On the run to help victims of abuse

Sarah Lonergan and Lisa Allison, from Santander Cleveleys, running their half marathon through the Fylde coast in aid of Fylde Coast Women's Aid
Sarah Lonergan and Lisa Allison, from Santander Cleveleys, running their half marathon through the Fylde coast in aid of Fylde Coast Women's Aid
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Two Fylde coast women got their running shoes on in aid of victims of domestic abuse.

Sarah Lonergan, branch manager at Santander Cleveleys, and colleague Lisa Allison took to the streets for a half-marathon to raise money for Fylde Coast Women’s Aid.

The pair ran from the Santander Lytham branch to the branch at Victoria Road West, Cleveleys.

Sarah, of Cleveleys, said: “It went really well, it was such a hot day, it took us just over three hours.

“I started training in January, and I thought if I could run a mile, I can run a half-marathon. Lisa has done a marathon before and was a great support.

“The furthest I had done before the event was 10 miles.

“I had just wanted to take on a challenge to do with fitness and do something for a good cause.

“We try to do stuff for the community, because we just feel it’s important to put something back.

“It was really lovely, we had colleagues from other branches and friends meeting us along the way to support us and cheer us on.

“Santander is contributing £500 to what we raise, and we are really grateful for that and to everyone who has sponsored and donated. We’re really pleased with how it’s gone.”

The pair chose Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA) after hearing about the work it carries out – including its role in raising awareness of abuse in schools to educate children from an early age.

FCWA has been supporting victims of domestic abuse across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre for more than 24 years. It manages three refuges for families escaping from abusive partners and provides support services for women, men and children.

And it offers support to children and young people, aged 11 to 18, to tackle child sexual exploitation and promote internet safety.

Sarah, 37, said: “The charity supports local women and men and does such important work. I’ve known and seen people who’ve been through these sorts of issues.

“And I’m not a mum myself, but think it is so important to educate our children and young people.

“It’s so important future generations of men and women are made aware of domestic abuse, including mental abuse, to make sure they understand it is not acceptable.”

Francesca Brett, funding officer at FCWA, said: “The half marathon was a great way of raising money for FCWA and raising awareness about FCWA services for victims of domestic abuse.

“The funding climate has never been tougher, so the money raised by Sarah and Lisa, match-funded by Santander, will make a big difference to Fylde Coast Women’s Aid and will allow FCWA to support more victims of domestic abuse.”

The women have so far raised just over £1,200 although donations are still coming in. To support them, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sarah-Lonergan1

• The FCWA helpline number (01253) 596699 is available seven days a week.