Tag Archives: Refuge

Great Manchester Run 2012!


Whoo Hoo! On Sunday I run it for the 3rd year in a row!

This year I’m in the Green wave, I’m not sure if that’s promotion or relegation compared to last year, as they seem to have changed the colors.

I was supposed to be running with 2 friends, but one friend cannot do it because she hasn’t had enough time to train and I’m still waiting to hear if my other friend can do it after he injured his ankle at Tough Mudder last weekend. So it looks like I’m off to Manchester on my own, that’s not too bad, I tend to stress myself out about running with others as I think they’ll be 50 times fitter than me, plus you never really run on your own when you have friends on Twitter!

I’m not sure what time I’ll get this run, on the one hand I’m super optimistic because I’ve recently set an awesome 5k PB, but on the other hand I haven’t actually done much running recently, opting instead for the bike or the cross trainer in the gym & watching Pointless or The Great British Menu whilst I sweat.  I think I’ll just knock 10% off last year & aim for 1hr 15 or less. 

This year they’ve included a blank number to wear on your back, sort of like they do in the Race for Life 5ks, so you can write who you’re running for on, or something like that. This is how mine currently looks;

I couldn’t resist, but I’m not certain what to add into the big blank bit. I have a short TXT code for Just Giving, so that people could donate to Refuge, if they want to show some support & sponsor me.

RFTQ99 £1 to 70070 

(Just in case you didn’t know what it was, you can swap the £1 for £2, £5 or £10)

But that seems a little boring, and obvious, and so does a QR code, so I’m open to suggestions for something cool / geeky to write in it, or I might just not bother.

If you’re going, give me a shout or a wave, it will be greatly appreciated! If you’re not going then my “wave” starts around 12:10 and hopefully I should be done by 13:30, give me a tweet, they made me smile so much during the marathon!

Good Luck to everyone else running too!

I’m off to eat my body weight in pasta over the next 36 hours. You need to do that for a 10k, right?

Running for Refuge – Thank You


I’m sure if you’ve been reading this blog you know I’m a huge supporter of Refuge, and will, if you give me half a chance, go on & on about how they need every penny they can get & possibly ask you to text RFTQ99 £1 to 70070 & donate a quid via text!

My Story

One of the things I did with Refuge last year was to share My Story with Refuge supporters & encourage people to run the Adidas 5K for the charity. It felt good to use something that is quite negative to hopefully encourage people to be more active, and raise money for a charity that needs & deserves it.

My name is Millie Lavelle and this year marks my 30th birthday. It also marks fifteen years since my mum was murdered by her ex partner, Rodney. She was killed while she was bathing my younger brother and sister.

For years my mum endured Rodney’s abusive behaviour and in 1995 she tried to end the relationship, only to find that the following day when we came home from school he had smashed up the whole house. My mum called the police and although Rodney was not charged the police told my mum they would hold him for as long as they possibly could.

We used that time to leave and go to Bedfordshire where my aunt lived. We took nothing with us- but then we had nothing left. A few says later mum spoke to the council but they told us to go back home because we had made ourselves homeless. We didn’t go back and instead I spent four months sleeping on an airbed in my aunt’s house.

Eventually we managed to get a small flat.  My mum started her own business and we were doing well. However Rodney found us and he gradually became part of mum’s life again. But he hadn’t changed- he still stole whatever he could get his hands on, money, furniture, my mum’s sewing machine and jewellery. Mum asked Rodney to leave and he stole her handbag as he left. We called the police, but they weren’t interested at all. All they did was suggest that my mum change the locks and cancel her credit cards.

But Rodney’s controlling behaviour didn’t end there- on 6th January 1996 I came home to find an ambulance and two police cars outside our flat. A policeman took me into his car and explained that there had been an incident, and although they ambulance crew had done all they could, my mum was dead after being attacked by Rodney.

Rodney was caught six weeks later. He was later convicted of manslaughter because he pleaded diminished responsibility.

Looking back now I can see how isolated and alone my mum was as she struggled to bring us up on her own. She was terrified of Rodney, but she didn’t know how to get help. She didn’t know that Refuge was there to help her to stay safe and rebuild her life, and my life, free from violence and fear.

