February 1st 2019 was a special day for me as it marked 1 year since my life changing powerchair was delivered. A year on and I still can’t quite believe I managed to raise £11,500 in just a few months, with the help of family, friends and even strangers.

I knew that a new powerchair that enabled me to manage my chronic pain better would change my life, but I didn’t realise just how many incredible things I’d do in this past year thanks to it. 2018 was the best year of my life and that is all down to my powerchair. To me it was a true example of the difference the right equipment can make, but that just makes me even more frustrated that so many disabled people have been unable to receive the necessary equipment from the NHS and so have been forced to fundraise.

I wanted to share a few of my fundraising tips that I picked up along the way for those of you who are currently fundraising or are planning to in the future, whether it be for a wheelchair, sports equipment or other adaptations you require to live the most independent life.

Firstly, go into it with the right mindset. I experienced so many feelings of shame and guilt when I was fundraising and people’s questions about why my powerchair was so expensive left me questioning my needs and wants.

But, now I have my powerchair I can see just how pointless those negative feelings were because my powerchair has changed my life and all you need to do is look at my social media and blog to see that.

Speaking of social media, I did my fundraising mostly via Twitter and Facebook. I was ready and prepared to share my story in the local media, which is still a great method, but in the end it was my continuous sharing of my story and fundraising page on social media that propelled me to my goal.You might feel that you’re being annoying by posting frequently and asking for retweets, but consistency is really the key to successful fundraising.

Finally, as difficult as it is, sharing the more personal side of my story was vital in reaching my goal. I talked about what I was currently missing out on, my goals for the future and specific examples of things my powerchair would help me achieve, like spending more time with family and returning to education. Those insights seemed to really help people connect with my story.

Fundraising can be emotionally draining but the result at the end was more than worth it for me, my life is unrecognisable now. http://www.shonalouise.com/