Friday March 05 2021



In Full . . .

A year of challenges

Posted on February 29 2016 at 3:05:14

Ruby and Aoife

The Village teenagers who are determined to keep fundraising throughout 2016.

Two village teenagers have set themselves an innovative year-long challenge to raise money for a homeless charity.

Ruby Hodges, of Barnt Green, and Aoife Hay, of Kings Norton (pictured above) have come up with 12 different fundraising activities for their “CHALLENGE 2016”,  with each month’s event involving the number 2016.

The overall aim is to raise £2,016 for St Basils, the charity that helps homeless people aged between 16 and 25 in the West Midlands.

“We’ve been involved in charity projects before, and we wanted to do something different this year,” explain the duo, both aged 16, who ran a half marathon in 2014 to raise money for the Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Trust in memory of Ruby’s grandfather.

“The issue of homelessness is not talked about as much as it should be, and St Basils is particularly close to our hearts as it helps people of our own age and in our local area.”

The girls kicked off their year of challenges in January by living on just £20.16 between them for food for a week.

“The food challenge was a lot tougher than we anticipated, but we wanted some of our challenges to be serious and others more light-hearted,” says Aoife.

With this in mind, their February event was a day of “silly” challenges and record-breaking attempts, including a two-hour silence, 201 sit-ups, a two-mile three-legged run wearing wellies, and seeing how many jelly beans they could eat and how many times they could flip a pancake in 2.16mins.

Later in the year, Ruby and Aoife will be cycling for 201.6km on spinning bikes outside Morrisons in Longbridge, finding their way home from a destination 20.16 miles away, and joining in the St Basils “Big Sleepout” event which will see them sleeping rough on the streets of Birmingham in November.

The pair are even hoping to climb 2,016 metres of Mount Snowdon – but they think one of their toughest challenges will be to give up their phones and all social media for 201.6 hours in May. . .

“It’ll be exam time, so maybe that will be a good thing for us!” says Ruby, whose parents run the Old Rose & Crown Hotel in Lickey. Both girls attend King Edward VI Camp Hill School in Kings Heath.

Aoife and Ruby contacted St Basils to tell them about CHALLENGE 2016, and they say the charity has been very supportive, promoting their events on its website and inviting them to visit one of its units for homeless mothers and babies.

“That was a real eye-opener and made us even more determined to complete our challenge and raise as much as we can,” say the girls.

If you’d like to make a donation, visit

You can also find more information at

See for a video of Ruby and Aoife’s day of challenges.

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