While everyone is looking forward to the summer and warm sunny days, James McCorkindale is about to venture on the biggest challenge of his life – crossing the Arctic Ocean.

But let’s start from the beginning. James was brave and determined from an early age. Even though he had asthma and wasn’t allowed to join the Armed Forces after multiple attempts, he was searching for ways to challenge himself. This is where mount Snowdon comes in. Equipped with a big backpack, James completed his first climb in under 2 hours, while normally it takes 3 hours for people to get to the top!

“I thought I’ll just go for it because I thought it was possible” – said James

James McCorkindale - Arctic challenge

Last year on Father’s day, James decided to climb Snowdon again but this time for a very meaningful cause.

“On that day I’ve done Snowdon 3 times under 12 hours for my father, who suffered from multiple sclerosis and died when I was 18”.

Not only James raised awareness for MS but also collected an amazing amount of £5,000 as a donation (which amazed the team at GoRaise!).

What’s next? Well, James decided to take it to another level and do the Arctic challenge in May. He’s already smashed the target of £6,000 on his JustGiving page. With only a few weeks left, donations are still coming in. At the moment he has raised over £8,000!

James is also actively using GoRaise to raise money. He is planning to buy some equipment for the upcoming trip, like new flasks and coats, waterproof bottoms and a new camera. The best thing is, that buying with GoRaise, a percentage of these purchases will return back as donations for his cause.

The money raised will go to Spinal Research – a charity that aims to reverse paralysis as a result of spinal injuries. This cause is close to his heart as his brother was paralyzed after a car crash at the age of 22.

Fundraising is not an easy task, and James completely agrees. He finds it difficult to get corporate partnerships to sponsor his trips.

“Did you know that trips to the North Pole can cost between £6-8,000. Not to mention a climb to Everest for £45,000. That’s a lot of money!”

But James is not planning to give up. He receives donations from business partners and gets discounts on clothing and equipment from retailers; however, he is mostly grateful for donations from ordinary people and small families.

“I found out that rich people are unlikely to donate much. People who live in semi-detached houses, have 3 kids and bills to pay – these are the ones giving £50 or more. They could spend this money to feed their family but instead they are donating it all for my challenge. I am really grateful for that”.

James McCorkindale - Arctic challenge

We think that James is a perfect example of how one person can make a difference. He was happy to share his experience and give some advice for fundraising beginners (really appreciate it, James!).

  • Firstly, you have to go with something you enjoy doing. For example, if you like climbing, why not take on a mountain Mont Blanc? Or if your hobby is cycling, go and challenge yourself to “Land’s End to John o’ Groats”.
  • Do something out of the ordinary and unexpected for people to notice you.
  • Choose a charity close to your heart and be determined to complete the challenge.
  • Also, set an achievable and realistic target for your fundraiser.

Already feeling inspired? You can support James via his fundraising page, Twitter or Facebook. Or join his supporters’ squad on GoRaise, which James enjoys using. He is planning to do more challenges in the future, with the South Pole being on his list.

How can you help? Well, if you’re doing your weekly grocery shop or buying new juicer for your kitchen, a percentage of these purchases will go to James (or another cause or a charity you support).

We are saying a big THANK YOU to James for his time to share his wonderful story. We will keep you updated on his Arctic journey and on future challenges, so stay tuned!