Go Sober for October has just finished. The whole campaign raised over £1.5m for Macmillan Cancer Support. Me and Zoe managed to get £1170 in sponsorship. A massive thank you to everyone who helped us reach that target.

Early on I’d set a notional target of £1664 (in honour of one of my favourite lagers). At the last minute I decided to get in touch with the Kronenbourg people. Nothing ventured blah blah blah.

Here’s the email I sent to them:

Dear Kronenbourg,

It’s been a difficult month! Go Sober, a month of no drinking, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. With just today to go I have raised £768. However, my target, in honour of my favourite beer, was £1664. Is there any way you, or any of your staff, can help me reach my target before tomorrow when I will once more enjoy a pint of Kronenbourg 1664?

I have been writing about my month of no drinking here: Go Sober. And if there is any way you can help out you can sponsor me and my wife here: Team Mr and Mrs Hickson.

I will be pestering everyone on Twitter one last time today (@simonmhickson) in an attempt to get to my proclaimed target of £1664. If there was any way at all in which you could help I will raise my glass of Kronenbourg to you and tweet of your support.

In some ways the idea of Go Sober for a month must appall you, but I am sure you will agree that doing it for Macmillan Cancer Support is the best reason. If you can only sponsor me the price of a pint, every little builds to my hoped for total of £1664.

With best wishes and thank you for the beer (and the lovely glasses it comes in),

Yours faithfully,

Simon Hickson

And here’s their reply:

Dear Mr Hickson

Thank you for your email outlining the sponsorship opportunity associated with Heineken UK.

I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that Heineken UK is frequently called upon to support a wide range of interesting and worthwhile activities.

Due to constraints on both time and financial resources, we are unable to lend our name and backing to more than a few of the many requests we receive and I regret to inform you that we must decline your request for support on this occasion.

I would like to thank you for bringing this opportunity to our attention, and wish you every success in the future.

Kind Regards

Maria Carter
Consumer Relations Executive

Oh well. It’s a little bit of a corporate response, but they did get back to me, which I appreciate. And I am sure they are called upon a lot.

As I scrolled down the email, wedged between Maria’s response and my original email there was another email from Tom, an assistant manager of a bar in Tunbridge Wells who was “basically in need of some assistance by either the commercial/sales team or the local representative in Tunbridge Wells”. I wonder how many local representatives Kronenbourg have. I like the idea. I hope Tom fared better than me.

Last night we went out and I had my first pint in a month. San Miguel.

Here’s another favourite Cronenberg.

Go Sober Gone

November 1, 2013

Me and Zoe went Sober for October. It’s November now and (as one of our sponsors, Sarella, suggested) possibly time for Bender for November. No need for sponsors this time. Relax.

We did it for Macmillan Cancer Support and, between us, we raised (at the mo; more could, possibly, come in) £1170. That’s amazing. To the nearly 100+ people who sponsored us, thank you. I know I pestered, and now I’ll stop. You’re all very kind… considering we didn’t run a Marathon or anything.

So. Onto the no booze thing. Yes, I teased you all in the early days about just how hard it is, comparing it to a Marathon and so on. it was a ruse to get money. But I’ve learnt a few things along the way (possibly… no… I haven’t… not really…) Heck! Here’s what I’ve (maybe) learnt:

1- It’s not hard to give up drink for a month. It’s just dull. It’s boring. You count the sleeps like a child and on waking you just count the minutes until sleep time again. And then you count your footsteps every time you take the dog out for a walk, in units of 100, using your fingers to keep count. Then forgetting every 500 or so. (mind you, I’ve always done that; it’s not really a sober thing.)

2- Fake alcohol is an abomination, and yet you keep on drinking it. Becks Blue, Bavaria, Cobra Zero. All appalling. But somehow lovely. It’s a nostalgia thing.

3- Time passes fairly quickly, and once it’s passed it’s gone.

4- Having said point 2, Rochester’s Non-Alcoholic Ginger Wine with an ice cube or two is not bad at all. But hey, that’s in the past now.

5- Soft Brew Citrus Drink is ok too. But no need for that anymore.

6- People are generous and kind.

7- Even going so far as buying Zoe a Golden Ticket. That’s sponsoring someone to be able to drink when you are sponsoring them not to drink. A bit like a Marathon runner doing a couple of miles by taxi and sending you the bill.

8- Zoe had two Golden Tickets.

9- Well… it was her brother’s 40th! And she had a work’s do.

10- I didn’t have any Golden Tickets.

11- I’d like to claim some moral high ground. But that’s not it. I just had to be absolute. How frustrating to have to give up drinking TWICE because you had a day off.

12- I’m looking forward to a pint tonight.

13- There are NO health benefits to giving up alcohol for a month.

14- In fact, it is bad for you.

15- That’s it.

But after all that, there’s this; there’s £1170 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

And that’s why we did it.

Thank you:

Darren, Clare and Bruce and Charlotte and Isobel, Vicky, Sophie, Gerald, Malcolm, Darren, Christine, Christian, Richard, Louise, Barry, Charlotte, Jillian, Jonathon, Simon, Ed, Jason, Graham, Helen, Les, Pankaj, Duncan, Guy, Kim, Kate, Simon, Sarah, David (twice!), Joseph, Chris, Mark, Pia, Raymond, Peter, Ben, Ann, Anna, Andrea, Rob, Andrea and Frank, Ben and Sarah and Eve and Lola and Dylan, Alex, David and Lucy and Charley and Marion, Sarah and Nick and Laurie and Noah, Simon and Helen and Phoebe, Emma and Richard, Claire, Elspeth, Peter, Emily, Angela, Paul, Emily, Frazer, Roger, Catherine and Peter, Jim and Helen and Daisy, Louise, Louise, Jason, Vince, Jenny, Clare, Siobhan, Len, Jevon, Angela, Steph, Glenn, Yvonne, Sam, Tracy, Katie, Pete, Ali, Simon, Sarella and Jason, Jake, John, Kevin, Rob, and Sharon and Andy and Kate and William.

We’re off for a drink. Or two.