Help to tackle loneliness by taking part in The Leeds Abbey Dash 10k for Age UK

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Flashback to Leeds Abbey Dash 2019. Photo: Simon Cullingworth

The Leeds Abbey Dash 10k for Age UK is taking place on Sunday, 22 October and Age UK is encouraging people to sign up to the popular charity fun run and help to support older people.

Loneliness affects nearly a million older people in the UK and the money raised from the event goes towards Age UK’s national Telephone Friendship Service, providing lonely older people with a regular friendly chat with a trained volunteer.

Lesley, who is in her 70s and lives in Leeds, has been using Age UK’s Telephone Friendship Service since the unexpected loss of her husband Colin while they were holiday. During their 53 years together, Lesley described Colin as her everything, and his loss was unbearable. She said: “You get up and you go to bed and there’s nobody there. And then again, it’s morning and there’s nobody there. It’s horrible, it really is. We were two halves of a one. We went everywhere together. We were always together.”

When a doctor visited Lesley at her home, she admitted that she was feeling down, and they suggested she sign up to Age UK’s Telephone Friendship Service. After her first call with her telephone friend Karen she felt like she’d been handed a lifeline.

Lesley enjoys reminiscing about her life with Colin during her weekly calls, and she’s grateful for the Age UK Telephone Friendship Service and all the volunteers. She says: “If you’re feeling really low and lonely and fed up, you can’t lose. I couldn’t have done it without Karen, I really couldn’t. I was deeply so unhappy. And now I really look forward to the calls, she’s just so lovely. I love her.”

Lydia Curran, Head of Events at Age UK, said: “We’re calling on all runners to sign up to The Leeds Abbey Dash 10k for Age UK this year, whether you’re a regular runner or it’s your first ever 10k. Not only is the event a huge amount of fun, but it raises vital funds to support older people like Lesley. By taking part you’ll be making a huge difference to those who are feeling lonely and have no one to turn to.”

Sign up for the event here.


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