Chanelle Mason works for Luckies, a local design company who have become long term supporters of The Avenues. In recent years, Luckies staff have embarked on some fantastic fundraising challenges for us including previous marathon runners and getting together to complete the Three Peaks Challenge. Chanelle took up the mantle and told us about how she managed to find the immense courage to make the decision to run the London Marathon for us.
“When I heard there was a space (to run for Avenues) I was going back and forth in my head, I knew it would be a great achievement, but I hadn’t run since 2017 and even then it was 10k! After reading up on The Avenues and seeing the great work they do changing young people’s lives, I decided to take the plunge.”
Luckies were first introduced to The Avenues when buying their Christmas tree. A local tree seller was donating £1 from every tree to our youth club. Luckies went home with both a Christmas tree, and a desire to help a youth center in their local area – it just goes to show you never know how far community support can go. Since then, Luckies have been an ally and a friend, in what has been a difficult period for youth services. Chanelle explains how seeing the difference her fundraising would make with her own eyes, was that extra motivation that she needed to complete her training.
“At first my training was a bit rocky, I struggled to get past the 8 mile mark, but after a visit to The Avenues, seeing the impact and hearing the laughter of the kids it gave me that extra boost.”
“I felt an overwhelming sense of emotion after learning that funding for youth clubs had been cut by 100% since 2017, which makes no sense to me as projects like The Avenues are keeping kids off the streets and helping them grow and learn new skills.”
“The week after I took on a 16 mile run which gave me faith I could do the extra 10 on the big day with the help of the crowd and knowledge it was for a great cause.”
Running a marathon is one of the hardest physical and mental challenges a person can put themselves through and we are so proud of those who commit to this undertaking for our young people. Chanelle tells us the story of her emotional rollercoaster on the day, and this really brings to life the size of the challenge and the overall sense of togetherness in the event and the character of those involved.
“Sunday 28th: From the moment I woke up I cried (I think I must have cried about 80% of the run) it was a mixture of emotions pain… pride… I kept thinking about how happy I was to live in such a supportive city, knowing everyone around me was running to help others. I made a lot of friends on the way giving me supportive words and encouragement when I was struggling. When I reached mile 22 I didn’t think I could go on, my sister found me and sat with me for 30 minutes, I just didn’t think I could do it, but with the supportive words from her and other strangers I got the boost i needed to get up and make for the final push.”
“Crossing that line was the proudest moment of my life and it made the pain worth it. I would highly recommend anyone to take this challenge on if given the opportunity and to support such a relevant charity makes it all worth it!”
Chanelle came to the Avenues to share her inspiring story with some of our young people, with the vitally important lesson to never give up, even when you think you can’t go on. We are so very grateful of what Chanelle has done for us and she will forever be a part of our story and of The Avenues family.