Mum’s the Word

Meet the mum and daughter duo taking on the Manchester 10k to #raise4reachout this September!

Why did you and Olivia decide to fundraise for ReachOut? What was your motivation?

When we enrolled for the 10K with ReachOut, Olivia’s job at the time meant that she was regularly engaging with schools and young people. She became interested and concerned in equal measure at the general lack of ‘services’ and understanding of the real needs of young people who may be viewed as ‘disadvantaged’ in any way. She found it very frustrating for many reasons and left her job to find a new position working with young people with autism.

ReachOut stood out to us both as a fabulous initiative for inspiring and supporting young people so it was an obvious choice to support them with some fundraising.

Why did you take on the challenge together?

We ‘ran’ a 5K together a couple of years ago, I pledged to do a 10K before I get to 60! 1 year to go.. It’s now or never! Both Olivia and my son Lewis have done the Manchester 10K twice before and watching them, alongside enjoying the amazing atmosphere, also spurred me on and so we entered.

What will you be listening to on your run?

I listen to various podcasts on my walks at the moment, a particular one that is helping me now is called ‘Jogging for Cake’. I occasionally listen to music and my playlists can be described as random at best, anything from Drake to Simply Red!

Olivia has numerous running playlists as runs frequently. She finds music a complete necessity to run to and updates her lists often. A song we do both love is ‘Fine China’ by Chris Brown.

How are you finding the training? What are you doing to prepare?

Olivia is very fit and I describe her as an effortless runner; from a young age both our children have played and enjoyed varied sports at all levels and have a love for fitness and health and all it’s wonderful benefits. Olivia is 25 and I am 59 so obviously our ‘training’ is so different although our mindset is the same. We are determined to succeed, have fun and help a good cause.

Olivia has been running at least 6K regularly for months now and is planning to up her regime over next few months.

I am walking 10,000 steps 5 days a week to build my stamina alongside some yoga. I would describe myself as a beginner but do a fabulous fast walk with the odd jog…. for a slice of cake.

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“At first, I was really hesitant to take on the Project Leader role, despite having mentored with ReachOut. However, with the support of the team I’ve really developed my skills. For example, at the Mentee Graduation, I stood up in front of 200 people and presented an award which is something I would never ever have been able to have done before, and isn’t an opportunity I could gain in my other situations.”

Amy McCutcheon, Project Leader at ReachOut Academy, Dean Trust Ardwick, Manchester.


“Being able to spend the summer working at Rede Partners, was an amazing experience. Whether it was working in HR or Finance, I learned so much about the world of private equity, made great connections with fantastic people and I got to learn first-hand what it would be like to work there! I really believe that I can go onto build the career I want now I’ve been a part for a workplace for real”

Victor Adekunle, 18 years old, ReachOut Ambassador, London


“When I first my mentee, she was very reluctant to participate in the sessions. Now, I see a completely different person! Her confidence has grown and she is happy to join in! She still has some self-doubt when it comes to academic work, but that’s what I hope to help her overcome, because she is a very bright person!

Through mentoring, I’ve learnt I’m a lot more patient than I realised. There will be days where she refuses to participate and those are the days that I really see the importance of the character strengths, for both the mentees and the mentors. It also makes it easier for the mentee to understand the character strengths, when I use them myself”

Myrtle, ReachOut Club mentor at Tufnell Primary School, London


“There are more distractions than ever outside of school, and the commitment of our students to attend ReachOut sessions is testament to the value they place on the relationships they foster there, and the challenge and enjoyment they provide.

ReachOut’s focus on communication skills and character development has become an important aspect of our provision of support for these students. The opportunity to relate to a positive role- model other than their usual teachers is key to the programme’s impact, and the evidence of this has been seen in the students’ attendance, resilience and to their overall progress across all the subjects in the school.”

Thomas Janvrin, Assistant Vice Principal at the Petchey Academy London