Why did you choose IPSEA for your fundraising challenge?

I’ve always been grateful for my education, that my parents have always encouraged me to have a focus on learning. I almost became an academic, but I chose law instead which is quite academic when you think about it.

When I was a student at City Law School there was a real focus on encouraging us to do pro bono work. I took my time and did research and found out about IPSEA and thought that would really suit me. I felt the volunteering was something I could grow into starting with the advice line and moving into Tribunal work. Also I could see a really clear cause and effect with IPSEA so I knew what I would be doing would really make a difference. And it would also be useful for me, to learn and grow my skills in delivering concise advice. IPSEA really is a great charity.

The pandemic has affected all children, but particularly children with SEND so that was another motivation. There are so many good causes, but when I thought about doing my challenge IPSEA was the obvious choice for me.

Can you tell us more about your challenge?

I had a bad accident in October 2019 and needed to do some recovery alongside my physio exercises. I started doing some yoga exercises from a Peloton app and I was amazed how quickly yoga helped. I have had problems with my shoulder since I was 19 from another injury and it started dislocating in my sleep which is really painful. But by doing the yoga I really noticed a difference. For those of you that know crow pose I started being able to hold that for half a second and it progressed from there.  So then I saw a picture of fore arm balance (an advanced pose which involves resting a lot of weight on your shoulders) and decided to turn it into a fundraising challenge for IPSEA.

My company, Ogier, are good on Corporate Social Responsibility and contributed £100 to my target and I thought – well at least that is £100 for IPSEA. They were also happy for me to send my link around to colleagues and it was really nice how many people sponsored me and reached out. One colleague told me about an accident she had had and how my efforts had really encouraged her!

Having an accident is really nasty for anybody, but I just feel grateful that I’ve been able to recover and build strength, whilst also, of course, raising funds for IPSEA. I know this money will make a real difference.

What would you say to anyone else considering taking on such a challenge?

I think if everyone made the effort to make a difference to the world in a way that was meaningful to them, what a world it would be.  


You can see a video of Michael mastering the forearm balance on YouTube here.  

And if Michael’s challenge has inspired you to take on a fundraising initiative of your own, take a look at the fundraising ideas on our website, or get in touch with our fundraising team – we’d love to support you.