On Sunday 30th September 2018, a team of nine runners from the Cassel Hospital joined the thousands running the seventh Ealing Half Marathon to raise awareness and funds for the Cassel Hospital Charitable Trust. The team included Linda Stradins (Service Manager), Bex Close (Friend of the Cassel), Camilla (Outreach Patient), Alex Ruffer (Psychosocial Nurse), Paul Stokes (Psychosocial Nurse), Chloe Finamore (Research Assistant), Julia Blazdell (Service User Consultant), Stefan Skwara (Psychosocial Nurse) and Sam Spedding (Clinical Psychologist).
The route through Ealing was lined with well-wishers hollering support, handing our jelly babies and high-fives to the runners as they ticked off the miles and headed towards the finishing line at Lammas Park. Alongside Team Cassel, many fancy dress costumes were spotted, including a three-man caterpillar, Banana Man and Tom and Jerry.
With a lot of support from friends, staff and patients along the way, all runners successfully completed the 13.1 miles. Bex led the group with an incredible time of 1hr37.
Julia Blazdell was running her first half marathon and had a rocky road to the start line having undergone surgery only a few weeks before the race. Julia said “It was great to be part of Team Cassel and wonderful to have such excellent support from patients and staff lining the route. The finishing stretch would have been a lot harder without their good cheering!”
So far, the team has managed to raise an incredible £7,874 for the Cassel Hospital Charitable Trust, with donations ranging from £5 to £3,000 from 98 supporters. The link is still open for donations, so please do show your support for the Team here (https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/teamcassel2018)
The money raised will go towards the Cassel Hospital Charitable Trust Service User Involvement Fund which has been established to support the development and employment of people with the lived experience of difficulties associated with diagnoses such as personality disorder and complex trauma. The funds will support both current and ex- service users in progressing towards sustained employment by funding activities which support their development as peer support workers or experts by experience. This could include one-to-one support, mentoring, reflective practice and access to education and training. It will also fund the employment of people with the lived experience of personality disorder and complex trauma to deliver and develop training and consultation interventions across the NHS and other providers