Have won the Berghaus Challenge with a massive 1376 votes. £1,000 to help fund the project and £1,000 worth of Berghaus kit. Winning involved an online voting competition against two other excellent projects - all very stressful.
One of the nice side effects is that the competition forced me to "mobilise" all of my networks. Getting the votes meant contacting everyone: family and friends; ex-colleagues from the Improvement and Development Agency where I used to work; colleagues from the job before that; and a whole host of people I haven't been in touch with for too long. Part of the family network included nephews and nieces who are now scattered around the world and who contributed to what was definitely an international response. I'm particularly grateful for the great support half way through from the Brighton and Hove Ramblers Association who emailed all their members over the weekend generating a noticeable surge in the voting numbers.
I benefited also from the fact that Hannah, my daughter, works for a PR company and is competitive like her dad (although as it turns out a lot cooler). She plugged into her work networks and her colleagues at Grayling, a big PR agency, generating a huge amount of support through Twitter, Facebook and other channels. Vicky, a daughter in law (also has her own PR company - Indigo Cow) and Jack, my step son, were also brilliant - chasing, proding and getting people to vote.
One of the competition conditions is that the money awarded goes to support the costs of the project - in this case the E4 walk. A kind benefactor has said however that, if I win the Berghaus Challenge, they will match the award and this matched money will then contribute to the target I have set for raising money for the Britain Nepal Medical Trust.
I had great support from the BNMT throughout the competition and votes were coming in from Kathmandu, where so many great treks start and finish. I'll be meeting Sadhana Shrestha, who runs the charity, in Kathmandu in November, at the end of trip to Kanchenjunga, and as well as thanking them for the help I got on the challenge will find out, first hand, about some of the things they do.
So if you did, thanks for voting - now back to preparing for the walk.