In 14 hours I will line up with thousands of others to start the Rotary Stratford Marathon (and half marathon). I am attempting the half. I am not even remotely prepared; I have not ran since the Coventry Half Marathon on 19th March.
Since then, I have been troubled with a gammy knee and wonky hips. It is fair to say that I have fallen out with running. But line up I will.
It would be an easy option to bail but I won’t because I made a promise to Retrak Charity.
Why is this important?
Trust is, for me, the most important value. I committed, when I returned from Connecting HR Africa in Uganda last September, to champion, volunteer and campaign for a truly life-changing charity. I committed to Social Action.
Social Action is a way in which I can give back. The CIPD held an event recently, which I was proud to speak at, on the role of Social Action.
“The purpose of the day was to co-create practical social action that puts people back into the heart of work and business.
One of the major themes to emerge from the HR community’s Big Tent event last October was the importance of connection and interaction between different people and communities, which not only helps with social cohesion and access to opportunities but also develops and enriches individuals, ultimately adding value to organisations and society. Social action, such as through volunteering and campaigning, can help turn these goals into reality.
The strong desire to move on from words into real action has been made clear, and this event was the next step in shaping a social action movement that will help us all as individuals to take practical and much needed on-the-ground action.
The CIPD proudly runs a number of large-scale volunteering programmes (see Steps Ahead Mentoring and Enterprise Advisers) and, by bringing together the Future of Work is Human community with these volunteers, we hope to harness a collaborative power that will truly transform our communities and the wider world of work.”
With this in mind, how did Social Action contribute last year for Retrak?
In 2016, Retrak helped over 25,000 people who had experienced, or were at risk of, family separation so that fewer children were forced to live on the streets. Retrak has successfully reintegrated over 1,000 children back into a loving family and community setting. Their work strengthening vulnerable families and communities has also prevented many more thousands of children from experiencing the trauma of life on the streets.
Having seen their most awesome work first hand, I will not let them down. Raising awareness, and money, is vital to enable the Retrak team to continue reaching vulnerable children and their families.
This is why I will run tomorrow. I will not break my promise.
I will do well by doing good.