Charity fundraising is a hugely mixed bag of ideas. The classics of sitting in a bathtub of baked beans, and sunday morning bake sales are well known avenues of collecting to support great charities. There are some instances however, of individuals pushing themselves to their limit in honour of causes that hold a high position in their heart.
Of course, everyone has a different, personal limit. For example, if Sir Mo Farah decided to raise money for charity by running a half-marathon, he would be met with an incredible number of raised eyebrows. But when someone who is rarely seen in shoes other than high heels, says that she’s going to run across muddy countryside and assault courses in support of two phenomenal charities, it definitely turns heads.
Two life-long friends will be doing just that this summer, to raise money for the Shama Women’s Centre, and the Alex’s Wish charity. Nisha Pahuja, a full time Occupational Therapist and Company Director of Charnwood Regency Guest House Limited and Krupa Bhatt, Business Development Officer for Shama Women’s Centre, are trading in their high heels and formal clothes that they are attuned with and donning their running shoes and blister plasters to raise money for two exceptional charities.
have agreed to take on the Wolf Run, a 10km slog of a run through mud pits, swimming across lakes and rivers, tackling man made and natural obstacles such as fallen trees and wooden walls, which has been designed to provide runners with the experience of “natural, raw running conditions”.
This event is entirely outside of Nisha and Krupa’s comfort zones, and definitely adds to the challenge of what would easily be a tough course, even for experienced runners. Krupa said: “When I heard about the Wolf Run at first it was something I turned my nose up at. I remember thinking, eww I don’t want to do that, it looks disgusting! Walking in the mud? God, no, I’m not doing that! I have zero upper body strength. So I have no idea how I’m going to make it through 10 kilometres. And then I thought to myself, do you know what? Why am I holding myself back? This is a year of making a difference; this is a year of doing something that is going to really shine and make you feel good about yourself. So I thought, right. I don’t want to think about it. I’m just gonna do it. And I mentioned it to Nisha, and she was onboard straight away!”
These types of activities, especially done by those who have had little training or desire to partake in them previously can be inspiring. To take on a challenge like this through sheer grit and willpower is admirable to say the least. Nisha’s goal is to show that determination to her kids, and hope they learn some valuable lessons. “I am now a single mum. And I have to set an example for my children,” Nisha said. “Life is not always glamorous, life is not always high heels and expensive parties or looking good. Sometimes you have to strip right down to the bare minimum that you’ve got. And you have to set that example for your children for them to remember that you can go and have a drink in a bar at any time of the day but it doesn’t make a difference. And you can sit there and write a big fat check or whatever it is. But these things don’t stand out as much in a child’s mind. Because that’s just another dinner. That’s just another event that mummy’s written a check out for. It doesn’t make a difference that mummy got dressed up. I hope that this will stick in my children’s mind that, like I said, life isn’t always glamorous.”
The two aim to raise upwards of £2000 to support the Shama Women’s Centre and the Alex’s Wish charity. Shama Women’s Centre’s goal is to empower women by developing their confidence and independence, whilst also providing those women that need it, mental health and domestic abuse counselling services. Alex’s Wish is a charity that was set-up with the goals of eradicating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is an aggressive form of Muscular Dystrophy that affects 1 in every 3,500 boys born.
Speaking of the Shama Women’s Centre, Krupa said: “Hardly anybody in the business community that I’ve spoken to, knew who Shama were until I had that conversation with them. But they’ve been around for 35 years. They’ve been around for longer than some of these businesses. So why is it that they didn’t know about it? It became very important for me to start to bring some recognition to them. The charity sector in general is very humble about the way that they are. They don’t necessarily know how to shout about all the great work that they’re doing. The last 12-18 months has been difficult for everybody but Shama has been one of those local organisations that opened their doors within two weeks of the initial lockdown.”
Nisha said: “Supporting Alex’s Wish and helping their fight against Duchenne’s is very important to me. From my health professional background this is something that is very close to me because I have worked with adults and children alike with Duchenne’s. It’s very sad to see that they’ve got to withstand this life-limiting condition. I want to be able to create more awareness about this disease. When I get anxious about the Wolf Run, I just think to myself: look, it’s only 10 kilometres, it is not the end of the world. At the end of the day, it’s 10 kilometres of your life. It’s only for a couple of hours, so I should suck it up, and go for it. If you don’t go for something, you never know that you can do it.”
The Summer Wolf Run takes place across the 3rd and 4th of July in the Stanford Hall estate, Leicestershire. You can find out more about the event here: thewolfrun.com/summerwolf/
To support Krupa and Nisha’s fundraiser, visit the link below: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KrupaNNisha
By Sam Ellison