Our 2014 charity - A Mile In Her Shoes

As we start to make preparations for the Advent calendar for 2014 we are pleased to announce that once again we’ll be supporting the charity A Mile In Her Shoes.

We asked the charity’s founder and chair, Nicola Miller to tell us a bit about how our support helped the charity last year and what this year’s donations will help the charity achieve.

It may boast zero calories but for a small charity like A Mile in Her Shoes, the Zero Calorie Advent Calendar is packed with goodness.

As a new start-up, less than a year old and entirely volunteer-led, being the ZCAC’s chosen charity in 2013 made a huge difference to us.

This time last year, we were a handful of volunteers, working hard to make a simple idea work: helping women who had been affected by homelessness by providing opportunities to try running.

One year on and we remain a handful of volunteers, working hard to make a simple idea a successful reality. But we have come so far, thanks to the support and engagement we received through the calendar.

Not only did we receive small financial donations to help us grow and develop, but we were also able to engage a shared audience of like-minded runners who supported us through their tweets, blogs and the spare, good quality running kit they sent to us.

If you’re not familiar with what we do, the notion is simply this: that every woman who takes part in one of our running fitness classes feels good about herself at the end of it.

It’s not about how fast or how far you run: we simply make it our goal to ensure participants feel better at the end than they did before. Some will come back regularly, some less often: however, without exception, we’ve never had a session that all participants didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

We work to find ways of identifying and removing barriers to running that may be caused by issues related to homelessness in disadvantaged communities and we need volunteer run leaders to help put smiles on everyone’s faces – including their own.

Our sessions are provided by female volunteers who are licensed through England Athletics to lead mixed ability run groups and committed to helping us keep the groups going each week.

How financial donations help us

We don’t ask for much, because we aim to be as self sufficient as possible, and good quality running kit and shoe donations mean we can focus the income we have where it is most needed. We even sell a small number of donated items at our eBay charity shop to raise a small amount of income.

But whilst we try not to rely upon too many grants or cash donations, there are some things we struggle to fund ourselves. However, we can make a little go a long way, which means that money you donate to us goes on essential things that really make a difference to our mission.

For example:

  • £5 buys three pairs of sports socks for our participants to wear on a run
  • £10 buys a suitable pair of trousers or top for a plus-size runner (most of what is given to us is in smaller sizes)
  • £15 buys a new sports bra (we always give these out new, not second-hand)
  • £25 funds 6 weekly sessions for one of our groups
  • £50-100 helps to pay for a new pair of unworn shoes for a runner that are right for her gait and running style. We try to do this for as many of our runners as possible after they’ve attended six or more sessions.
  • £150 pays to send one of our volunteers on the England Athletics ‘Leadership in Running Fitness’ course. The licence includes a DBS security clearance and public liability insurance and we require all our run leaders to have LiRF before they lead a group alone.

Donations of any size also go towards some of the vital things that bigger charities might take for granted, anything from storage crates to website hosting to having a PO Box number so people can send us clothing! But many of these costs are currently absorbed by our volunteer trustees so any support is welcome.

We’re thrilled to have the continued support of the Zero Calorie Advent Calendar and the fitness community that has championed our marathon journey this year.

Nicola

Chair - A Mile in Her Shoes

@InHerShoesHQ

Facebook.com/inhershoeshq

To make a donation to A Mile In Her Shoes please visit their Paypal donations page here

One thought on “Our 2014 charity - A Mile In Her Shoes

  1. Pingback: Zero Calorie Advent Calendar 2014 | Diary of a Dashing Fashionista

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