The Hope Collective was formed in 2020 to support the 20th anniversary legacy campaign for Damilola Taylor, which aims to shine light on the positive contributions of young people. This year, members of the Hope Collective – including one very special athlete! – are coming together to take on The Big Half – find out why below.
How has this year been for your team?
Running has increasingly been an outlet for people to manage their mental health during the pandemic and the members of the Hope Collective team are no different.
It has been a particularly hard time for youth workers as, like many frontline key workers, they tend to live in communities worst hit by the pandemic where the health disparities between rich and poor have been acutely exposed. These areas are also where the most vulnerable young people tend to be found. The young people youth workers need to be there for. Not easy during lockdown!
What made your team sign up for The Big Half?
We want to encourage more and more young people to take up running and also fundraise, so The Big Half is a fantastic opportunity on both fronts. The more we can get young people healthy of body and mind the better, and if they are raising money for local grass-roots causes this a great contribution to society.
The Hope Collective is a partnership cohort like no other. Coming together for the event is another step in the project’s development and we cannot wait to get out on the course!
Have any of the team run The Big Half previously?
Our Team Captain, Gary Trowsdale, ran his first The Big Half last year at the grand age of 61. He claims to have only trained for a month and managed a time of 2:26. A benchmark for everyone running their first half marathon this year. He calls himself an ‘Elite fat boy athlete’, which is probably self-effacing!
Why do you think people should get involved?
Because it is the ‘people’s event’ and is a great advert for London.
Is it important for you to be part of this event and come together with others to ‘run as one’?
It is vitally important for the Hope Collective to run together as we need to raise funds to use as expenses for our youth leadership team. This will mean they can get around the UK to a series of events we’re running looking at solutions to poverty and inequality. We kicked off in London on 24 July and will be in Belfast next with Cardiff, Manchester, and Glasgow to follow.
Poverty and inequality underpin all social ills and the Hope Collective has a mission statement to try to create a fairer, safer society for young people to grow up and thrive in!
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s event?
The camaraderie of running together, and also having Team GB London 2012 skipper Christine Ohuruogu on our team. Pretty mad or what?!
Find out more about the Hope Collective and their vision on their website.