It’s now less than three weeks until I run the Cambridge Half to raise money for Sing Inside.
I was in HMP Whitemoor a couple of weeks ago and some of the guys who regularly sing with us gave me a few tips to make it to the end. Apparently, if I eat lots of pasta and vegetables, and have a good mindset I’ll be absolutely fine. One resident also suggested I find a running partner and use our time together to tell them all about Sing Inside - not a bad idea! They were also, understandably, very confused about why a self-confessed running hater would choose to do a half marathon. The reason: it is totally worth every mile if I am able to help the work of Sing Inside continue.
I really cannot express enough how amazing Sing Inside is. Every single visit I have been on over the last 3 and a half years has taught me something new and been a giant blessing in its own way. I am so glad to have worked with such wonderful committees for the last two years and watch Sing Inside grow. It’s not often that students change their minds or admit they are wrong, but without fail every first time visitor I speak to says their perceptions have shifted and their eyes have been opened. For the residents, the visits bring a break from challenging circumstances, give a sense of normality, and remind them that people on the outside haven’t forgotten about them. The most common feedback I get from our prison staff contacts is that the residents are just so shocked that we would come and spend time with them, by choice. They don’t understand why we care. I guess what they don’t realise is that we get just as much out of it as they do!
I hope it is obvious how much I believe in the work of Sing Inside and all it stands for, because there is no way I would choose to run the Cambridge Half just for fun! At the start of this year I couldn’t even run 1 mile, let alone 13! Training is definitely not my favourite thing to do and getting outside during dark, windy, snowy January evenings has been really hard at times. I have fallen over outside the Fitz museum and embarrassed myself in front of tourists, and have managed to injure my ankle already! But knowing that the money I raise will enable us to continue to visit our wonderful residents is motivation enough to keep going.
Please, please sponsor me and help support the amazing work Sing Inside does! And if you want to come and cheer me on, that would be fabulous too!
Rachael Chapman, Cambridge volunteer
(You can sponsor via this link: https://www.gofundme.com/rach-runs-cam-half)