That’s why I ran the Great Manchester Run for Refuge this year- in memory of my mum. So many women feel just like my mum- alone, scared and confused. They feel they have no options, nowhere to turn. But that’s not the case- thanks to Refuge. Refuge runs a range of services which protect women and children living in fear: from refuges to legal advocacy and community outreach schemes. It gives women and children like my mum, me and my brother and sister a chance to start a new life in safety.

Refuge opened the world’s very first refuge 40 years ago. It now needs your support to survive, and to grow, so that it can reach out to more women like my mum. Please help ensure that Refuge can be here for as long as women and children need support by joining their special 40th birthday team at the adidas Women’s 5K on September 11.

Visit https://www.womenschallenge.co.uk/onlineentry/. Places cost £15. Please select Refuge from drop down menu A, and tick the box so that they can send you a fundraising pack and a Refuge team t shirt.

You can also make a donation to help support Refuge’s life changing work just ‘RRUN40 £10’ to 70070 or £5 or £2- whatever you can give will make a huge difference to Refuge.

On behalf of my family and the thousands of women and children Refuge supports- thank you


Jessica @ Refuge was great, understanding & extremely helpful whilst I was writing it, and knew that whilst this is My Story there are also other people involved, my brother & sister, my Aunt & Uncles, my Grandparents and I was mindful that they could be upset by me sharing something that is quite a private issue.

One of the thing that struck me the most when writing my story was that it wasn’t that there was no one to help, if my Mum had reached out to my family they would have been there in a flash, and when we moved they were there for us, but because of the shame associated with Domestic Violence and that most women who suffer through it believe it’s their own fault, my mum never made the step to seek help, until it was too late.

Thank You

A little while a go I received a letter through the post. It turned out to be a card & gift from Jessica & all at Refuge.

I must admit I cried! I was part of  helping Refuge raise almost £26,000 by sharing My Story is amazing, and Jessica had taken the time to send me a hand written card to say thanks, and all I did was write out My Story.

Get to the point Millie!

Well I guess the point of this post is three way love fest of thanks!

Firstly, if you’ve donated to Refuge because of my rambling, badgering or whim, THANK YOU!You have helped save lives.

Secondly, if you ran the Adidas 5K for Refuge, or did any running for Refuge, Thank You & Please keep going. And Hey, how about joining me for a Marathon in October?!

Thirdly, To everyone at every level of Refuge THANK YOU. You save lives & you change lives on a daily basis. YOU’RE AWESOME.

Just one more thing…

Red Online Save A Life badge
While you’ve waded through this post take 2 more minutes to click the picture & join the Red / Refuge campaign. The aim of  Speak Up, Save a Life  is to ask that every police force in the country works alongside an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate in its work to prevent domestic violence and help save lives.  100,000 signatures are needed  so this debate can go to the House of Commons.

All you need to add is your name & your email addres.

Oh an I was serious about joining me for that Marathon, anyone a taker?

>Great Manchester Run Round 2


>So at 8:30am the web page for the 2011 Great Manchester 10k opened!
and by 8:46am I had a place! Yippee!

This year I have decided to run for Refuge, the women & children’s charity against Domestic Violence.
Yes, it does deserve the capital letters, it’s a serious issue & it’s one that strikes quite close to home for me…
But 1st some facts;
· One in four women is abused during her lifetime.
· One in nine is severely physically abused each year.
· Two are killed each week
·On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police. 

 I’ll give you a moment to lift your chin off the keyboard while the numbers sink in.

Refuge are committed to a world where domestic violence is not tolerated or ignored and where women and children can live in safety. Money raised and donated to Refuge goes towards many things;

  • £10 could allow a woman to buy her child essential materials for school – many women arrive at Refuge with nothing but the clothes they are wearing and do not have the means to buy the things they need.
  • £50 could fund a session of play therapy for a group of four children, helping them to overcome the trauma of witnessing or experiencing violence.
  • £72 could pay for two days of fun activities for a group of children in our refuges.
  • £75 could fund a local support group session for women who have experienced domestic violence.
  • £96 could pay for a training workshop for 5 women, helping them to enter the employment market and regain their independence.

Why Refuge?
This year (2011) I turn 30. Yikes, and it’s also 15 years since my mother was killed, by her abusive partner. Half my life has been without my Mum, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

The Great Manchester Run isn’t until May, 180 days away! I did the last one in 1hr 40min, I was pregnant, but I aim to get this one under an hour!

Wish me luck ( and Sponsor me) Cheers!