Fundraiser Pays Fitting Tribute to Graeme “Podge” Porteous

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At the end of September 2016, The Change Foundation had its largest and most successful fundraiser to date in memory of a great supporter of The Change Foundation, Graeme Porteous (known as Podge to friends and family) who sadly died in a skiing accident in February 2015. The fundraiser involved a tough bike ride from Edinburgh to London followed by a dinner on Saturday 1st October to celebrate Graeme’s 50th birthday with his friends and family.

The Pedal for Podge cycle ride was a 458 mile bike ride from Edinburgh to London over 5 days between Monday 26th and Friday the 30th September 2016. There were 22 riders who took on the full 5 day ride, with 39 one day riders who either took part in the first day of the ride between Edinburgh and Carlisle or the last day of the ride between Cambridge and London. There was an amazing buzz and great camaraderie around the group throughout the ride, which included a number of Graeme’s close friends from school, sport, family and work who joined together to raise funds for The Change Foundation and take on a challenge which Graeme hoped to do for his 50th birthday celebration. The bike ride raised an amazing amount of money through the cyclists Just Giving pages, raising an incredible £91,000. We would like to give a special mention to Allan MacLeod and Kevin Troup who raised over £25,000 between them.

The Party for Podge dinner and auction was held at the Hurlingham Club on Saturday 1st Octoer 2016 to celebrate Graeme’s 50th birthday with family and friends. The evening was attended by 268 guests with a 3 course meal, as well as a live and silent auction. The dinner was hosted superbly by a close friend of Graeme, Robert Lane and the auction was compered by former London Wasps and England International, Damian Hopley, who was absolutely excellent in maximising people’s bids using a mixture of guile and humour. The silent and live auction, along with some individual pledges raised an incredible £67,000, which highlights the generosity of Graeme’s friends and shows their faith in the charity that was so close to Graeme’s heart.

The money raised from the event will go towards The Change Foundation’s Rugby for Change programme, which uses rugby as a tool to do three things.

1. To work with young people on the edges of gangs and criminal activity to create a positive rather than negative path in their lives.

2. To work with young offenders serving prison sentences in young offenders institutions to develop the skills and attitudes to start their lives in a positive way on release.

3. To support newly released young offenders with networks of support and opportunities to succeed.

If you would like to be contacted about our future fundraising events or would like to host a fundraising event, please email andys@thechangefoundation.org.uk.