Whats On
GDA supporters to run the Cheltenham Half

On Sunday 7 September two GDA supporters will be hitting the streets of Cheltenham to run the Cheltenham Half Marathon in aid of deaf and hard of hearing people in Gloucestershire.
GDA supporters Kimberley Robinson and Alex Tomlinson will be taking part in the Cheltenham Half Marathon to raise money for our charity. We caught up with Kimberley to find out more about what motivated them to run for GDA and how they're getting on with their training and fundraising.

Hi Kimberley, tell us a little about yourself - what do you do?
I’m 24 years old and work as an activities coordinator at a local care home that specialises in nursing and dementia, so I organise events, day to day activities and fundraising. Alex is 25 and works as a receptionist at small storage and transport company.


What's been your motivation to want to run in aid of GDA?

My mum was my motivation. She’s suffered from hearing loss for over 40 years and has used your services many times. I’ve seen first hand how ignorance and lack of understanding by the general public can impact on the confidence of someone with hearing loss. There are not many provisions for deaf people in the area either. If we want to go to the cinema, it’s very difficult to find a suitable show at a convenient time (luckily The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury are very accommodating for subtitled viewings but their support of the socially excluded are an exception). Going out for meals in restaurants is also a challenge as background noise is often very loud, coupled with other tables chatting and music playing, it ends up being more of a stressful night out than an enjoyable one. With this new telephone triage system at the doctors, deaf people are now struggling to seek appropriate medical help. I not only want to raise funds for vital support, but also raise awareness that just because someone is suffering from an invisible disability, it doesn’t make social exclusion okay. Mum has recently had a cochlear implant and is doing fantastically well, she’s a completely different person!


How's the training going - what sort of training are you doing?

Alex and I are (trying to) run 3 times a week. We are both amateur runners so have opted for the slowly but surely technique. We’ve been training for a month now and have gone from “Oh my gosh my legs are killing me” to “We are nearly there, we can do this!”. We’re following a programme that focuses on time not distance and will hopefully be able to run 5k comfortably by the end of the month, then the serious training starts. After the 5k mark we have to add an extra mile on each week, and probably invest in some deep heat and crutches.

How's the fundraising going - what do you have planned?
We have recently received a very generous donation from Nicholas White hair dressing salon in Cheltenham who have massively kick-started our fundraising. This company are fantastic with my mother’s hearing disability and she wouldn’t go anywhere else – she feels understood and respected, unusual for someone with hearing loss in a public setting. Luckily we have some time on our side so we have been mainly focusing on the training for now, but we have set up a JustGiving website and a text code so people can donate quickly and easily. They can do it anonymously or leave a supportive message. We have been using social networking to spread the word, so if people follow you on Twitter they can keep updated with our progress. Visit www.justgiving.com/KimLexMarathon or you can text GDAS50 and the amount to 70070 e.g. GDAS50 £3 and it goes straight to GDA from your phone bill

How much do you hope to raise?

We are hopeful that with support we will be able to raise £500, but I like to hope we will raise more! (If each one of your Twitter followers donate just £1, we’ll almost double that target!)

How are you feeling about the big event in September?

Nervous and excited at the same time. We can barely run to KFC let alone 13.1 miles! I know that an hour into the run I’ll be asking myself why I ever agreed to do this but knowing it’s for the benefit of GDA will keep me putting one foot in front of the other. We’ve booked a couple of days off after the run to recover and spoil ourselves, so I’m definitely looking forward to that!
GDA wishes Kimberley and Alex the very best of luck for their challenge and for their preparations beforehand, and look forward to cheering them on on the day. If Kimberley and Alex have inspired you to help make a difference to hearing impaired people why not join them by running the Cheltenham Half Marathon yourself - sign up online at www.cheltenhamhalf.co.uk  
For more information about how you can support GDA contact us on 01452 372999 or email admin@glosdeaf.org.uk
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