Amy took on the 26.2 miles of the Dundee Marathon to raise money for our work. This is her story.

Knowing that people experience both isolation and loneliness has always tugged at my heart-strings.

When I completed my second Occupational Therapy placement on a medical for the elderly ward it became even more apparent to me that people suffer as consequence of this.

Older individuals had a fear of returning home alone as they had already lost their husband/wife and friends to illnesses. The thought of sitting in a house alone with no company was soul destroying. This is when I came across Campaign to End Loneliness.

Training begins

Amy in training

I have always been keen to keep fit and take on a challenge. I knew I wanted to do something to fundraise for the charity and to increase awareness of loneliness. It’s rarely spoken about.

I began to train for the Dundee marathon in February of this year which has not been easy. The increasingly hot weather has meant that training days have been tough going but one quote that stuck in my mind when increasing my mileage was… ‘one person can make a difference and everyone should try.’

Making a small difference

Even if it’s making that small difference, it could gradually increase awareness of the impact that isolation and loneliness has on people’s lives. After all, social isolation is not just a risk factor for depression and anxiety, but dangerous for physical health and mobility too.

In a world focused on social media, we are becoming poor at physical contact. It is a simple task to ensure that your older neighbour who lives alone is okay and has the quality of life they deserve. There are more services out there beginning to tackle isolation and encourage social integration, but there are many people still unaware of these opportunities.

The big day!

I completed the Dundee marathon on the 15th of July. It was the toughest challenge I have ever experienced.

Hot, humid weather and few water stations meant that the 26.2 miles was a real struggle. But I was determined to complete the challenge. Not only for my own achievement but for Campaign to End Loneliness.

Amy with her medal

Fundraising has not only to provide funds to make a difference to the improvement of social integration but to help people recognise that isolation and loneliness are becoming increasingly common and problematic. More needs to be done.

Even if it’s a small act of kindness, it can make a big difference to someone’s day/week/month.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my marathon journey.