Most women will understand that when you are in your 50's and have never run in your life it is not an easy decision to take up the challenge and enter a 10k run particularly when you have only two months to get fit! I normally have a much more sedate exercise routine practising yoga, swimming occasionally and raising a glass or two of wine at the end of a busy week.
My decision was made because I realised I couldn't just sit back and bemoan the govenment for axing vital services which made me feel better but did nothing for the women affected. I know first hand how important charities like Refuge are to the survival of women and children escaping domestic violence. Initially, I tried to raise money by writing to local businesses to illicit donations but the response was not great. So when I was asked to enter the run I threw caution to the wind and agreed to give it a go.
When I started running in March, I couldn't run as far as the bottom of our lane and I found the training programme really tough, particularly, as it involves a great deal of heat, sweat and pain but I gradually increased my distance and even took my trainers with me on holiday to Portugal! By last weekend I ran just over 4 miles which is about two-thirds of the way. My legs felt like blocks of lead the next day but I was elated because I am determined, come what may, to run the whole 10k on the day.
Every day Refuge supports 1,600 women and childen in one of its 45 refuges and through its specialist services. Two-thirds of refuge residents are children under the age of fourteen. However women's charities still remain largely under funded. You may find it hard to believe that the three largest women's charities - including Refuge - have a combined annual income of £17m. By comparison the Donkey Sanctuary received 20m in 2006. Much as I love donkeys, surely human lives are equally as important.
Money raised through events such as this is the lifeblood of the organisation and 83p in every pound raised will go straight to front line services.
Refuge runners have all go a target of £300 but I would like to raise, with your help, at least a £1,000 which will make a vital difference to the work Refuge do. For example,
£20 could provide one woman with an 'emergency pack' of basic toiletries and food. When women arrive at a refuge they usually do so with nothing other than the clothes they are standing up in.
£50 pays for a psychologist to support two abused children.
It could fund vital awareness raising work, reaching out to more women, breaking isolation and saving lives.
The grim stastics are that two women every week are killed by a partner or former partner.
Please show your support by digging deep and giving generously. In response I promise to post a photo of my blisters to prove that I have run every step of the way!
Thank you on behalf of all of those women and children who need your help.
JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.