Our Local Hero...Dave Jennings
Dave Jennings is an advertising copywriter who has lived in Crouch End for 22 years and has three sons at Weston Park Primary School.
In November 2010 he founded the 14 Month Project, along with two other local dads Jonathan Morrish, and Adrian Pope.
The Crouch End Project have been delighted to support the 14 Month Project and have chosen to make Dave this month’s Local Hero not just for setting up this amazing project and raising an extraordinary £11,000 so far… but this award also goes to him in recognition of the way in which he has engaged with, and inspired so many of the local community to get involved. He has also made great use of local resources and the generosity of local businesses who have been only too happy to support such a worthy cause.
14 months is a poignant figure for Motor Neurone Disease because for someone diagnosed with the illness, it’s typically all the time they have left
Dave’s aim was to raise funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease, and to encourage and motivate family, friends and members of the local community to get involved, do something fun, maybe challenging and hopefully entertaining, to ultimately change the lives of others.
He chose this charity because a close friend of his lost his brother to the disease leaving behind a wife and three young children. He originally rang the charity to see if they could offer him a place in the London Marathon, but after talking to the event Fundraiser, Elaine Wyspianski, he was so moved by their plight that he chose to take his fundraising a step further. He set himself a target to tackle a 14 month calendar of challenges, a challenge a month, to raise sponsorship for the charity and for those people and their families affected by the illness.
Here is a snap shot of what Dave and the 14 month Project have achieved in the past year:
November 2010 - Dave kicked off the mega-fundraiser when he ran an epic 100km across Morocco the equivalent of a half marathon every day for four days running through the desert.
December 2010 - Dave completed the UK Grim Challenge a grueling 8 miles over the Army’s armored vehicle testing ground.
February 2011 - A very different but very rewarding challenge Dave was sponsored to spend the night in the local church, serving hot food and warm drinks to homeless people and watching over them throughout the night.
Fortunately for Dave, he has not always been alone during his challenges, his enthusiasm and charm inspired teams of friends and neighbours of the Crouch End community to join him in his quest, or just help raise some cash in whatever way they could.
April 2011 - Dave’s wife Lisa, and four other Mums organized a ‘Right Royal Knees Up’ at Weston Park Primary School, to celebrate the Royal Wedding. A fantastic community event for local families from both inside and outside of the school, it was a great fundraiser and a truly memorable day.
May 2011 - Dave and hundreds of like minded Crouch Enders, including his wife and children, run the YMCA 10K. For which The 14 month Project was one of the lucky charities to benefit.
July 2011 - keen cyclists Jonathan Morrish, and Adrian Pope fulfilled an almighty challenge by cycling the “vertical hell” of one of the Tour de France Etape mountain stages. Rumour has it they want to do it again this year!
Other awesome feats that Dave has completed for his charity over the last year include The London Ultra 50k (run), The Brighton Marathon, Weston Park 10K, The Royal Parks Half Marathon, The Surrey Spitfire (20 Miles), and the London to Brighton Bike Race.
The 14 Month Project is now drawing to a close, which is a painful reminder of what the past months have all been about. Dave and the Team have raised the approximate sum of £11,000, which is phenomenal in the current economic climate. They plan to keep going until the £14,000 target is reached so watch this space.
Congratulations to Dave, Jonathan and Adrian and thank you for giving our local community the inspiration and opportunity to get involved.
Do you have a Local Hero you would like to acknowledge here? If so, contact us through this site with a brief explanation of who your local hero is and why.