Meet our York 10K Fundraising Heroes - Kelly

What's your fundraising story - why did you decide to raise funds for Accessible Arts & Media?

Not only does AAM provide incredible projects, creative activities and an unbelievable sense of belonging to its members and its supporters. There's a whole unseen side of AAM that most people don't know about.

As an organisation they work tirelessly in the community to make sure that all members of the community are listened to and represented. They're not a campaigning organisation, but they sit on a number of forums and networks. Always to represent those people who access their services and always passionately and positively. They work with volunteers from all walks of life. Students, people in between jobs, people with mental health problems and people who are just having a hard time. This is the unseen part of AAM and the part that pretty much saved me and helped me find my feet again after we lost our son, and after I had Emily and found myself suffering from crippling anxiety and depression.

Now I get to work for the organisation I love, running their (if I do say so myself) amazing AbleWeb York community media programme and working as part of the marketing and development team. I love my job. I love the people I work with at AAM and I love the people I get to meet and work with as part of all our projects and community work. More incredible, passionate and crackers people you could not hope to meet.

Emily now attends our Junior IMPs programme and the confidence and love of music that it's fostered in her can not be bought. She's learned to sign, to sing and to stand up in front of an audience and not be phased. Far more than I was ever capable of at 8 years old. We can even use sneaky signing in public when we want to chat without others knowing or without having to shout at each other across a playground.

If you had to sum up Accessible Arts & Media in three words, what words would you choose?

Family, inclusive, passionate

How would you describe the difference Accessible Arts & Media makes?

It’s hard to put words to the difference AAM makes. Sometimes it’s very subtle, and can take time but AAM have the patience to do this and it’s a sheer joy to watch people flourish. And sometimes it’s out there and so obvious that everyone can see it, I’m thinking about performances and workshops in particular. Above all the difference AAM makes is continuous, unconditional and consistent.

How's your training going?

I only started running in April this year so I’ve been slowly building up the miles and length of running. Unfortunately, we’ve had some bad news within our family and that’s really impacted on my planned running schedule and energy levels. I’d hoped to run the whole thing in a certain time, but now I’m just happy to finish the race. Whatever happens I’m going to enjoy the day and just be proud of being able to raise money for a charity I love. If you see me struggling on the route, do give me a cheer it’ll certainly spur me on. On the plus side doing this has made me discover that I actually quite like running and that it’s something I’ll continue to do. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to run the whole 10K for AAM ☺

Do you have any top training tips for others looking to run a 10K?

I think the key is little and often and building up the miles over time. I’ve also found being female has meant I’ve had to adapt my training more and that’s made it more difficult and for me, I think has meant I’ve needed longer to get the miles in. But my main tip is to just run your own race, don’t get sucked into looking at what others can run a 10K in or what their splits are. We’re all different, we all have good days and bad days, just the fact that you’re running is all that matters. Don’t push yourself too hard, try and enjoy it and just focus on the reason why you’re running.

We love music here at AAM - what's the track guaranteed to get you going when you're out training?

Everyone who knows me knows I’m a big Radiohead fan. It seems often that when I’m struggling at the end of a run one of their tracks will shuffle on and somehow it gets me home. Particular favourites for me are Everything in its right place or A Punch Up at a Wedding!

If you'd like to support Kelly and make a donation, you can visit her fundraising page.