Mother of four, ultra marathon runner and personal trainer, Kerry Sutton, plans to wheel 13-year-old Charlie around the Bath Half Marathon to fundraise for Three Ways School!
Kerry has coached people of all abilities to achieve running goals that they thought were beyond possible. It was whilst chatting with one of her clients about the incredible energy that comes from participating in a community event such as the Bath Half that she decided she would like give someone the opportunity to experience the buzz of a race who might not otherwise have had the chance. Charlie, who attends Three Ways school, was chosen to have the opportunity of a life time. Kerry is going to push Charlie over the whole course!
Kerry focuses on giving people a passion for outdoor fitness, giving those with no running experience the motivation and skills to complete a challenge. She is currently training a parent from Three Ways School to complete an Ultra marathon later in the year. Their discussions about how running can help give such a sense of joy, improve mental health and keep you sane through hard times led to Kerry’s idea to run with someone who might never access running normally.
Charlie turns 13 the week before the half marathon and is at school at Three Ways. Despite having several debilitating conditions, including Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Occipital Neuralgia, which limit his ability to walk and can bring on severe head pain, he currently doesn’t have a proper diagnosis. His only label so far is Global Developmental Delay which is a description rather than a diagnosis. Genetic testing continues but Charlie continues to be positive and grab every opportunity.
Charlie is hugely outgoing and loves to be part of the school community but finds it difficult to join in with mainstream activities because of his disabilities.
Charlie is so excited about doing the half marathon, saying, “I can’t get the words out to describe how excited I am.”
Kerry, who is 47 and lives in Bradford on Avon, explained, “I didn’t need to complete the Bath Half as part of my training this year, but I love the race. It is so much part of our local community with all the groups, bands, volunteers and supporters making such a great race day. To feel the strength of support from the crowd cheering you over each mile, and hi-5-ing you as you pass each water station is amazing, I am so looking forward to sharing this experience with Charlie.
“To be able to share this opportunity with someone who might never normally get this chance is fantastic. I wanted Charlie to see what it feels like to achieve such a different challenge and to show the community what can be done when we support each other.”
Jayne, Charlie’s mother, added, “We’re happy he’s got the opportunity to do something he would never be able to do himself. We hope he really enjoys it. For Charlie it will be a big boost to his confidence and self-esteem. For others, we hope it will encourage them to be creative in finding ways of doing things they thought they wouldn’t be able to do.”
Kerry and Charlie are fundraising for the Teacup Appeal, raising money for 3 Kitchen and Café, which is due to open later this month. It is a café, open to the public, built to give young people with special needs and disabilities, work experience and new skills and qualifications. The café is at Three Ways School in Odd Down and has been built using over £500,000 of donations from the local community, trusts and grants. The school continues to fundaise to build the outside area and fund the staff to run the café and work with the young people.
To donate please visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/charlieandkerry