Fundraising for many worthy causes is a main focus for hundreds of runners at the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run, with the target of raising as much as they possibly can.
But for Claire Gamble and her team of four, the bar is set that bit higher as they aim to raise their share of a staggering £250,000 for the Family Care Trust, a Solihull based charity that supports adults with learning disabilities through work-based learning.
The charity, to whom Claire lends her Unhooked Communications marketing skills, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and the money raised will go towards the design and build of a new facility at their main site, Newlands Bishop Farm, which will include a larger space for teaching woodwork and a new 4,000 square foot café and kitchen.
Claire says: “Over the last 25 years the Trust has supported over 2000 adults with memory and dementia problems, helping people to live independently through its community support service as well as providing work-based training for 200 adults with learning disabilities at Newlands Bishop Farm in Catherine-de-Barnes and through its community gardening service.
“The work-based learning is all very practical and includes woodwork, animal care, gardening, horticulture, cooking and retail with most of it taking place at the Farm, where the project workers also sell their fresh grown produce and items made of wood, help in the café and get involved in the tipi-style weddings that the venue hosts.”
Already into running, Claire finds it easier to train alone, using the time to listen to music, podcasts or audio books as she heads into the countryside or along the canal routes, near to where she now lives between Manchester and the Peak District, with a focus on distance rather than time. Others in the team are more serious runners and members of running clubs, including Isabel Collins whose accountancy firm, Collins Chartered Accountant, assists the Trust.
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run is one of twenty five fundraising events and challenges taking place over 2019 and 2020, including a comedy night, vintage tea dance, 24-hour climbing challenge, treasure hunts and more. But the one that will be most enjoyed and deserved by the runners will be to sample the Trust IPA, a beer specially created and named for the Family Care Trust by local Silhill Brewery.
Claire continues: “One of the best things about running is that it can be a lot easier to fit around family and work than going to the gym. Even if you just have a spare half hour you can grab your trainers and get outside and it's a great way to look after both your mental and physical health.
“I'm definitely happier and more positive when I've exercised and training for events like this helps to build resilience. The benefits of being outdoors is something that the Family Care Trust factors into its services as working on the farm all year round helps to connect project workers with nature and the seasons, they get exercise, fresh air, social interaction and above all a great sense of achievement.”
With the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run being an obvious choice for the team due to location, the final two members being Roger Look and Matthew Gamble, Claire says another deciding factor was a well organised event with a great atmosphere to help keep them going for 13.1 miles before they cross the finish line and claim their own great achievement.
To enter the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run click here
Anyone who entered the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k in May will automatically receive £10 discount off the half marathon entry fee, when using the same log in details.