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Next Sunday, 4th October four brave St Giles supporters will take on the virtual London Marathon from their homes. Hear below from some of our runners on what inspired them to take up the challenge of running 26.2 miles!
On 4th October, I will be taking on a virtual London Marathon setting off from my home to run (more likely hobble) 26.2 miles on my own.
I am doing this because St Giles and other similar charities have been the 5th emergency service during the Coronavirus pandemic. We have been working rapidly and flexibly on the frontline to ensure people are supported through the crisis - these are difficult times for all, but the impact on our clients is more significant than most.
Many of them have lost their jobs and are struggling to afford basic essentials. Lack of access to technology, compounded by added issues around mental health and substance misuse, means that some of the most vulnerable in society are becoming increasingly isolated and left behind. Sadly the social and economic impact of the pandemic looks bleak.
We want to ensure everyone is supported and empowered to overcome the barriers that they face and no one is left behind. Your support, no matter how small, could make a genuine difference to the lives of struggling families to build a better future for themselves.
On average it costs us £2,000 per year to provide 1:1 holistic support. My training regime has been unenthusiastic to say the least, and I am really really nervous but your support will make a genuine difference.
Feeling inspired? You can support Davina here
In the morning of the 4th October I will be setting out from my home to run 26.2 miles alone. The virtual London Marathon will have started for me and many others across the country. We will not have the benefit of hundreds of well-wishers giving “call outs” and shouting encouragement. Trying to achieve and make progress in an isolated situation is tough.
Many of us will have some support from friends and family giving us some drinks of water and energy gel but essentially, we will be on our own. The work of St Giles Trust is in a way similar to that of the “supportive crowd” lining the streets on the normal marathon day. Helping with encouragement support and direction.
It is continuous and brings the individual into the supporting St Giles environment that enables greater progress and sense of purpose and self.
For many years I have been a supporter of St Giles and this will be my third London Marathon to raise funds, especially in seeking to protect youth from the violent and drug related pressures that exist in London and other cities.
This year as I run alone I will miss the banter and camaraderie, the music blaring from balconies, the cheeky comments from spectators, the overheard chit chat of other runners, and the supplies of water and energy drinks handed out by the volunteers.
I will though be energised by knowing that the efforts of all in the St Giles Team of runners wherever they are running will be leading to improvements for the people that St Giles help and support.
I am a senior gangs and serious youth violence case worker for the St James Place project. I’m a wife and mum of 4. I’m running the London marathon for St Giles Trust as I want to give something back.
The charity is close to my heart as we do such
good work helping young people who are vulnerable, being exploited and stuck in situations that they can’t get themselves out of.