30th January 2019: Three months into a year-long challenge to stay alcohol-free, dedicated Teamwork Trust fundraiser, Sophie McDonald, now plans to double the money.

The 34-year-old smashed her £1,000 goal in just three months through her ‘Sober Sophie’ campaign, raising money for the Northamptonshire charity – which supports adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities – by staying sober since October 2018.

Sophie, from Corby, acted as a taxi over the Christmas period and received kind donations from friends and family through her social media posts, but she has now pledged to have doubled and possibly tripled her target by October 2019.

Sophie, who works for Joules in Market Harborough said: “I can’t believe I have raised so much in such a short space of time and I have lots of ideas to boost my fundraising so that I can generate even more donations for Teamwork Trust, whose amazing work helps so many vulnerable adults in our community.”

Sophie has always wanted to raise money for a local charity she could relate to but says she needed a big focus – something that would feel like a huge challenge. She chose Teamwork after a friend suggested they would be the perfect charity.

“I was doing some soul-searching to overcome my own mental health issues last year and the one thing which kept cropping up was alcohol,” said Sophie. “I realised I was in denial about how reliant I had become – I would drink every week, even if I wasn’t going out and it became a way of dealing with my emotions. Giving it up would set me on a path of self-discovery so I could find out who I really am while raising money for a charity which really means something to me. I recognise how important Teamwork’s mental health services are having been through counselling myself in the past, and I also love their support of people with physical and learning disabilities – again something I can relate to.”

Sophie says getting through the first three months has been the hardest but she now feels like anything is possible.

“October to December was tough but I have found out I am stronger than I thought. In the past I would have turned to alcohol when I felt out of my depth, but I couldn’t, and yet I still managed to get through it. I want to keep people interested in my challenge – to prove something to myself, to inspire others who can relate and to ensure I raise as much money as I can for Teamwork.”

Sophie will be taking part in a charity skydive for Teamwork and running the London Marathon in April and she also wants to start pursuing her real passion - singing/song-writing.

She added, “I am finding hobbies for the first time in a long time now that I am no longer drinking. I started running and plan to pick up my singing and song-writing again too. Anyone who wants to follow my story can find me on social media.”

Victoria Bell, Head of Development, Teamwork Trust said: “Sophie has such a delightful personality which people really connect with and her challenge is something many others can relate to. Her commitment is exceptional so it is no surprise to us that she has already overtaken her target – we have every faith she will continue to raise much-needed funds for our charity and are delighted she chose us.”

To donate visit https://www.teamworktrust.co.uk/fundraisers/sobersophie

Follow Sophie’s ‘Sober Sophie’ campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - @Sophieissober