Here is the story of why this fundraiser is taking place:
When we were all around 19 years of age, we sadly lost our best friend Adam Clarke. It left such a massive hole in our friendship group and really rocked all of our lives.
Our group all met when we were at secondary school in Hemel Hempstead and remained as close as ever, even when we left. Our family members were even friends and our lives all seemed to leak into one another’s.
At an age where everyone was just starting adulthood, we were all following our own paths. Some of us were at university, some of us were travelling, others on apprenticeships and the rest starting full time jobs. But although we were all doing different things, we had one thing in common, every one of us missed our friend.
When we first found out the devastating news nine years ago, it was difficult to come to terms with knowing our friend was gone. No one knew how to deal with their emotions or what the right thing to do was, but we did know we had each other. We quickly found that talking about Adam and remembering our friend, was the best medicine.
Over the years instead of trying to move on from what had happened, we made it our goal to remember Adam and allow his spirit to live on through all of us. We did this together and we took time to share our memories and stories about Adam with his family, who quickly became part of the friendship group too.
Having something so heartbreaking affect us at such a young age, is perhaps why we have remained such close friends to this day. At the core of our friendships is the same love for Adam and what he stood for. It brings us such joy when we see each other and celebrate his memory together.
While remembering Adam has been a real healer for us, we know that Adam’s family found a great deal of peace with the help of the charity You Raise Me Up. So over the last nine years, we have set up several fundraising events as well as celebrating Adam’s life to try and help support the charity in any way we could.
This year, with everything that has been going on in the world with Covid 19, we haven’t been able to come together in the ways we normally would and a lot of people were feeling down about it. So, one of our friends Olly Jacques decided to set up a running club which brought us all(even the non runners) together to support one another and keep motivated during this difficult time.
Then we recently saw in the You Raise Me Up newsletter,that the charity was struggling due to the recent lockdown measures and were in desperate need of a helping hand. So, we decided to combine our new hobby witha special fundraising event in memory of Adam.
During Adam’s teenage years, he lived between Hemel Hempstead and Eastbourne, which is roughly 240km in distance there and back.For that reason we are planning a relay run over 24 hours on July 4. Each of the 24 runners will attempt to hit 10km within the hour, in order to meet the distance of the journey that our friend made on so many occasions during his life. In doing so, we are hoping to raise a total of £2,400 for the charity.
Coming together to remember our friend and support the charity which helped his family is not only a good way of raising money but also a focus for us during a time where our own mental health could be seriously affected. During this period, where we thought remembering Adam would be difficult, this challenge has created a shared goal and a way for us to keep Adam’s spirit alive, now and always.