One our supporters, Valerie Kerr, ran the Cambridge Half Marathon to raise funds for Talita Kum. This is her story:
"I first found out about Blythswood Care from our minister, Bruce, at Sawston Free Church, probably about a year ago. We were researching different Shoe Box Appeals and Bruce had supported Blythswood when he was minister at Bungay in Suffolk.
When I looked at their website, the whole charity really appealed to me. I started talking to people about the Shoe Box Appeal and was given permission to support the Blythswood 2015 appeal.
I am a leader with 1st Sawston Girls' Brigade and as a company we have packed shoeboxes for quite a few years now. Bruce & I wanted to make the 2015 appeal one which the wider church family could get involved with. We had a wrapping party to cover the shoeboxes and the boys and girls of our GB & BB companies helped fill them with donated items. The church's response was amazing and we sent off our largest number of shoeboxes yet – over one hundred. (In 2014 we sent off 21).
Inspired and encouraged by such a positive response from my church, I started looking at some of Blythswood Care's other projects. My husband, Marc, and I already had places in the Cambridge Half Marathon and had been wondering which charity to run for.
I work in a school and as I read about the Talita Kum project, I knew it was the one I wanted to try and raise some funds for and Marc agreed. We set up a fundraising page with an initial target of £100 which seemed like a realistic figure. Again the support from friends, family and the church congregation has been amazing and the total raised so far is £397 (£450.75 incl gift aid).
I am not a natural runner so this was a real challenge and was made even more worthwhile knowing I was raising funds for the Talita Kum project. Every time my legs ached I thought of those who had to walk miles just to get water – especially the little boy Fabritio I heard about when Susi Shears (Blythswood) came to speak to us in Sawston. I also thought of them as I ran past all the discarded bottles of water along the route – most of the bottles were at least half full – and it really struck me how much we take clean drinking water for granted in the UK."