24 July 2017

This week, the Clipper Race is celebrating all things fundraising as we launch the first-ever fundraising week in aid of race charity, Unicef UK.

Kick-starting the celebration, where we recognise the fundraising efforts of our intrepid crew and encourage further donations, we caught up with crew member Mike Sweet (Qingdao), who has raised more than £5,000 in aid of Unicef.

Mike, 60, from Bristol operates a commercial construction company with his three sons, Lewis, Dan and Gareth. Having always wanted to sail, when he found out about the Clipper Race, he signed up for the full circumnavigation!

“More humans have climbed Everest than have completed a sailing circumnavigation of the globe and it seemed just the type of slightly crazy event that appeals to me!” Says Mike.

To share his race experience with his family, friends and work associates, Mike organised an auction dinner event in Bristol in aid of Unicef.

“We wanted to hold an event for our Clients, Suppliers, friends and family to provide them with an opportunity to learn more about the race, and also to learn more about the two charities I’m supporting as part of my race adventure. We received many generous donations from local and national businesses which we auctioned on the evening.

“We showed a video during the evening which gave a great insight into the work the charity does, which was well received. Everyone has been really supportive – the event couldn’t have happened without them,” he adds.

Unicef is the world’s leading children’s organisation, ensuring more children are fed, vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation. Unicef operates in 190 countries round the world, including every country on the Clipper Race route, and has done more to influence laws, policies and customs to help protect children than anyone else in history.

“Having brought up three boys for the most part single handed, I understand the support that children need to get through difficult times,” says Mike. “The work that Unicef undertake to ensure that children in the UK and worldwide are protected from violence, abuse and neglect is vitally important and I’m proud to support their work.”

When asked if he had any other fundraising events planned ahead of his race, Mike said: “My wife is planning a going-away party for me – I hadn’t realised she was so pleased to see me go! This would be a great opportunity to show our support for Unicef too.”

Mike’s fundraising contributions will go towards achieving the Clipper 2017-18 Race’s overall Unicef fundraising target of £400,000, which - by illustration - could buy all of the following life changing services and items:

Enough midwifery kits to help deliver 100 babies

-28,000 mosquito nets to help protect families from malaria-carrying mosquitoes

-200,000 Polio vaccines

-50,000 Measles vaccines

-5,000 blankets to keep babies warm in hospitals and refugee camps

-300 bikes to get children to school

-890 emergency water kits

-100 schools in a box to provide emergency schooling for 40 children in disasters

-64 water pumps to provide clean safe water to entire villages

-20 temporary schools or health centres for survivors of natural disasters

-1,000 emergency nutrition packs

You can visit Mike’s Unicef fundraising page here

Or check out the Clipper Race JustGiving page here

Want to show your support this fundraising week? From auctions like Mike’s to afternoon tea, we are encouraging all crew and supporters to get involved, plan and organise an activity to fundraise and post it on social media, tagging @ClipperRace and @UNICEF_uk which we’ll share on the race website and social media across this week.

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