By Eleanor Nderitu
Late last year I decided to take up the challenge and run the Brighton Marathon – I thought I had months to train and to get in shape but somehow the big day is just around the corner. The year before last, I took part in a half marathon which I thought would put me in good steed– oh how I was wrong!
As it turns out, being a first time marathoner is a far bigger challenge than I had anticipated. Training has been eventful to say the least. I spent last weekend running around in circles trying to dodge hailstones and wound up getting lost in Epping Forest. Lucy, our CEO who I talked into running with me has sustained a few cuts and bruises along the way too.
All I can think about now is crossing that finish line in one piece. This weekend, I managed to clock up 16 miles (without getting lost) which was a real confidence booster in itself.
Moments after I completed this weekend’s run, I grasped both knees in sheer agony and thought to myself: why am I doing this? The more I train, the more I start to agree, that running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that is determined to keep going and the other that desperately wants to stop.
But I do know why I am putting myself through all the training and rising to the challenge. I joined Grandparents Plus last September and I am astonished at the fantastic work that the charity does. Daily, I’m taken aback by the stories from grandparents and other kinship carers whose lives the charity has touched.
Our Advice & Information Service means grandparents and family carers do not face financial and parenting struggles alone. Everyday, Jo and Nicola, who work on the advice line, assist kinship carers in a range of ways, from offering professional advice to information and casework support-the work they do is life changing.
In my role I have the pleasure of speaking to kinship carers and many tell me about the huge difference speaking to our advice team has had on their life. Many talk about the advice line being their ‘lifeline’. Lucy and I have set ourselves a goal of raising £5,000 that will go towards our Advice Line – if we reach our target we will be able to reach another 250 kinship families.
But we need your help to reach our ambitious target!
The work we do depends on charitable donations. There are 200,000 kinship carers raising 300,000 children in the UK. Last year, we obtained 101 grants for families and helped 31 kinship families to go on their first short break together in over 4 years, supported by Family Holiday Association. These are just some of the ways we helped families struggling to cope – this year we want to do more!
If four people donate £5 each we can reach another kinship care family.
To make donation click here http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/grandparentsplus
We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.