SERENA Ford, a 25-year-old from Redditch, raised a whopping £1,347 by running the Birmingham Half Marathon (in the pouring rain!) in aid of YSS (Your Support Service) Worcestershire Young Carers.
Serena set out to run the half marathon as her first long-distance run to support Worcestershire Young Carers after receiving support from the service when she was 12 years old. Initially aiming to raise a total of £1,310, £100 per mile of the race, she soon soared past her fundraising target, raising nearly £1,350.
She said: “Worcestershire Young Carers supported me through my teens while I was caring for my Mum. There aren’t many people that understand the pressure and responsibility of being a young carer, but everyone at YSS did, and for that, I will be forever grateful.
“I was nervous about taking on my first half marathon, especially as I’d not run much long-distance before.
“It bucketed it down with rain, but it didn’t dampen my spirits. I was determined to complete the race and the atmosphere throughout the whole day was brilliant, so it helped me to carry on. I’m over the moon to have raised so much money and would like to thank everyone who kindly sponsored me!”
Attended by 11,000 runners, the Great Birmingham Run took place in the second city on Sunday 14 October. Starting on Broad Street, the route passed some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including Cadburys and the Cricket Ground.
Lorraine Preece, YSS Chief Executive, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to Serena for choosing to support Worcestershire Young Carers. A recent BBC report revealed there are as many as 800,000 young carers in England, with six young carers in every secondary classroom. At YSS we support more than 450 young carers every year in Worcestershire alone, and we know there are many more who need us.
“It is thanks to people like Serena, who generously give up their time and go over and above to raise money, that we can support young carers in the county. Trips, clubs and activities are vital in giving young carers the chance to take a break, relax and socialise with peers, away from their caring responsibilities and often difficult home environments. We are hugely grateful for the support from all of our fundraisers, and wish to give special thanks and congratulations to Serena both for completing the half marathon and for raising such a wonderful amount of money in the process, well done and thank you!”
Worcestershire Young Carers has been successfully delivered by YSS (Your Support Service) since 2003 and currently supports more than 450 young carers in the county every year. As well as clubs, trips and activities throughout the year, the service provides one to one support, assessment and signposting to children and young people aged seven to 25 who have a caring role at home.
Serena’s fundraising page is still open. If you’d like to sponsor her following her successful half marathon challenge, please go to https://www.yss.org.uk/fundraisers/serenas-half-marathon