Who's more generous; the north or the south? That's exactly what Spice Girl Mel C and Olympian Iwan Thomas are about to find out with JustTextGiving...


We all know that raising money for charity can be a bit of challenge, but would it be easier if there was pride, rivalry and the respect of your home town at stake? This Autumn will see two much-loved celebrities – Spice Girl Mel C and Olympian Iwan Thomas – go head-to-head in an unusual and innovative fundraising challenge to find out…

What’s the big idea? Mel and Iwan have been paired with teams from their respective halves of the UK – the North and the South – and will be battling it out in the Bupa Great North Run and the Bupa Great South Run to see who can raise the most money for charity with the help of JustTextGiving by Vodafone.

On your marks…

The North vs South challenge kicks off this Thursday (15 August), where Mel C and the winners selected to be part of her team will be meeting up in Gateshead, Newcastle, to take part in a training day.

It’ll be a chance to meet other team members, get fundraising tips and tricks, and share advice about running the Great North Run. Crucially, though, it’ll also be an opportunity for the fundraisers to find out more about JustTextGiving by Vodafone, how it can help with fundraising and ways to promote their codes.


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Meanwhile, those selected to run the Great South Run with Iwan will be meeting up next Wednesday (21 August), down in Portsmouth, where they’ll be able to get some top fitness tips from the world-famous Olympic athlete.

The teams will be battling on two fronts. First off, they’ll be battling it out to see who can raise the most money for good causes as a collective, but they’ll also be competing to raise money for their own individual charities. Each team member is raising money for their own charity and is using their own JustTextGiving code, so their supporters can make donations by text message.

Worthy causes


Leading by example, both Mel and Iwan are supporting causes close to their hearts, with Mel fundraising for homeless aid charity Shelter, and Iwan offering a helping hand to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Like all the runners involved, they’ll be using JustTextGiving to drum up sponsorship, knowing that 100 per cent of the text donation goes to the charity and Gift Aid can also be added. You can show your support for Mel C and the North by texting ‘MELC74 £3’ to 70070. To support Iwan and the South, text ‘IWAN74 £3’ to 70070. Messages are free on any UK network, and you can swap that £3 out for £1, £2, £4, £5 or even £10.

Once the training days are done and dusted this month, the challenge will begin in earnest as both teams gear up to take part in the Great Runs. There’s pride at stake here: which half of the country will prove to be the speediest, the most successful at raising cash, and the most generous? Only time will tell…

The North Vs South challenge will culminate with the two runs: The Great North Run takes place on 15 September, followed by the Great South Run on 27 October. We’ll be following the action from the start, with live updates on our @JustTextGiving Twitter channel, using the hashtag #JTGNVS.

Get set… Stay tuned to Vodafone Social for more on the challenge as it progresses, including exclusive talks with both Mel C and Iwan Thomas.