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College staff run to work for local charity

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Three determined Harlow College staff from the Supported Studies team have completed a half marathon in aid of PACT for Autism, a local charity providing support for the families of autistic children, autistic adults and people with similar conditions.

Selina Avery, Rebecca Jones and Amelia Morgan set off in the early hours of Thursday 22nd March from Elsenham, arriving at Harlow College at 11.30, having actually covered 15 miles in just under 4 hours. At Harlow Mill they were greeted by some of their students who then ran the final miles back to college with them.

Staff and students were waiting in the main reception to welcome back the triumphant runners, where there was also a charity cake sale underway, run by students from the Supported Studies area.

After catching her breath, Selina spoke about why it was important to get her running shoes on and take on the challenge. “I’d had the idea for the run for quite a while. I drive this route into work and realised that it was more or less a half marathon. Running for PACT made sense as it’s a charity we work closely with at the college - a lot of our students and their families are involved with them.”

Amelia described the highs and lows of running 15 miles to work. “The first couple of miles were very tough but once we got to Bishops Stortford and the sun came out we really hit our stride. The other two ladies kept motivating me when I felt I was flagging and cars were tooting their horns the whole time which was fantastic!”

Rebecca was really proud of her students, saying: “They were waiting for us at Harlow Mill and gave us a big cheer when they saw us. They really kept us going all the way to the finish. I’m so proud of them – they were awesome!”

The money raised had already topped the £500 mark even as the runners were doing their warm down, with the cake sale proving especially popular.

Michelle Freeman from PACT for Autism, spoke about the special relationship between the charity and Harlow College. “There are lots of families of students at the college who have been supported by us in the past. Debbie, Our Talks and Training Officer has been into the college many times to give training sessions and college staff have, over the years, raised lots of money for the charity.”

For more information about PACT, please visit www.pactforautism.org.uk 

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