Two runners from the Furness area, in training for an epic endurance event in May, have been hearing first-hand how the money they are raising will help the area’s vulnerable young people.
Jim Abel from Ulverston and Sonja Foster from Barrow are running 10 marathons in 10 days around Lake Windermere starting on Friday 12 May. In doing so they hope to raise £8,000 for the Ambleside based youth charity Brathay Trust’s ‘Focus on Furness’ appeal. Launched last year the appeal, which only helps youngsters in the Furness area, is just £14,000 short of its £45,000 target.
With just 10 weeks to go before their 10in10 challenge, Jim and Sonja met three young adults at Brathay’s Barrow office. Georgia Goodman, Jonathan Hughes and Adam Philip-Phillips are working on a project funded by the appeal. It is to create an interactive, multi-media presentation, ‘keeping safe’, which will be shown to year seven pupils at five of the town’s schools.
Sonja Foster, a mum and grandma, who has already raised just under £14,000 for Brathay last year said meeting the young adults brought home how important the money she raised was.
She said: “Meeting Georgia, Jonathan and Adam was very inspiring. What they are doing will help keep their generation and future generations safe. I admire them greatly for taking this on, for their own journeys with Brathay, and that they are now in a position through this project,to give something back.
“When I'm out there running and things start to hurt, I'll think about all the good that the money raised for this appeal is doing and how my fundraising can help. When I'm really struggling at mile 17 it will spur me on and over that finish line.”
Father of two, Jim Abel added: “Helping kids and young adults who have lost their way is what Brathay does and that resonates with me. I cannot think of a better charity to support. When I was in trouble I ran and now Brathay has given me the opportunity to run and raise money for their work in my community.”
Brathay’s ‘Be SAVY’ (Be Safe & Value Yourself) project, supported by the Focus on Furness appeal, has helped 20 young people from Barrow so far with weekly sessions and residentials at Brathay Hall. It has also funded the training of 18-25 year-olds, including Georgia, Jonathan and Adam, as peer leaders who can alert youngsters to the dangers of online grooming and what actions they can take to keep safe.
Jacqueline Wallace, Brathay’s Cumbria Projects Manager, said: “We can’t thank Jim and Sonja enough for taking up this running and fundraising challenge. It requires a great deal of determination and support from family, friends and colleagues and will directly help youngsters from the Furness area.
“Please support Jim and Sonja by hearing their story and making a donation.”