“You Are Not Alone”- Sarah’s London Marathon Challenge

The Big Issue’s own Exeter based Sales and Outreach Worker Sarah Parkhouse is taking on the London Marathon this year to raise vital funds for The Big Issue Foundation.

Speaking about the inspiration for her upcoming challenge, Sarah said

“I have been working with the Big Issue for over 3 years now, dealing directly with Big Issue vendors on the frontline in the Exeter distribution office. Daily I see the difference The Big Issue makes to their lives. Earning a legitimate income is just the start of the process of change, through gaining independence, self-esteem and taking control and responsibility for their lives.

Sarah running along the beach.

“The Big Issue Foundation encompasses all of The Big Issue’s core values; providing ‘a hand up, not a handout’ through a wraparound service to help vendors achieve their goals and take the next steps towards their future.  Focusing on areas such as employment, mental welfare, training, healthcare, housing and financial inclusion, The Big Issue Foundation acts like a stepping stone to those who are working their way out of poverty and assists towards rebuilding and rerouting futures.”

As well as being powered by her experience working with The Big Issue, Sarah’s marathon journey is fuelled by her own personal battles.

“I have been running for about 5 years and it all started to combat postnatal depression. It hit me like a brick- no amount of ‘pull yourself together’ or ‘get a grip’ was going to help!

“My partner introduced me to running and I laughed at the very notion of it! Still carrying a large amount of baby weight and lacking energy from depression and sleep deprivation, I braved it after much encouragement from him. I hated it. Every run was full of expletives, gritted teeth and negativity. However, after each run, I was hit with a feeling pride and achievement. It is that which kept me going and still does today.  Now I run to keep fit, maintain my weight, divert from cigarettes and alcohol and keep depression at bay.”

Sarah is lacing up her running shoes for the Big Issue vendors who are “out there fighting their own battles- you are not alone; with the right support and encouragement you’ve got this.”

You can donate and leave a message of encouragement on Sarah’s online fundraising page here.

Posted in Events, Fundraising, Staff, Virgin Money London Marathon.