27th August 2020 Katharine House

Gemma Smith has dusted off her Uni-Cycle following the UK COVID-19 lock-down and is now more determined than ever to complete her unique challenge in support of Katharine House Hospice.

Way back in February 2020, Alpha Production Engineer Gemma committed to learning how to ride the Unicycle from scratch, before completing a 600-meter circuit through the Alpha Manufacturing factory. She had been due to complete the challenge in May and having put in hours and hours of practice, had nearly mastered it by Early April.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent UK lock-down meant that the challenge had to be put on hold. However, Gemma hasn’t lost her determination to complete the challenge and raise some much-needed funds for Katharine House. The Stafford based Hospice are one of many UK charity organisations heavily affected by the pandemic as lock-down and social distancing severely hindered planned fundraising events.

Research from the Institute of Fundraising earlier in the year found that one in four UK charities have seen their finances affected by the virus with projected losses of 48% to voluntary income and a third wiped off from their total income. Government grants have been crucial in helping many charities to survive and continue to offer much needed help to the most vulnerable in society.

For this reason, Gemma is committed to completing her challenge and doing her bit help Katharine House to continue their great work locally, offering holistic care and support for people with advanced life-limited conditions. The challenge will now take place at the end of September, giving Gemma a few more weeks to perfect her technique.

Here’s Gemma’s latest progress video, filmed this week after 3 months without practice: