Get Carter - crochet, weight loss and epic walk

Team carter photo 

The team

Get Carter is a team made up of 15 people who all work in the Birmingham office. We consist of admin staff, secretarial staff and a consultant.  We got together after an email from Georgina Duffy calling for volunteers to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh challenge (and little did we all know what we had let ourselves in for). View our photos on Flickr.

Challenge updates

April - athletes in training
March - fundraising underway 
February - getting crafty with crochet

Skill

To learn (or relearn) how to crochet.

Team development 

To collectively lose 97 pounds – a weight equivalent to Carter, the Alsatian dog belonging to former regional managing partner, Simon Hart.  

Adventure

A 20-mile walk from Birmingham to Droitwich via the canal network. 

Team members

Carol Blakeway, Charelle Corbally, Cindy O’Connor, Elaine Shepherd, George Powell, Georgina Duffy, Hayley Palfrey, Karen Corbally, Linda MacDiarmid, Lisa Nash, Mary Martin, Matthew Hartley, Tish Wise, Tracey Galloway, Yvonne Carus

April - athletes in training

Some of the team are starting to put some walking practice in, to prepare for the long distances we’ll need to cover for our adventure challenge. We are all conscious that 20 miles in one day for unseasoned walkers is going to be a hard slog.

Elaine has done two walks including a six mile walk which, in her words, ‘did her in’! Her second walk on Easter Sunday went much better - 5.6 miles in one hour and 15 minutes.  

Georgina and her husband took a practice stroll on the canal towpath on Easter Monday. Their aim: a three mile walk to a pub. Their motivation: a nice meal and a rewarding drink. Unfortunately they arrived to find that the pub was shut and had to make the three mile walk back with empty bellies. Georgina slept very well that night. 

Linda walked from her home to work this morning, taking one hour and 15 minutes to cover the four miles. We’re getting there! 

March - fundraising underway 

Team go carter narrow

In mid-March we had our photoshoot with Carter the dog. Boy is he big: we have loads of weight to lose! Two weeks into the challenge we had lost 40lb and by late March we were up to 57lb lost in total - not bad. A long leisurely weekend of chocolate eggs, wine and good food over Easter was a minor set-back but we didn’t let it weigh us down, adopting the philosophy that holiday calories don’t count. we just need to keep it up until September. Our first collection of crocheted items went on sale in the office on Wednesday 23 March. Our squares had been turned into a blanket, cute animal covers for Easter eggs and wine glass holders which could double as Easter egg holders. We did quite well for beginners, raising £100 in total. This will be added to the rest of the donations we have been receiving via our JustGiving pages

Our team meets every Wednesday at lunchtime so we have been replenishing our stock, making more wine glass holders, poppies for Remembrance Sunday, hats, scarves and hot water bottle covers. 

February - getting crafty with crochet

Get Carter held its first crochet session during a lunch time in February. Picture the scene - 15 hardened secretarial and support staff sitting in a Birmingham office meeting room, swearing at balls of wool and a stick (oops sorry – ‘the hook’) trying to learn how to hold them and make it all into something recognisable. Once we got that right we were well away but it wasn’t as easy as it looks! The looks of concentration were very funny. After our second crochet session we all mastered ‘the chain’ which is the base of most crochet work. We then had the tricky challenge of moving onto the second row.

During this workshop, discussion turned to why we chose this challenge: would learning to knit have been easier? Once we get into the swing of things we find its quite therapeutic sitting round the table crocheting and having a chat. 

During these early sessions we decided that, due to experience (ie lack of), we should aim to make squares which we will eventually sew together to make a blanket. Seemed simple enough!