A Great Cornard children’s centre worker says she hopes the money raised from her recent conquest of four marathons in as many days will make a difference to children in crisis.
Samantha Walker, 29, the deputy manager at Crocus Early Years Centre in Wells Hall Road, completed the Great Barrow Challenge Quad Marathon, in which she ran 26.2 miles – the equivalent of the London Marathon – every day from Thursday to Sunday.
Her endeavour was to raise money for the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, a charity which provides safe environments for children and families living in crisis, including some who have fled from domestic violence.
Ms Walker, who has worked at the Crocus Centre for 11 years, joining straight from college, said she had seen first hand the positive impact of Bright Horizons on many youngsters.
“It’s something I have been supporting for years,” she said. “I have seen the difference it can make and the happiness it can bring to children, who just need that safe place.
“To see the happy little faces on the children who don’t have to have any fear any more and can be safe, enjoy themselves and just be children, means everything.”
A regular runner, Ms Walker said the challenge, which took participants on huge circuits starting and ending at Suffolk Academy in Barrow, had been very tough, but the support of people on the day helped to carry her through to the end.
“A lot of people told me I was a bit crazy at first. But everyone has been really supportive. A lot of my co-workers came and saw me finish,” she said.
“On the third and fourth day, it was very painful to start running, but everything loosens up after a while.
“It was a great atmosphere. Everyone there is so lovely. It’s like a big family.
“They have such lovely marshals and it’s a really nice vibe.”
The efforts have so far raised more than £750 at the time of writing, well over the initial £500 target she set, with further donations welcome.
She added that, although she did not have any immediate plans for more marathons, she felt there was a good possibility she could move a level up to the most difficult Great Barrow Challenge – 10 marathons in 10 days.
If you would like to donate, go online to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-walker28.
For more information about the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, go to www.brightspaces.org.