New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Putting the fun into fundraising – Mud, water and the tunnel of doom!

Posted September 4th, 2012 by Suzanne Carter with No Comments

Emma Neil has been one of our regular bloggers over the last few years. In July she offered to do the gruelling Midlands Major Series to raise money for BCT – of course, we ‘jumped’ at the chance, but we are leaving the crawling through mud and wading waist high in freezing October water to Emma!

Emma is 26 and from Wolverhampton. She is employed by Keele University as a Clinical Studies Officer working with the Primary Care Research Network.  I interviewed Emma to find out why she chooses to volunteer for BCT and what physical challenge she is putting herself through to support our work!

Why do you volunteer for BCT ? 

“I’ve always had an interest in heritage and the historic environment in particular industrial and hospital heritage. Whilst studying Historic Environment Conservation at the Ironbridge Institute I wanted to get involved with groups supporting historic buildings at risk local to me. I came across Birmingham Conservation Trust from the register of Buildings Preservation Trusts and was really impressed by the portfolio of projects the Trust were involved in along with some of the results of the finished projects. It was great to read about the historic buildings that had been rescued by the Trust and now have a new lease of life, such as the Back to Backs”.

How did you get involved with BCT and what do you do?

“I contacted BCT expressing an interest in volunteering and was contacted soon after about whether I would be interested in becoming a ‘blogger’. It wasn’t something I had done before but thought I would give it ago and signed up. What was really good was the support I received. I was new to ‘blogging’ and was invited to attend a Social Media Surgery (run by one of the Trusts trustees Nick Booth), it was a relaxed and informal session which provided me with the skills to start blogging.

For over two years, I have been posting about a range of things all connected to Birmingham’s past and heritage, from blogging about a particular building, website, promoting an up and coming event, or about books connected to Birmingham which will hopefully encourage the readers to buy through Amazon and raise some money for the Trust!”

Why have you decided to put yourself through the Midlands Major Series and what does it involve? 

” wanted to help raise some money for the Trust but at the same time set myself a challenge doing something new. I signed up to the Major Series as it was an event not solely focused on running but has a number of obstacles to tackle along the way. The event is organised by the British Military Fitness and involves mud, hills, water and a number of obstacles such as the ‘Tunnel of Doom’!! On the 27th October I’ll be running, crawling and sliding through this assault course whilst getting covered head to toe in mud from the ditches/trenches, steep hills and boggy lakes.

Take a look at the You Tube clip which will give you an idea of what I’ve signed up to!!”

What are you looking forward to and not looking forward to about it? 

“I will be most looking forward to finishing the course in one piece with my trainers intact! Due to the time of year I’m least looking forward to the coldness of being in a boggy lake waist deep…”

How are you going to prepare for it?

“I finally started training last week, I have been jogging around RAF Cosford every other day. I do hope the more I run the easier it will get as at the moment my legs are constantly aching! I plan to keep jogging a couple of times a week at least (rain or shine) and plan some alternative routes around Birmingham. I will keep you all posted through blogs on how I’m getting on”.

Please sponsor Emma through


Go Emma!

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