We were delighted when National Friendly chose us as their charity of the year for 2019 following a company-wide vote. The nomination to support us was put forward by Sales Support Team Leader Louise Webber, who wanted to support the hospital’s Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – where both her sons were cared for when they were born prematurely.
To raise money, 15 National Friendly employees joined our team of runners for the Bristol 10k.
Here, Louise talks about how proud she was to run the Bristol 10k alongside her colleagues.
I know that National Friendly is a great company and that the staff are great people but I did not expect the extent of engagement and support for a cause so close to my heart. The relationship with Southmead Hospital Charity, our participation in the Bake Well Wednesday cake sales and my Head of Sales & Marketing’s swimathon from the first quarter of the year has been incredible.
I wanted to get involved personally so decided to put my name down for the Great Bristol 10K run. I absolutely hate running so I knew this would be a challenge and I questioned whether I would be able to complete such a race.
Using my gym membership I started training earlier in the year by doing treadmill runs and aimed to do 3K on the treadmill a couple of times a week. I used this method for two months, each time aiming to knock a few seconds off the time.
Into April and milder weather, I attempted my first outdoor run at my local park which is roughly around 5k. I was shocked at how much harder it is to go on the road compared to a nice little gym on a machine that unless you adjust is always flat. I think my finish time was about 37 minutes and I felt like I had all of my energy zapped from me for the rest of the day.
This made me determined to do better though, so I did it again the following week and knocked two minutes off my time. I then just went out on the road three more times before the big day using the local cycle path and the Map My Run app; I felt quite confident I was ready for the big day.
I was completely blown away with how engaged my colleagues were and how many of them signed up to do the run. I expected one or two to join me but having 12 was amazing! It made me feel quite emotional. Seeing all of them there on a bank holiday weekend supporting my charity was a very special moment.
The race surpassed anything I ever imagined, the atmosphere was just incredible and I found myself sharing a mixture of emotions with many other people.
Coming to the finish line the crowds were just brilliant, I felt like a celebrity. My gran and aunty were at the finish line which just made it even better! I was so happy with my finish time of 1 hour and 14.02 minutes and we have raised over £3,000, well I just cannot believe what we have achieved.
I honestly just can’t thank everyone enough. We are all still buzzing from it.
If you’d like to find our more about how your company can support us through corporate partnerships, contact Adrian below.