a small sum of money from our budget. We decided to take off £2 as we felt this was a reasonable amount. When we woke up on Wednesday, we were still nice and toasty from the night before. A rare treat last week, I can tell you.
Being without a computer was proving very difficult for the both of us that night. We both had deadlines we had to meet for the end of the week, meaning that our free time after school was spent at school, what little free time we have anyway. But being at school all afternoon had its bonuses, I mean it kept us from going back to our cold caravan.
Night had fallen by the time we eventually returned back to the caravan, meaning that what little electricity we had left, we used wisely! And by wisely I mean we used the oven. I mean, a pizza isn’t going to cook itself now is it. After what felt like 10 minutes, we had to turn off the electricity and our only means of light was the candles we had lit and the light from the stars and the moon. Ok, that was a bit of an over exaggeration but seriously, we only had candles to provide light. And I tell you now, be careful around candles! While revising, I accidentally placed my paper over the candle and it started to burn! I think I’ve learnt my lesson of never working near lit flames.
By Thursday, we were both absolutely exhausted. School seemed to be getting on top of us due to our lack of resources and to top it all off, we wouldn’t be eating until at least 8pm tonight. We have to walk around our town tonight with Megan’s three year old brother as its Halloween! However, due to our lack of money, unfortunately we won’t be able to celebrate this year as our money is needed for food and basic necessities, rather than costumes and treats. Luckily, teachers have shown support and have been donating throughout the day, passing it around as many people as possible. We even got a free lollipop from one of our Psychology teachers, Mrs. Welland. I know, she’s a cutie, bless her.
After we dragged ourselves out of the caravan that cold and blustery Friday morning, the end was in sight, but we were exhausted. English dragged, Art dragged, even lunch dragged! We just wanted to get back to the caravan. Although, there was a positive to this day. During Sociology, Mrs. Fletcher gave us a nice little shout-out to the rest of the class, informing them of what we are doing. Talk about embarrassing!
Eventually, the day finished and it was like a High School Musical moment. The kids were singing, the birds were tweeting, even the cleaners were dancing around their mops! Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but everyone was happy that it was the end of the school week. Just when we thought everything was going swiftly, we were reminded that one of our friend’s birthday parties was the same night and we were unable to go, due to the limited budget we had set ourselves, it meant that we didn’t have sufficient funds to buy a new outfit. We could have gone in one of the outfits we had been wearing; however this didn’t make us feel very good about ourselves and it wasn’t dress appropriate. So instead, we stayed in the caravan, completed a jigsaw paper and read the Psychology/Sociology review. Talk about a party.
The next morning we decided to venture into town to pick up tonight’s dinner. As we had £10 left, we decided to treat ourselves to microwaveable jacket potatoes topped with cheese, as opposed to the toast we’d been eating for the past two days. It was a God-send! By the time we had devoured our ‘scrumptious’ potatoes, we were still hungry. But what we were craving the most was fresh fruit and veg. We hadn’t even touched a piece of fruit throughout the entire week! Our budget didn’t allow us to buy fruit and veg due to the price, so we just had to carry on eating processed food all week. To celebrate our last night in the caravan, we cranked up Smooth and drank endless cups of teas while talking the night away. When we eventually made those two steps to get to the bedroom, our heads hit the pillow and we were out like a light. Too much partying, I think.
When we woke up, we only had 3 hours to get packed and leave the caravan for good. We were both very sentimental when leaving the caravan, we had called it home for the past week! But, we were finally glad to be going back home to our family and taking a nice long shower and enjoying a lovely Sunday roast. That sounds wonderful doesn’t it? To know that you have somewhere that can provide all these things. Things we take for granted.
So far we’ve raised just over £500 for BBC Children in Need but people are still donating as much as they can. We are hoping that once people understand what we have done and why we have done it, that they’ll either sponsor us or even pick up the phone on the appeal night and give as much as possible.
So that’s what happened during our week, we hope that we can raise as much money as possible for such a great cause. With the support of family, friends, teachers and members of the public, we hope to make this event a truly memorable one and hopefully we inspire other young people to go out and make a difference. From this experience we have learned that many people, including ourselves, take things for granted, but we are now realising that we should be happy with what we have got.
Poverty is a very serious problem in the UK that is overlooked by many people, and by doing this we are happy that we have raised a lot of awareness, and have shown what effect this experience has had on us. We have realised that people do spend so much on food as we have only spent £9.71 to last us for the week. However the food we have been eating has not necessarily been healthy or filling, but that’s beside the point. Just think, the £10 you spend on foundation, clothes, whatever, could essentially feed a child for a whole week. Or what about that games console that you barely use that cost say £120? Just think what a difference you could make to someone’s life by selling that and donating the proceeds. These types of things, we take for granted, but for some kids, these things could change lives."
That was Megan and Megan's week! Storms, frozen butter, chilly bananas, hunger, cold and exhaustion - the girls went experienced it all, but it seems like it was a very rewarding experience for all involved. All of us here at BBC Children in Need just want to say a massive thank you to Megan and Megan for their efforts, and for raising such a large amount in such an eye-opening way!