Post date: May 1, 2019 6:14:33 PM

Why Ian’s getting involved…

As you may have already seen we have launched a new fundraising campaign this month, HARP’s HEART Walk starting on the 12th May. I just wanted to take the opportunity to get down in words why I have decided to take on this challenge, what it means to me on a personal level, and how much I will appreciate any support you can give.

I love archaeology, which is the main reason I’ve stuck at it as a career choice, as unfortunately we don’t all get to lead the life of the archaeologists portrayed in film and on TV. I also started up HARP eight years ago in order to do something a bit different, to be able to do projects and research that I found interesting, but also that other people might find interesting. I wanted to try to provide an opportunity for more people to be inspired by archaeology and heritage, and to provide opportunities for people to get involved and properly experience it; to love it, like I do. But there is obviously a cost involved, and I don’t want it to be restrictive for people to get involved, especially those who want to pursue it as a career and take on the mantle to inspire the next generation of archaeologists. HARP is funded, in the main, by participant’s fees, grant funding, and donations, and I wanted to get involved in a fundraising event that would help to keep HARP providing these opportunities in an affordable way. But it’s not just helping those who want to do archaeology that’s important. Archaeology and heritage are a huge part of many people’s lives, and can be a great way to improve people’s way of life by getting people active and out into the fresh air. A walk can be a lot more interesting if there’s something to see along the way.

Those of you who know me know that I’m built for comfort, not for speed, and that whilst I enjoy a good walk, or a hike up a hill (3 Munros and counting…. very slowly…), given the option of going for a walk or going for a pint, I’d probably go for the latter. So a 90-mile walk, camping in random spots, isn’t something that you’d normally associate with me. It’s not running a marathon (which is definitely not something you’d associate with me) but it’s a pretty big undertaking, and I’m hoping that as well as being a positive boost to my health after a long dark winter, it will also help to inspire others to get out and about, in the fresh air, visiting some sites, getting interested in their local heritage, and getting their blood pumping and lungs puffing. I’d be really proud if through this we can inspire people to get a bit more active, and a bit more interested in the history around them.

Looking at the positive health benefits also ties into the charity that half of the money we raise will be donated to. Again, those of you who know me will know why the British Heart Foundation holds a special significance, but you’ll also know that it’s not something I talk about very much.

I lost my Dad to heart failure twenty years ago this year, and it had an indelible impact on my life. Whilst I might not talk about it, it really shaped my outlook on life and how I wanted to lead it. To see as much as possible, do things that I enjoy, and try to help others where I can, because ultimately you only get one go, and for many the go doesn't last very long. Unfortunately it’s not made me lead it in as healthy way as I should, but maybe this will be able to kick start a healthier approach, and it might inspire others at the same time. The work that the British Heart Foundation do is incredible, and the research that they are doing, funded by donations from people like you, will help to reduce the number of dads that are lost too soon, or mums, or brothers, or sisters. By raising money for the British Heart Foundation, we can help beat heartbreak forever.

So that’s why I’m doing this, even though my feet will probably hate me by Day 2. I’m glad that Kieran will be alongside me, as his optimism will go along way to getting us both to the end! So, if you can support us in this challenge I really, really appreciate it, and if you can’t, no problem, but if you can share what we are doing I’d really appreciate that too. Hopefully we’ll have some good stories, photos, and facts to keep you entertained during the month of May (we’ve planned seven days for it but who knows how long it’s going to take?!), and yes, I really used to be that thin…