Kathryn’s Ultra-Marathon raises £1000 for Family Plus

Forward Leeds Team Manager Kathryn Blackburn ran the 50K Monster Run to raise money for the Family Plus team.

Family Plus is part of the Forward Leeds service and provides additional help for parents who are dealing with alcohol or drug issues.

Kathryn was supported by Forward Leeds in 2016 before later working at the service. She received additional help at that time from Family Plus, when her children were 18, 17 and 8 years old.

She now helps others who are struggling with their substance use, managing the Criminal Justice team at Forward Leeds.

Kathryn said: “I really wanted to do this run and raise as much as I could for the Family Plus team at Forward Leeds as a thank you. The support I received from them was incredible. They helped bring my family back together and there is no doubt the relationship I now have with my children would be nowhere near as strong as it is today without their input.

“The support my children received has also continued to benefit them as they have grown older – my eldest graduates her MSc today.

The Family Plus team can provide emotional support for children whose parents are trying to change their behaviours around alcohol and/or substance use. They can work with school staff and offer parenting support.

Working alongside someone’s Key Worker, they are able to alleviate many of the additional pressures that parents face when they are trying to deal with problematic substance use.

Lead Practitioner of the Family Plus team Gemma Voller said: “We’re really grateful to Kathryn for using her free time to raise funds for us. This means we’ll be able to run some special events over the summer holidays so parents and children we are working with can have meaningful experiences together, just like Kathryn and her family did.”

“It’s always really touching for our team when Kathryn tells us about how much our support meant to her and to her children when she was in treatment.”

The Monster Run is a 50k ultra-marathon along the banks of the Thames from Windsor to Richmond. It uses much of the Thames towpath along its route. Kathryn ran it on Saturday 1st July.