Gemma Clarkson, 35, is busy training to walk an amazing 100km/62miles over a weekend in September, to raise money for women affected by domestic abuse.
Gemma, right, who works full-time as a Bid Manager, is raising funds for local organisation HOMETRUTHS, which provides services for anyone experiencing domestic violence and abuse within Swindon and Wiltshire.
On September 14 Gemma will take on the Thames Path Challenge which is likely to require 24 hours of continuous walking to complete.
Gemma says she has chosen HOMETRUTHS as she wants to be sure all money raised reaches the people in the local community. It is estimated that up to 23,250 women living in Swindon could potentially be victims of domestic abuse; Gemma wants to highlight the importance of HOMETRUTHS in helping women who are or who have been affected.
“I am so pleased to be raising money for something personally relevant. My childhood was affected by domestic violence so this is an issue and a cause that really means something to me; I wish there had been something like HOMETRUTHS in existence back then.
"The fact that this is a locally based organisation, supporting the town I was born and raised in, makes it even better and will hopefully spur me on to go the distance.”
Kim Swinden, Co-Founder of HOMETRUTHS, is really keen for everyone to get behind Gemma and help raise £1,000.
“It is fantastic that Gemma is going to undertake such a major challenge – 100km is a gruelling distance and we cannot thank her enough for choosing HOMETRUTHS to raise funds for. We are a community organisation providing individual and group programmes for survivors of domestic abuse. We would appreciate anyone donating to Gemma’s Walk and if we could raise £1,000 it would make a major contribution to the services we provide in Swindon and surrounding areas.
"Anyone can make a donation and even ask their family, friends and employers to donate too. It is likely that everyone knows someone affected by domestic abuse, as 80% of people who experience it don’t report what’s happening. HOMETRUTHS provides a safe and confidential service to anyone in this situation who is currently experiencing abuse from a partner, ex-partner, family member, or anyone who has experienced domestic abuse in the past.”
Kerry is a survivor of domestic abuse and says that HOMETRUTHS has saved her life. “Without the groups run by HOMETRUTHS and the help they have given me I don’t think I would be here. My ex-partner was very violent and even after leaving the house he continued to control my life.
"I lived fear for over 5 years but since getting help from HOMETRUTHS things have totally turned around. They are a life-line to people like me and I was so pleased when I heard that Gemma was going to do a 100km walk to raise funds for them.”
Anyone who would like to donate or help spread the word about Gemma’s Walk please visit: www.hometruths.coop or ring 01793 617589.
Donations can be made on-line through https://localgiving.com/gemmawalks100km