Ruth prepares to fulfil a burning ambition

Our Co-founder and Director, Ruth, is about to fulfil a bucket list life goal by completing a Firewalk to fundraise for Smile at our Family Fun Day in partnership with Crewe & Nantwich Rugby Club on Saturday 11th September.

We caught up with Ruth to ask her more about this daring challenge and what it means to her..

  • What on earth prompted you to want to do a FireWalk and why?

It’s been something I’ve thought about for a very long time. I saw a few friends complete it for a hospice on Facebook and thought “Oh I’d love to do that” and the opportunity has never really come about, so when we were thinking of events for our 10 year anniversary it seemed like a good idea!!

  • Tell us more about where the fundraiser idea came from for Smile and the relationship you’ve developed with Crewe & Nantwich RUFC?

We have developed a relationship with the club via Jorge in our team, who suggested it would be a great venue. She is Secretary of the club and she put the idea to the board who were also looking for a start of season fundraiser, so it’s rolled from there. It’s also a fab way of raising awareness of our Nantwich peer support group at Smile, which is the latest addition to our range of services for families affected by perinatal mental health challenges.

  • What can families look forward to at the event?

It kicks off (no pun intended!) at 1pm with a Women’s 1st team match, then on to a Men’s 2nd team match, followed by a Family Fun Day. This will include bouncy castles, a sumo wrestler ring, gladiator sticks to continue the competitive spirit, along with some fun day specials like Splat the Rat. The Lego walk commences at 5pm (open to any age), the Fire Walk briefing at 6pm and the Fire Walk at 7pm! Food and refreshments will also be available, so it should be a fun day for the whole family.

  • Have you got a target in mind and do you think you’ll smash it?

We don’t have a specific target as it’s the first joint event like this we’ll be hosting but it would be great to generate a few thousand. All costs and funds raised are being split 50:50 between the rugby and club and Smile, so the more we raise the more we benefit 

  • Are you nervous and if so how will you overcome this?

I know that the briefing will help get me into the zone.  I’m more worried about people’s leg hairs singeing! I’m rubbish at remembering to shave them 😅

  • Why is fundraising important for Smile?

All the services we offer are free to families, though with a growing portfolio, it takes a certain amount to ensure we can remain sustainable. Every penny comes back into running the group and we are always looking for ways to improve the service and add value, which is only possible with continued fundraising.

  • Tell us a little more about the services you offer and the additional support that launched most recently in Nantwich?

We have four peer support groups now; Macclesfield launched in 2011, Congleton in 2013, Sandbach in 2016 and this year we opened our Nantwich services, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. We liaised with health professionals around where the groups should be and to cover existing gaps. Smile offers person centred talk therapy and1-1 home visits will resume in September. We also continue to offer virtual support as well as monthly family sessions which are popular with partners as well as mums who no longer regularly attend groups. Our sessions are aimed at supporting families affected by perinatal mental health challenges across Cheshire East and we are hoping to start walks in Holmes Chapel and Alsager soon.

  • How can people sponsor you?

Just log on to my Virgin Giving page.

We would love to see lots of familiar faces and Smile families there on the day. We’ll be in a gazebo so come say hello and have a chat. If you want to get involved please do sign up or come along: https://www.cnrugby.uk/a/the-community-15847.html

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