Teresa Hodgson’s gruelling double challenge of a half-marathon and a hike up Ben Nevis has raised an incredible £786 for Club Doncaster Foundation’s veterans project, Fit Forces.
Fit Forces, launched in June 2022, is a weekly session that is aimed specifically available to veterans and those that have served within the armed forces. All sessions are held on a Saturday morning, 9am-11am at Foundation Fitness.
Participants who attend, get the chance to socialise with likeminded people with similar experiences as them, providing a safe space for to socialise and exercise.
Sessions include NAAFI breaks, circuits, walk and talk sessions and quizzes, alongside a selection of organised activities to get involved with too.
It was attending a couple of these sessions, hearing from the participants and being moved so much by them, that spurred her on to raise money for the project.
Teresa kick started her double challenge on 23rd September, by running a half-marathon around the lake and the Eco-Power Stadium. She was joined by members of the armed forces as she completed her laps around the lake, alongside staff members from the Foundation. Fit Forces participants attending their weekly session, were on hand to give her support as she crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 5 minutes!
Just over a week later, Teresa was off again, completing the second part of the challenge, hiking up Ben Nevis! Up against the elements, she kept powering on and made it all the way to the summit, before making the descent back down.
Speaking of taking on the challenge and fundraising for the project, Teresa said: “I want to make this something we do yearly. This is the only thing we have in Doncaster that promotes health and wellbeing for veterans.
“I decided to raise money for the Fit Forces project, as I’m a big believer in fitness and social inclusion and these are benefits of attending the sessions. Some veterans don’t leave their houses unless they’re coming here, and some don’t communicate with anybody after leaving the armed forces.
“This is a fantastic project and I want to promote and support it. Our veterans deserve nothing but the absolute best.”
Teresa was also overwhelmed by the support she’s had during the challenge: “The support from the military community has been fantastic and from everyone else too. Those that have shared the social media posts, sent me messages and donated to the fundraising page, but also from the Foundation too.
“I didn’t realise I would have this much support and it just shows how important it is not just to me, but to the wider community, this programme and what it does for our veterans.”
Veteran, Blue Thornhill, who attends and delivers at the Fit Forces sessions, spoke of what the raised funds will mean to the project: “The money raised will enable us to have more opportunities and help continue to fund the weekly project.
“Everyone loves attending the sessions on a Saturday morning and getting involved in the variety of activities that take place.
“It’s fantastic what Teresa has done for us and the project, we’ve been behind her every step of the way as she completed each challenge, cheering her on. We can’t thank her enough.”
Josh Bucknall, Fit Forces project lead, who was involved in the set up last year, said: “We are incredibly proud of Teresa for both the challenges she has taken on in the last couple of months.
“The money raised will have a positive impact for this project and will allow participants to access a variety of sessions and events that will continue to support them in the future.
“Thankyou Teresa for everything you have done.”
If you would like to fundraise for the Foundation through an event, please contact Phoebe.firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on our Fit Forces sessions, please contact email@example.com