Two day virtual relay raises more than £1,000 for domestic abuse charity

PUBLISHED: 17:01 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 11 June 2020

Jason Lombard of energie Fitness with Patsy Daeche from the Helpline at the virtual finishing line in Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: Supplied

Jason Lombard of energie Fitness with Patsy Daeche from the Helpline at the virtual finishing line in Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: Supplied


A Welwn Garden City-based charity is celebrating following a successful fundraising virtual relay race at the weekend.

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline partnered with energie Fitness Hatfield and Hatfield Town Council to organise a 48-hour virtual relay race, which raised £1,305.

While the running was real the relay baton was virtual, with participants signing in via Zoom to ‘collect’ the baton and undertaking their exercise – for 20, 40 or 60 minutes– before returning to Zoom to hand the baton on to the next participant.

In total 32 people took part in the event, which ran from 8am on June 5 until 8am, June 7.

Jason Lombard from energie Fitness said: “We thought it was really important that during lockdown people have a reason to be active. We are also aware that charities need support more than ever as so money fundraising events have had to be cancelled.

“We were delighted to team up with Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline for this event as we think the work they do is really important and we are aware of the increased number of victims suffering because they are locked down with their abusers.”

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Denise Powell, helpline treasurer, said: “We were delighted to team up with energie Fitness and Hatfield Town Council. This event has raised £1,305 of much needed funding for us and we are very grateful to everyone who took part.”

One runner, Alice, who raised an amazing £356, said: “I experienced 12 years of coercive control from the children’s father, including some physical abuse.

“It wasn’t until I was sat in front of the police for the first time on the day I eventually left, that I realised that it was domestic abuse. It has been a very steep learning curve and I have experienced all sorts of agencies I didn’t know existed.

“I was incredibly lucky to have friends and family to support me at the time, but it was still incredibly difficult. I have tried to learn tools to educate myself to be more resilient to the attempts to control now.

“One of my main drivers is to help the children recover and I have struggled at times to find the right channels of support which is where I think charities have a great role to play. I know there are so many women who don’t get support and people still see the subject as a bit ‘taboo’. This is what motivated me to take part and fundraise for the Helpline.”

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a free and confidential support and signposting service for anyone affected by domestic abuse including coercive and controlling behaviour.

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