A DERBY charity which supports children from disadvantaged and deprived backgrounds is urging people to sponsor four runners who are taking on the London Marathon to raise much-needed funds.
Damon Freeston, Alex Grogan, Melanie Bridgen and her daughter Georgia Bridgen will be pounding the pavements around London to raise money for Enthusiasm Trust, based in Cotton Lane.
The fantastic four will be tackling the 26.2 mile challenge thanks to places provided by Derby-based sports brand HUUB, whose founder Dean Jackson is a trustee of the charity.
Enthusiasm Trust reaches out to young people providing clubs, workshops, school holiday activities, homework support and one-to-one mentoring programmes.
It supports children who are primarily drawn from Osmaston, Allenton and Alvaston with smaller numbers from Chellaston, Sinfin and Shelton Lock.
They are usually aged between 11 and 18 years old and are often referred to the centre by schools, police and other agencies if they are deemed to be at risk of exclusion, offending or anti-social behaviour, including the influence of negative peer groups and gangs.
Solicitors Melanie and Georgia Bridgen will be swapping their suits for trainers for the race. Melanie, a solicitor at Nelsons in Derby said: “We are delighted to be running for the Enthusiasm Trust and hope our small contribution will make a big difference to the centre. The training doesn’t get any easier, but we hope on the day excitement will overcome the pain.
“As a children and family lawyer I also know how important positive intervention in young people’s lives can be and the work of Enthusiasm makes such a difference in the heart of the city.”
Georgia added: “Running for such a good cause is an extra layer of motivation for me. I’m grateful to HUUB for the opportunity to run and to my colleagues at Jones Day for their ongoing support. It’s a privilege to run London for such a genuine cause that works so hard to break the cycle of deprivation and make a difference to the lives of young people.”
Alex Grogan, CEO of Aimtru Brands, based in Pride Park, said: “The work that Enthusiasm Trust does within the Derby community is invaluable. Marathon running and the temporary discomfort it brings pales into insignificance compared to the challenges these children and young adults face on a daily basis.”
Damon Freeston, 52, of Etwall said: “I enjoy exercise, but training to be able to run this distance is proving difficult! However, running in order to raise money for this charity will hopefully provide me with purpose, knowing that every mile will be helping others.
“Having grown up on a housing association estate in Derby myself, I have witnessed some of the barriers that can be faced and how these can place limits on life choices and expectations.
“The work done at Enthusiasm in helping Derby’s young people is inspiring and their efforts in breaking down these barriers is admirable.”
All the work carried out at Enthusiasm, whether that’s dance clubs or cookery classes, is designed to build self-esteem and confidence and raise aspirations individually and in the community.
Mentors work with young people on a one-to-one basis to help them change behaviour and interventions around choices and consequences, health and anger management, conflict resolution and drug and alcohol awareness.
If you would like to sponsor the four runners by supporting Enthusiasm, please make a donation by visiting: London Marathon – JustGiving