Beckie - At the beginning of 2015, I took up an unlikely hobby: running. Inspired by friends and with the incentive of losing weight, I plodded round the neighbourhood every Sunday morning and slowly built up to 3km then 5km then 10km. I was hooked. I was getting fitter and the pounding of the pavement was a kind of meditation. I kept it up. This much you might already know, through Facebook posts, begging for sponsorship, first for the Colour Me Happy Race and then for the Race For Life. I also inspired Kevin to buy some appropriate trainers and run rings around me too.
Running came into my life about two thirds of the way through a really, really challenging time. A time in which I pretty much withdrew from all but a small group of people, people without whom I would not be here today. I had a wonderful, newborn son and a brilliant husband, while around me, the world as I knew it, the world in which I'd imagined raising my child, changed beyond recognition.
I cannot pay back everyone who helped me pick up the pieces - my GP, my Health Visitor, my wonderful friends, my particularly special and redefined family, the gems I found among the rubble - but I can give back to the charity that gave me weekly, then fortnightly one to one, face to face support that enabled me to mourn, to grieve and to exorcise, that resulted in me feeling like I COULD run, I COULD be the person I really was and thoroughly deserved to be, that I was not a victim, but a survivor.
So we're running races. This 10km will be the first, in an attempt to both raise money for this small and vital charity; and to raise awareness of what it does and why. Most of the time I keep a hopefully dignified silence, but silence will not solve the stigma, nor will it stop the need for charities like Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services. Please give what you can, and read on to find out about the essential services the Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services provide. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services (DRCS) is a service run by women for women of all ages and all backgrounds who live in Devon and Torbay (not including Plymouth). It is a free, confidential support and advocacy service to women who have suffered rape, sexual assault, incest, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment or any form of sexual attack, whether physical, verbal or emotional.
Our support includes;
• Telephone helpline
• Email support
• 1-1 specialist support
• Practical support
In addition to supporting women, DRCS aims to campaign and raise awareness about sexual violence. We do this through working with the statutory and voluntary agencies in Devon and through facilitating space for women’s voices to be heard.
Items you could specifically raise money for
• Cost of training one volunteer - £1,000
• Cost of supporting one volunteer per year (training, expenses, supervision) - £500
• Cost of re-printing 1000 leaflets - £300
• Cost of buying 5 books for our library - £100