Breakthrough Charity Challenge

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  • Jane Rowe

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    The Breakthrough Charity Challenge blog follows my progress over the months from July 2009 to May 2010 as I prepare to join the Breakthrough Booby Birds skydive in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
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Booby Bird Ball and Beyond

Posted by janerowe on May 2, 2010

The Booby Bird Ball took place on 20th March and was a great event that helped raise funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and provided an evening of entertainment with Kriss Akabusi and The Comedy Store Players.

The event helped the total funds raised for my skydive (which is now less than 3 weeks away!) top the £10,000 mark which is brilliant news.

Huge thanks to all who donated raffle and auction prizes or attended the event and helped to make the evening a success. Particular thanks to Kriss Akabusi and the Comedy Store Players…you were brilliant!

The next few weeks will be focused on trying to think about something else…not planes, parachutes, or the delightful ‘hot pink’ jumpsuit that should be waiting for me when I arrive at Weston on the Green on 22nd May for the skydive.

You can still sponsor me by clicking on the ‘Sponsor Me’ link on the right of this page or by clicking here.


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It’s Tonight

Posted by janerowe on March 20, 2010

The Booby Bird Ball happens tonight and is the last major event before the skydive in May.

Whilst numbers are not as high as I would have liked, we’re still set for a great night with the wonderful and hillariously funny Comedy Store Players joining us with Neil Mullarkey and Josie Lawrence in the line up, and the fabulous Kriss Akabusi also taking time out of his busy schedule to attend the event.

And the dress for the evening will also be several sizes smaller than when the event was first planned, having maintained the 5 stone + weight loss since moving back onto real food in December.

So, here goes. Let’s hope we can raise loads of money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer with some fab Auction Lots and Raffle prizes up for grabs…photos and a run down of the evening will appear soon!

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Booby Bird Ball Gathers Pace

Posted by janerowe on January 3, 2010

The hotel is booked, the entertainment is booked and the Booby Bird Ball takes place on 20th March 2010 at the Marriott Heathrow/Windsor. This fundraising event is just £85/head or £800/table of 10.

With Christmas and the New Year festivities behind us, now is a great time to get something in the diary to look forward to. It’s also a great opportunity to do something for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a very worthwhile charity that supports a cause which touches so many of us either directly or indirectly.

To book, contact me via the comments section below or via Twitter at

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Progress All Round

Posted by janerowe on December 26, 2009

I thought I’d write a final post for 2009 summing up the progress made towards the Breakthrough Challenge during the past six months.

With the skydive still five months away, there is plenty more to do, but 2009 has seen some significant progress in a number of areas.

On 14th July I committed to lose weight by joining the LighterLife programme in order to ensure that the ‘hot pink’ jumpsuit did not make me resemble Bagpuss. As of today, I have lost over 5 stone in weight and am now working my way back to normality with real food back on the menu. Christmas and New Year will obviously be the next challenge!

In terms of the fundraising, with what is on JustGiving and funds raised through auction and raffles, I have now topped £6,000. I’m conscious that I have a long way to go, however!

The Booby Bird Ball is booked for 20th March 2010 at the Marriott Heathrow/Windsor and tickets are available for £85/head or £800/table of 10. The fabulous Comedy Store Players have agreed to provide the entertainment for the evening.

Anyone wanting to book can contact me by leaving a comment below with details. I will not post these comments to the blog but will contact you directly or contact me via Twitter at

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Spicers SOS Auction for Breakthrough

Posted by janerowe on December 13, 2009

On 8th December we ran an auction at Spicers SOS event for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, to support the Booby Bird fundraising activity for the skydive in May.

With three lots, including two tickets to the X Factor Live Show, a week in a holiday cottage in Devon and a return helicopter flight to Tuddenham Mill for lunch, the auction raised a fabulous £1,600.

Thanks to the successful bidders and to the fabulous companies and people who donated the prizes.

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Ladies Indulgence Evening

Posted by janerowe on December 13, 2009

On 27th November, we held our first fundraising event for the Breakthrough Booby Birds cause. The Ladies Indulgence Evening was hosted by Sophie Brown, one of my fabulous Booby Buddies! At just £20/ticket, and with a host of stalls selling goodies for Christmas, mini treatments and gift bags containing over £20 worth of treats, the evening was a roaring success.

