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Running for Avenues


Jen Heath-Porsz has been involved with The Avenues since the family-owned construction company she works for, Willmott Dixon responded to a cry for help, when our boiler unexpectedly broke one cold winter, some years ago.


Since then, their continued support and contribution to the Avenues has been substantial, including donating valuable time and resources to help transform the ground floor of the Avenues into the open, modern and multifunctional space that is today. Jen says:


“I’ve been involved with the Avenues for the last three years. Willmott Dixon take pride in their community engagement and give us the opportunity to get involved with community groups. I was given the opportunity to raise some funds to help with boiler repairs, but also got to assist in the refurb on the building. This gave me the chance to spend some quality time at The Avenues and to witness first-hand the incredible work they do within the local community. It was clear to see how much effort the team put in, to make the lives of young people better.”


This blossoming friendship between Avenues and Willmott Dixon has led to them naming us as their corporate social responsibility project, with three staff members signing up to run the Marathon for The Avenues in 2019. Running alongside Jen are Iain Charnley and Chris Lovelock. Unfortunately, Chris has recently had to pull out due to injury on a training run, however he has already cemented his desire to run for The Avenues next year. Jen has told us some of the reasons why she wanted to run for our youth centre:


“When I was given the opportunity to run the marathon for The Avenues, it was a no brainer.  Putting aside that it will be an incredible experience (my first one) – it’s so great to be able to do it and raise money for a charity that you have been directly involved with, and where you can see the money making a difference.”


We love to hear our runners’ stories. It puts into perspective the monumental effort involved in training and raising the valuable funds for our cause simultaneously. It is great to see how this run; a life-changing experience for people like Jen, can sustain the vital and potentially life-changing support that brings hope for our young people.


“So far training has been going well – as much as it is all consuming (all I talk about is tempo runs, carb loading, tapering!), the great thing about running is that you can do it anywhere – you just need your trainers and you can go! I’ve been fortunate to have some of my training runs in some beautiful places (Lake Garda being a highlight) – I’m on the taper now, and whilst nerves are starting to set in, I’m really excited for the big day, and raising a lot of money for a great cause!”


We are deeply grateful for all the support that the Willmott Dixon family has given us over the past few years. Also, to individuals like Jen, Iain and Chris who thought it necessary to go the extra mile (or 26) in order show their personal commitment and connection to our cause, we wish them all the best for the big day!


If you’d like to represent us for the next London Marathon (or any other sporting event for that matter), then please get in touch as soon as possible, places will be snapped up soon.

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