Marie Dove, who offers life coaching to women and is based in York, is walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks solo to raise funds for IDAS on 21st August.
Marie says, "For many months, I have been thinking about how I can support the wonderful work of the Yorkshire-based charity IDAS. I love the ethos and work of this charity, supporting so many victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
"When I practiced as a social worker, a mentor and a drug and alcohol worker in the criminal justice system, I was sadly witness to a huge amount of domestic abuse, towards women, men and children. What got me through seeing these terrible situations, was the strength, resilience and determination of the victims. Their strength ignited my strength, giving me the courage to speak up for them when they struggled to speak up for themselves, or when the system within which I worked let them down.
"I am fortunate to know a few women who work for IDAS, their passion and care for victims and survivors is so clear to me and I know they are an asset to IDAS and to those they support. I also know some survivors of domestic abuse, I find their strength and stories so inspirational, their ability to work through adversity is nothing short of amazing. I want them to know that they are seen, and they matter.
"The answer to the question, 'how can I support IDAS?' came to me whilst out in nature, like it always does! I decided to solo walk the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge on Monday 21st August this year. I quickly emailed the lovely Emma, fundraiser at IDAS before I had chance to change my mind!
"After signing up, I discovered that most people walk this in an organised group, so I started to have some nerves about doing it alone with no support. I knew I would be walking 24.4 miles, summitting 3 peaks, with an elevation of over 1600 metres. I realised that I could be completely alone out there, that I could get lost, that the weather could come in and I wouldn’t be able to see the descent from the summits.
"As a coach, I work with fears, with that limiting belief that can stop us from achieving something, so I have set to work to prepare myself as much as possible for this epic challenge. When we choose to do something that is out of our comfort zone, there will always be fears and worries, but there are so many amazing and life affirming moments as well. I have learnt so much about myself already through training and I know that I will learn so much more when I hit the trail on August 21st.
"I know there will be moments when it gets tough, especially because I am out there alone, with no one to encourage me when it all feels a bit much, I expect that. I also know that what will get me through those moments is thinking about all those who are living with abuse right now. All those who had to dig so incredibly deep to leave their situation and start all over again and all those who, even after leaving are fighting every day to move on and feel safe. When I think about that, walking 24.4 miles doesn't feel so tough".
Marie set up a JustGiving page and told her friends, family and supporters about her challenge on social media. She included her story, with a link to her JustGiving page, in a newsletter to the women she supports in her Life Coaching business, and included posters with a QR code in the woodlands where her work is based. So far, Marie has raised over £300, which will help us to continue to provide refuge accommodation, community services and support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Thank you Marie, we'll be thinking of you on 21st August!