KEEP UP FOR TEESSIDE WITH BEN GIBSON

MFC fan favourite, Ben Gibson, has taken to social media to raise £25k for Teesside Hospice, a charity close to his heart. He talks Teesside, to-do lists and tackling lockdown...
TALKING UP TEESSIDE WITH BEN GIBSON

HOW ARE YOU FINDING STAYING AT HOME DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?

I’m going to be really honest… I’ve quite enjoyed it. Luckily I live in the grounds of Rockliffe Hall and so I still have the football pitch at my disposal, along with some amazing places to walk with the dog. 99% of this is on private land that we have access too so me, my partner and our dog Lexi can count ourselves very fortunate.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?

Something I realised about myself one week into lockdown was that I need routine. In the first week, I did all the things I wouldn’t usually be able to do. Sleep in. Late nights watching films. Sleep in even longer. But then all of a sudden, I didn’t feel fantastic about myself and my sleep pattern was all over the shop. So we quickly set up a daily routine:

8:00 – alarm
8:30 – breakfast
9:30 – stretch
10:00 – train
12:00 – lunch
Afternoon – we spend the afternoon getting any jobs done, or just relaxing.
16:00 – stretch & train again
18:00 – dinner
Evening – box sets, films, quizzes, dog walks… I’ve even learnt how to cook!

Anyone who knows me knows how OCD I am with my lists, so they will literally laugh out loud when they read this.

YOUR 26 FOR TEESSIDE CHALLENGE HAS TAKEN SOCIAL MEDIA BY STORM. IT’S GREAT TO SEE YOU SUPPORTING A LOCAL CHARITY. WHY TEESSIDE HOSPICE?

When I was young my Nanna passed away there, which was of course awful for me and all of my family. For years growing up, my family spoke of the amazing care and attention that she had received whilst in the hospice. They took comfort knowing that in her final moments she was as comfortable as she could possibly be surrounded by the people she loved most.

Teesside Hospice went above and beyond to make sure she was as well looked after, and as humanly as possible leaving no stone unturned. The hospice is an end of life care service and is a charity-based foundation. I am an ambassador and try where possible to spread awareness and raise money so that the people of Teesside can continue to rely on the hospice for such care.

HOW DID THE 26 KEEP UP CHALLENGE IDEA COME ABOUT?

The 26 Keep Up Challenge came about because of my close relationship with Teesside Hospice. The challenge was set the day before 26th April (London Marathon day), which was of course was cancelled due to COVID-19. I was asked to try and come up with some form of fundraising idea sticking to the government social distancing guidelines – using the number 26 – the date of the event and the number of miles in the marathon.

I came up with the challenge as I thought that it was something everyone in homes across Middlesbrough could have a go at. It didn’t matter if you could do 26 or not, you would have a go, have some fun and pass it on. The aim was to give people something they could have a laugh with between friends and families, watching the videos across social media and hopefully putting a smile back on people’s faces, along with raising awareness for the hospice and raising some much-needed funds.

WHO HAS BEEN TAKING PART IN THE CHALLENGE?

Kids, parents, grandparents, celebrities, singers, MFC footballers past and present, other club footballers, actors and comedians. It felt like anyone and everyone who had some form of affiliation with Middlesbrough got involved and it was quite overwhelming. I could tell that people were loving seeing the old Middlesbrough players do their bit to help a town they once played for. From Paul Merson and Fabrizio Ravanelli – even our old manager Aitor Karanka and current manager, Jonathan Woodgate got involved.

HOW WELL DID THE CHARITY CAMPAIGN DO?

The response was astonishing. I hoped with everyone’s help we could raise £10,000. We raised £25,000!

THREE TOP TIPS FOR STAYING HOME AND KEEPING WELL?

1. Make some form of plan so you can structure your day and week. This will give you something to focus on, wether it be exercise or housework, business, catching up on work that needs doing. I’ve found myself to be much more productive when doing so.

2. Use it as an opportunity to live a clean lifestyle. The normal temptations of society are not there – going for dinner or drinks with friends or partying in nightclubs. Eat healthy and cut out the alcohol – this in turn will boost the immune system – the best way of beating COVID-19, at this stage anyway.

3. Talk – pick up the phone, the laptop or the iPad and FaceTime. We can only beat this together, nobody is ever alone even though sometimes it may seem like that in these circumstances.


justgiving.com/fundraising/26keepup

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