The hall in Newton, Cambridgeshire held just 50 people and we had a capacity crowd, raising over £1,100 in just 2 hours.

Thanks to Sophie for organising this great event and to all the others who provided the support, arranged the stalls, donated the goodies and raffle prizes and catered for the event.

Well done to all!

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14 Weeks Completed

Posted by janerowe on October 18, 2009

ScalesThe Foundation part of LighterLife comes to an end on Tuesday and 14 weeks have delivered nearly three and a half stones weight loss. I’m over the moon and feel sooooo much better! It does go to show that you need some significant will power as only three of the group (originally 13) have got to the end of the 14 week programme.

I will now progress into another group who want to continue losing weight. I’ll probably stay in this group for 8-10 weeks before reintroducing food gradually.

And how has it been? Remarkably easy, but will power is required in abundance! Generally I’ve been fine during the working day, but business dinners and events have been particularly challenging…though not insurmountable. And now, as we approach Christmas, there are many events coming up including a number of Black Tie Dinners which revolve around a long and elaborate meal. These will be a challenge.

I estimate that my first ‘real food’ may be during Christmas week – not helpful at all the pre-Christmas events, but at least my New Year’s Resolution will be somewhat different for 2010!

And fitness…still not good, but this is now on the radar and after the first week of regular exercise, this will improve in time.

So would I recommend LighterLife? I think if you find it difficult to manage a normal diet or get frustrated with the pace of change, then certainly. What I can’t say yet is how easy it is to reintroduce normal food. Hopefully turkey is on the list of foods I can have in my first week of ‘real food’!

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Posted by janerowe on September 20, 2009

logoWell, I’m coming to the end of week 10 on LighterLife and can safely say, it works! Two and a half stone lighter and feel great, despite any comments in the media about the risks.

As a 14 week programme, I will have to decide in a few weeks time whether to finish there and move onto the Route to Management or continue for a while longer. I’m afraid it will be the latter but I’ll take it four weeks at a time and see how I get on.

For anyone considering the diet, it’s not easy unless you have cast iron will power! I haven’t faltered at all, which has posed its own challenges with numerous dinners and social events to contend with. But it is possible and the thing that makes it possible is that you really aren’t hungry. It is just a case of breaking old habits and not treating the food as something you look forward to…it is fuel.

I am down to only five items I can actually eat/drink which is a bit dull. Others on the programme really like some of the food packs…I haven’t personally developed an affinity for any of them, bar one which is actually quite nice. But it is worth it!

And the other piece of good news is that I topped £2,000 in sponsorship this week…10% of target, but we’re getting there!

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The Booby Bird Ball

Posted by janerowe on September 6, 2009

BBB1c (2)The date is set…the Booby Bird Ball will take place in Windsor on Saturday 20th March 2010 in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Colleagues, aquaintances, friends and family should all be in for a great night of food, wine and entertainment…and all for a great cause.

The fabulous Comedy Store Players have kindly agreed to provide the entertainment for the evening and there will, of course, be dancing until the early hours.

Tickets are available now at £85 each or £800 for a table of 10.
All of the proceeds from the evening will go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

For further information about how you can get tickets and support the vital work of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, email me at

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A Week in Chocoholic Heaven

Posted by janerowe on August 30, 2009

IMG_0386IMG_0377Well, I have survived a week in France and Belgium, sticking to LighterLife and drinking copious amounts of water and peppermint tea.

I have to say that one place in Brussells did excell themselves on the peppermint tea front, dishing up a superb fresh tea (worthy of a photograph!).

The Choco Story chocolate museum in Bruges was a bit of a test, particularly after the praline demonstration when everyone got a chocolate…handing it over to my son was certainly not natural!! And of course every other shop in Bruges appears to be a chocolate shop, which makes for added temptation…which I can safely say I resisted.

However, we did crack the 10,000 steps a day on a number of days. Though it was clear that it is virtually impossible to fit this into a working day without spending the whole evening walking. Thus we need to find an alternative exercise option for week days.

Just one of the forthcoming challenges!

Overall a good week, stuck rigidly to the plan, walked much more, lost weight and continued the planning for the Booby Birds Ball…more on this soon!

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