The Big Week begins on Monday!

The University's first ever global fundraising week will be taking place next week between 3–7 May.

Building on the success of our virtual fundraising for Parkinson's over the past year, such as the Big 30 and Couch to 5K, we’re holding a week of fundraising activities to raise funds for Parkinson’s research.

Part of the Big Week is a University-wide moving challenge, where we are aiming to cover 50,000km through walking, running, cycling and swimming. Anyone can get involved (staff, students, alumni, the public), and it's been great to see staff already signing up, either individually, with friends, or as a departmental team.

To get involved, sign up via our designated JustGiving site, where you can also log your activities via Strava, and pledge to raise at least £50 for Parkinson's research.

We are also encouraging staff to get together virtually, to catch up with colleagues and take time to connect with each other. This can be through a virtual quiz, a simple catch up, or a coffee morning, with all donations going to Parkinson's research. All University staff are being given an hour throughout the working week to take for their meetups, without using work time.

Don’t forget to tune into our fundraise-athon on Wednesday 5 May, for a day packed with content from our Parkinson’s researchers, our esteemed alumni, and staff taking part in the Big Week. Our very own star baker Rahul will be delivering a baking masterclass at 4.30pm, and Sport Sheffield’s Chris Nichols will be doing a HIIT class at 6.30pm.

Let us know what you’re up to for the Big Week

Let us know about your activities for the Big Week by sharing your posts on social media using #TUOSBigWeek and we'll share these from our channels throughout the week.

Screenshot your virtual meetups and send them to the Big Week team at with your department, so we can keep track of how many departments are taking part.

Here’s a glimpse of what our community will be doing over the next week:

The Library

The Library have put in a spectacular effort over the years in our Big Walk fundraising, and this year is no different. They are pulling together for the Big Week, and here’s what they have planned:

Movement challenge
They are aiming to collectively cover the same number of steps as there are items in the Library - that's currently 1.1million! But broken down across the wider team of over 140 staff, that's less than 10,000 steps each across the week.

Individuals in their team also have exciting challenges planned. One member of staff is planning a hammer throwing challenge, a couple of other staff members have cycling challenges planned, another staff member is going to take on a boxing challenge and another staff member is even attempting a triathlon!

Virtual meetup activities
The team are hosting a Bingo fundraiser on Wednesday 5 May. This is something they have been carrying out over lockdown, and has been really successful over lockdown in keeping staff in touch and being a bit of fun. Everyone taking part is donating £5 to their fundraising page, and they even have some prizes up for grabs!

Keep an eye out on social media from the team to see what they’re up to, they’ll be posting some videos about their various fundraising activities! Follow our hashtag #TUOSBigWeek to keep up with everything.

Human Resources

The HR department have consistently brought together a team for our Big Walks over the years. This year, they are hosting a departmental quiz as their main event, to bring everyone together virtually. They will also be meeting up in groups of six and less, to take part in some team walks.

Check out their progress

Faye Revill

Faye works in the Faculty of Science as Faculty Estates Coordinator. She has set herself a target of meeting 50km through running and walking during the Big Week.

My dad has been living with Parkinson's for over 20 years so I wanted to support the big week to raise funds to help towards this valuable research to help individuals get personalised treatments for their Parkinson's. As my dad has been living with this for a long time we are at the stage where some of his medications are less effective and it would be so beneficial for him if personalised treatments were an option open to him and other Parkinson's sufferers.

I've set myself a target of 50km which I’ll meet through running and walking. My initial target was £50, which I increased to £250. I’ve now achieved this, so far raising £290, and I’m so thrilled!

Follow Faye's progress

Bernadette (Bernie) Kelly

Bernie is an EAP & Study Skills Tutor at the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC). She is aiming to walk 25 miles during the Big Week.

What has made you take part in the Big Week?
My sister has Parkinson's disease. She had a very slow form of Multiple Sclerosis for over 25 years that did not really affect her too badly - relapse and remission type - but then Parkinson's came along and it has been devastating in its effects.

How did you decide on your 25 miles/5 miles a day challenge?
I'm a couch potato so I picked a target that seemed achievable but would push me a bit - I usually only walk 3 miles if I go for a walk and I don't even do that every day.

Can you tell us more about your connection to Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson’s disease is very common in Northern Ireland so I have been aware of it since childhood - one of my neighbours had it and a number of people in my small hometown have had it over the years. So when it affected my sister we kind of knew what to expect, but it was the speed of progression that was shocking and the associated Lewy body dementia was really weird! She had very florid hallucinations and delusions for a while but when they adjusted her medication (or maybe just by blind luck) that subsided. She has good days and bad days now but is generally much less confused than she had been.

Follow Bernie's progress

Kirsty Bowen and Heather Crookes

Kirsty and Heather in Estates and Facilities Management (EFM) will be running 10 miles on Tuesday 4 May after work as part of the Big Week.

Heather said: "We are planning to run ten miles together - all at once after work on 4 May, so 10 miles each. It feels like a happy distance that we can do comfortably while chatting about anything and everything! Mostly how much we're looking forward to the pub at the end.

"I generally do run more than once in a week, so will probably top it up with a few more miles between 3-7 May. Ten sounded like enough in one go though!

"We've been job shares throughout the pandemic, and both started running a bit more than usual. It's been a bit addictive - then, when we were allowed, we started running together after work! Kirsty's encouraged me to leave the comfort of roads and flat routes - I'm much more adventurous now, and we've shared some great local trails with each other.

"We've both taken part in University fundraising campaigns in the past and enjoyed them; it's great to feel connected to the University in this way, and feel like we're actually enabling life-changing research."

Follow their progress