The biggest ever number of clients, carers and staff will be representing Caring Breaks in the Belfast City Marathon on 4 May.

Last year we just had nine entries (two of them clients).   But this year we’ll have a total of 27!  They include 13 clients, plus two carers – a mum and a sister – plus six staff members (one of them me) all of whom are taking part in the 3 mile “fun run”.

In addition, one staff member is doing the eight mile walk, and a five-person relay team made up of staff together with volunteers from outside Caring Breaks, will take part in the relay, which covers the whole 26 miles.

But it really has been the “buzz” from clients which is the reason why interest has risen so much higher this year.

In 2014, the two clients who took part were so excited that they really created the interest and enthusiasm amongst others, and, as a result, more and more people asked to participate.  

To give you some idea of how its seen, you only have to know that one client has been in training for the event for the past year!  He uses a route near to his home, which is safe in terms of traffic and pedestrian crossings, and this means he can go out on his own, and so enables him to train very regularly.

The Marathon offers our clients the opportunity to engage in something that anyone could do, and this helps them feel included and part of the community.

They also feel they are doing something worthwhile in terms of sponsorship.   And this also applies to our families, who have really got behind the fund raising.  I know this personally from the number of people calling up saying they have filled up their sponsorship form and asking for more!

So if you are watching the Marathon next month and you see any of us going past wearing our special Caring Breaks tee shirts, give us a cheer!