Sophie is a first seat trainee in the Birmingham office and recently completed The London Marathon in aid of a local domestic violence charity; The Haven Wolverhampton that was founded by her late Grandfather.
Sophie raised £2,425 for the charity and discusses below the charity’s goals and visions, why she chose the charity and about her challenge in more detail.
What do The Haven Wolverhampton do?
The Haven Wolverhampton supports women and children who have been subjected to domestic abuse, and women who are at risk of homelessness and is now one of the largest refuge providers across the West Midlands. Its vision is for all women and children to live in a society free from oppression, homelessness, and abuse, and to promote and uphold human rights. Roughly two women a week are killed by a partner or former partner and the pandemic has made it difficult for women in abusive relationships to leave to seek support. The charity offers 24/7 helpline, safe accommodation, support for those living in the local community, advocacy and advice, specialist programmes, counselling and therapy, and children’s services.
Why The Haven Wolverhampton?
Sophie’s Grandfather founded the charity in 1972 after noticing that there weren’t any provisions in the city for women fleeing domestic violence. The charity has grown from only one refuge, to multiple across the city. Sophie volunteered in the refuges during secondary school and in their head office in the marketing department; phoning corporate sponsors and so Sophie knew the importance of fundraising for the charity to continue providing support. After Sophie’s Grandfather passed away in 2019, Sophie saw the marathon space being advertised by the charity and wanted to use her love of running to remember her Grandfather’s lifetime contributions to the charity whilst raising money for a worthy local charity. COVID-19 had a massive impact on how the charity could raise funds and numerous lockdowns meant it became difficult for women to flee violent situations and so Sophie knew how important raising money for the charity was at that time and how proud her Grandfather would have been.
Tell us more about the challenge
Sophie was due to run The London Marathon in April 2020 but this was postponed until October 2021 due to the pandemic. Sophie had previously run 10 Half Marathons for Breast Cancer Now throughout 2019 but running 26 miles was a challenge that would require a lot more training. Balancing training alongside working in a busy legal environment was often challenging and meant that being organised and having a strict training regime was key. Pre-COVID, Sophie hosted a vinyl night and a bake sale as fundraising events and throughout COVID, Sophie used her legal blog to spread awareness of the charity and the marathon in order to raise funds. Sophie raised £2,425 and is waiting to hear where the monies will be distributed within the charity. Following the marathon, Sophie received drawings completed by children in the refuges as a thank you present. This touching gift re-emphasised the importance of supporting local charities and the individuals that benefit from the fundraising.
Outside of work, Sophie is now working with the charity to set up a project focused on education and employment opportunities so that she can carry on her Grandfather’s legacy.
You can read an interview below that Sophie took part in with the charity alongside various pictures of the challenge.
Sophie Warren runs London Marathon to raise funds for The Haven | The Haven (havenrefuge.org.uk)