Making Memories… Giving Hope

Running for Respite


Dedicated CHICKS volunteer Mark Willis is 26 miles from crossing the finish line!

We're delighted that Mark from Gloucestershire, is taking on the amazing challenge of running the infamous Virgin Money London Marathon to raise vital funds for us this April! The marathon takes place on Sunday 28 April and long serving CHICKS volunteer, Mark Willis, is already in full fundraising and training mode. 

Mark has generously volunteered on eleven CHICKS breaks and is excited about supporting us with his marathon fundraising effort. He said: “I received my open ballot successful application letter, the Monday after returning from a CHICKS break; I think it was meant to be!”.

Children from all over the UK have attended CHICKS breaks and in the past five years we have provided breaks for 149 children from Gloucestershire. Of these children, 47% were living in poverty, 46% had caring responsibilities and 37% had witnessed or suffered from domestic abuse. Following her break, a child called Sophie, who had low self-confidence due to experiencing bullying throughout primary school and into secondary school from a group of boys, wrote to us and said “Dear everyone, thank you so much for this. it has built our self-confidence so much! We love you lots and take you as family. We will miss you a lot. we will always remember you.” Children like Sophie are referred for a CHICKS break by professionals who are incredibly positive about the impact a short break can have.

Witnessing this first hand, is what inspired Mark to take on the London Marathon for CHICKS. He explained how he felt after volunteering at his first break: “I found the experience was better than I could ever have imagined and was in awe of the wonderful staff and how they quickly built relationships with the children” Mark has set himself the target of raising an amazing £970 for CHICKS and has created a Just Giving page to do so. To help inspire people to raise money Mark has written an awesome poem about his experience:

“Until you volunteer on a chicks break,

you will never really know,

the difference it makes to every child,

self-esteem that makes them glow,

inner confidence to try new things,
treasured memories, new friends,
thank you CHICKS for all that you do,
may your holidays for children never end”

If you would like to support Mark Willis in his fantastic efforts head to his Just Giving page.

To find out more information about volunteering opprtunities with CHICKS, head to our Volunteering page or follow us on social media @CHICKScharity for all our updates and latest news!

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