Don’t you just love the stories of people’s epic challenges to raise funds for a poignant charity? Just this week we read of 30-year-old Matt Wallace who has given up his job to boost funds for vital cancer research by walking the length and breadth of the UK.

Matt set off from John o’Groats, Scotland, last September and is now more than half way into his charity quest. He started his challenge after a family friend was diagnosed with cancer and has so far raised around £15,000 for cancer research.

Personal challenges are perfect for people who have the time and energy. For example, a grandmother cycled 6,000 miles across Canada to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. Mavis Patterson, from southern Scotland, was 70 when she embarked on the epic cycle and raised more than £10,000 for her chosen charity.

Take part in an organised sporting charity event

But perhaps you do not have the time or experience to take on your own charity walking, running or cycling challenge. Instead, many people join a host of events that allow the to do their bit for charity, while also being active.

Indeed, raising funds for charity offers one of the best forms of motivation for people who want to become fitter and healthier.

Jo, of Glasgow, was devastated when her dad died of a heart attack when she was in her early 20s. After the tragedy she pledged to run a marathon for the British Heart Foundation. She says: “Knowing that I was training for the event and running it in memory of my dad kept me going. A marathon is a tough event and requires a lot of dedication but it really helped to know I was doing the event for a good reason.”

Jane, of Newcastle, was inspired to take part in the London Triathlon to raise funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research. A friend had recently recovered from breast cancer and Jane wanted to give something back to a charity that had aided her recovery.

Jane, 42, says: “I’d never done a triathlon before and I wanted to make it a big challenge so I could raise as much money in sponsorship as possible.

“I set myself the target of an Olympic distance triathlon and knowing that I was doing it for a good cause really kept me going. I might have given up if it wasn’t for the fact that so many people had pledged money on my getting to the finish line.”

If you’re feeling motivated to take part in an event for charity there are a host of sporty choices, including walking, running, cycling swimming, canoeing and triathlon.

A few ideas to whet your fund-raising appetite:

Caledonian Challenge

Glasgow Women's 10k

Walk the Walk

Great Swim series

Walk Miles for MacMillan

Other ideas: Do It For Charity

Run for charity