Take a look at the stories of some of our fundraisers. They accepted the challenge and here we share their experiences to inspire you.

A team of four adults from Royston, Hertfordshire braved the elements and slept out under the stars, raising more than £6,000 for CUF's work addressing homelessness.
The Royston Rough Sleepers headed to their local churchyard to sleep rough for the seventh Christmas running, and raised more than £6,300.

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The Royston Rough Sleepers have raised over £30,000 for CUF over the last seven years. Andrew says his team “wants to make a difference by helping those who are trying to escape the misery and despair of homelessness.”

Dozens of fundraisers got their walking shoes on this Advent to raise money for CUF’s work strengthening communities.

We challenged you to walk 90 miles by Christmas Eve. Alastair from Norfolk hit the 90-mile target walking in his home county, and raised £500 for CUF.

Alastair WTH card

Alastair told us that serving people in need through his sponsored walks answers his own need. He added: “I chose CUF because I want to help people rediscover their sense of hope and community.”

One nine-year-old girl (pictured) walked 152 miles with her mum and raised £110, including £38 from her brother’s pocket money. She said she enjoyed walking with a purpose. She added: “I liked the fresh air, and getting to spend special time with my mum doing something together.”

A group of 38 teachers and pupils from St Mary’s CE Primary School in Finchley in north London did a sleepout in December 2023, raising a stunning £2,000. This was their sixth sleepout challenge.

“The school’s decision to join with us was a direct outworking of its distinctive Christian vision and values, and a desire to help pupils become courageous advocates," said Revd Nicholas Pye, vicar of St Paul's.

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"Here in London, children are very aware of homelessness, and working together enabled them to take positive social action," he added.

Jess chose to run the London Marathon. She’s a 30-something mum of two who works as a GP in the North West. She is also a Christian and attends a suburban church with lots of social needs within the community it serves.

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I have always dreamt of running the London Marathon – I honestly thought it would never happen but the opportunity arose to run for Church Urban Fund, linking two things (running and social justice) I am passionate about. I have always said I cannot wait to hit the final bit of the marathon and run down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace with all the crowds around. It gives me excited shivers thinking about it. My dad initially suggested Church Urban Fund as he has links through his own work. When I looked into the organisation more I thought it was perfect to run for.”

Mia and Kelly, both members of the fundraising team at CUF took part in the SleepIN challenge in 2020, Both giving up a night of comfort to raise funds in support of people experiencing homelessness. Kelly slept on her sofa and Mia slept on the floor with no pillow or duvet.

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I’m going to sleep on my sofa for a week because people don’t realise that you don’t have to be on the street to be homeless. If inequality and homelessness in your community make you sad or angry, imagine what it’s like for the people experiencing it! It’s no good feeling bad about it, we’ve got to do something! That’s why I took part in the challenge.”

St Barnabas Church welcomes its community by hosting several events, many of which are long-running and very popular. These events help them to raise money for charities they support as a church. They have included Bingo Nights, Steet Parties and a Christmas Fair that has been running for several years.

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St Mary’s Church has also run a fundraising event that benefits members of the community as well as raising money. This event was an auction of promises, where members of their congregation listed something they would offer the winning bidder, including cooking a meal for 4, local tours and cooking lessons.