This year, two of the six Jewish Care runners have been inspired by their grandmas to take on the challenge of running the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018.
Lauren Waterman, 26 from Elstree will run in memory Barbara Waterman, who sadly passed away at the age of 84 last year. Barbara was a Jewish Care volunteer for over 47 years and Lauren is raising funds for the Brenner Centre at Stepney Jewish Community Centre. Barbara volunteered over 25,000 hours for Stepney Jewish Community Centre, coordinating activities and events for members, she gave advice, support and made countless cups of tea for the members over the years as well as raising over £20,000 with Friends of Stepney Jewish Community Centre.
Barbara was happy to receive a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minister at 83, in 2016 in recognition of her incredible dedication and was also among a small group of clients, staff and volunteers introduced to HRH Prince William at Jewish Care’s 25th anniversary fundraising dinner. She also met the late Queen Mother when she visited the Day Centre, in 1987.
Lauren says, “My marathon fundraising is all about the community at Jewish Care’s Brenner Centre at Stepney Jewish Community Centre. For over 47 years, my late grandmother, Barbara Waterman, made it her mission to support the community at this centre and to put a smile on the members faces.
“In June 2017, my marvellous Grandmother, Bubba, was diagnosed with a form of liver cancer. 84 years young, with a cracking laugh and enough energy to put the Duracell bunnies to shame – I did a 5k run whilst Bubba was ill, so challenged myself to run a 10k, then decided I’d push myself to run a half marathon in honour of Bubba. I got to tell her this whilst she was alive. As a lady who lived a tremendous life and was a dedicated volunteer for Jewish Care for 47 years, my decision to run for Jewish Care was easy – a tribute to remember her at her best, and to help contribute to a cause which was so close to her heart.
“I’d already committed to 13.1 miles by October so decided if I set my mind to it, I could just about conquer those 26.2 miles by April. I’m extremely proud to be running in Bubba’s honour.
“She was a quintessentially English lady at heart and loved making sure the members tea cups were always topped up as she served them with a smile. For this reason, my fundraising will primarily be going towards some overdue maintenance to the kitchen – which will be named ‘Barbara’s Kitchen’ in her memory. Any remaining funds I raise will be used to support the centre to make sure events like the tea parties and outings she organised, can continue to happen.”
Josh Domb’s Grandma, Diane, who has lived at Otto Schiff home in Golders Green for two years, has inspired him to run three marathons in the past two years.
Josh, who lives in Central London and grew up in High Barnet, explains, “A few years ago my grandma started showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This swiftly progressed into dementia and, in the space of just a couple of years, my grandma went from being lucid, sharp and independent, to being unable to do so many of the things that we take for granted. It was very hard for all of us and particularly my Grandpa who, at the age of 85, became her full-time carer. It was a very worrying time for the family.
“From the moment we first reached out to Jewish Care they have been absolutely brilliant. Whilst my grandma still smiles when she sees me, any sense of who I am (or indeed anyone else is) seems to have gone. As you might expect, her quality of life certainly isn’t what it once was. That being said, I have always taken huge comfort from the standard of care that the team at Jewish Care provide to her on so many levels. It makes the world of difference when you see someone in those circumstances clapping along to music, tapping their foot to a beat and, occasionally, smiling and laughing.”
Also running for Jewish Care this year, will be Mich Preston, Sarah Myers, Chris Ezekiel and James Fox.
Daniel Carmel-Brown, Jewish Care’s Director of Fundraising & Marketing said, “It’s moving to hear how Lauren and Josh have been inspired by their grandmas to run the marathon. I’d like to wish our team of dedicated runners the best of luck in this year and thank them all for their support. They have been training through the freezing winter to raise vital funds to support older members of our community in London and the South East, many of whom are now living with dementia or are isolated and rely on Jewish Care for support.”
If you would like to take on a challenge, whether it’s pounding the streets, climbing up mountains or cycling across the city, there are events for people of all ages and fitness levels to help raise money for Jewish Care.
No challenge is too big or small, taking on a 10k, half marathon, marathon or bike rides are a great way to get fitter whilst supporting your favourite charity. Jewish Care will support you all the way to the finish line with a dedicated member of the team to help you with your fundraising and training to get you ready for the challenge.
To sponsor Lauren Waterman visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LaurenWaterman