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My name is Em, and I’m Search Press’s Publishing Assistant. Like everyone else right now, I have been working from home, which has given me the time and space to try and raise money for the NHS in my free time!

There is only one form of exercise I really enjoy – unicycling. It’s great for your core strength and your legs, and it makes everyone smile as you cycle by. So I decided to try and put my unicycling skills to good use and do a sponsored ride for the NHS! I wanted to make it more than just that though, so I got my brother involved, and we turned it into a brother versus sister competition to raise the most money for our heroes on the front lines.

Emma on her unicycle Mark on his unicycle

I learned to unicycle in the Search Press car park. The warehouse has long walls with lot of flat spaces to practise, so I wobbled and fell off along the walls for several months before I was finally able to go a bit further! My brother helped me learn to mount and go without a wall, and I’ve been going greater and greater distances ever since. I’ve also learned some tricks!

At first, we simply put our unicycling fundraiser on Facebook, but it quickly became apparent we’d need a little more help to get the word out there. I contacted BBC Radio, and they were thrilled! They couldn’t wait to talk about it live on air. I was called by BBC Radio Solent’s breakfast programme. They briefed me before putting me through – telling me the host’s name was Alun, that I would be asked a few questions, and that Alun was very excited to talk to me because he loved unicycling! Then they put me on air. 

You can donate to our GoFundMe here and check out my ride on my Facebook page!

I also dressed up for my mad unicycle ride! I wore bright rainbow leggings and a homemade NHS T-shirt. I put my own graphics on T-shirts using spray-on fabric dye – here’s a little tutorial so you can make your own!

First, I ordered a T-shirt and dye that I thought would look good together – make sure you check the reviews! You don’t want the dye to fade. I’ve used a Gildan cotton T-shirt and Marabu Fashion Spray.

Next, I made my templates. I wanted my T-shirt to be all about the NHS, so I cut out a heart with letters in the middle.

T-shirt template T-shirt template  

Before I sprayed, I put a piece of paper in my T-shirt to prevent bleed through the fabric. I also taped down my template to make sure it wouldn’t move. This part can be a little messy, so make sure you’re ready for your fingers to be covered in dye!

T-shirt with stencil

Then you just let it dry! If you want a tank top instead, cut off the sleeves from the middle of the shoulder seam, cutting downward to the armpit. 

T-shirt with logo

You can hear me talking on BBC Radio Solent here at 2 hours 10 minutes.

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