Runner Feature - Helen Croft RunThrough Running Club London

Helen Croft – Oulton Park


A couple weeks ago I ran 7 laps (20miles) around Oulton Park Race Track. Many of my
running buddies thought I was nuts for running this race but it was all part of my marathon
training for London Virtual Marathon taking place on 4 th October for a wonderful local

Friends for Leisure https://www.friendsforleisure.org.uk/ is a small registered Charity who
have a big vision of a society where all children and young people have the same
opportunities, with the support they need to make friends and enjoy their leisure time.

Pre-covid they provided term time group activities, one to one friendships and an
outstanding youth volunteer program of recruitment, training and support.

Like many charities the global pandemic has had a huge impact on charities in terms of the
services they have been able to offer, how to offer these services in a covid secure way and
also fundraising.

Throughout the pandemic they have provided zoom sessions with an array
of activities including: Discos, Magic Shows, Animal zoo show, Keep fit, Yoga, Youth club
sessions, Art classes.


Runner Feature - Helen Croft RunThrough Running Club London


As a parent of a child with Special Needs who regularly attends Friends for Leisure activities
and an active runner, I was honoured to be asked to run London Virtual Marathon to help
raise funds for them.

I started running 5 years ago and have completed 5 marathons to
date. It’s my escape, time for me away from my caring role. I find it’s a good way to unwind
and focus on my own wellbeing, which as a carer is something we all find hard to take time
out of our role and feel guilty for looking after ourselves.


However, we need to take care of ourselves in order to look after others. My son is keen to get back to the Saturday bowling sessions and has enjoyed joining in the Zoom sessions over lockdown, none of which would have been possible if it wasn’t for the wonderful and hardworking staff. Here are some quotes from other parents who value the great support FFL offer their young child/young adult:

“As a family we can feel quite isolated and disconnected from others due to little
understanding around Ruby’s needs but FFL have always made us feel welcome. I honestly
can’t put into words how amazing FFL is and how much it’s needed for our children and the

“The input from FFL has been invaluable in helping my son through this recent and ongoing
difficult times of Covid-19. I very much commend the commitment to good quality,
equitable and accessible zoom activities produced by FFL since March 2020”



I am proud to help such a wonderful charity through my running.

If you’d like to read more please check out my fundraising page HERE!