Running for the Unseen

I just love to run, and recently took part in the London Marathon, having been lucky enough to get a ballot spot. As soon as I found out that I was in, I immediately began fundraising for Unseen.

For years, I have been trying to get into the London Marathon and never had any success. But having previously ran five marathons and one ultramarathon, I knew I could do it, with the prospect of fighting modern slavery pushing me every step of the way.

Working for Unseen, I know that the money I have raised will help make a significant contribution towards supporting survivors, including running our safehouses, and operating our 24/7 Modern Slavery Helpline, which victims, frontline professionals, and members of the public can call for free help, support and advice.

Preparing for London was not a problem as I was able to fit my training schedule around my work to ensure that I was running between 60 to 70 km each week. My faith keeps me going, as well as the endless support I get from my friends and colleagues. If anything, running enhances my performance at work keeping me healthy, well-rested and alert!

When the day finally came, I was so excited! The best part was hearing all the people cheering us on at various stages of the course, especially around Canary Wharf. The worst part was waiting for the race to begin It was freezing cold and I couldn’t wait to get started and warm up!

As I found myself getting more and more exhausted towards the end, I kept thinking of the millions of victims of modern slavery around the world who are forced to work against their will and have no control over their situation.

When I finally crossed the finish line I was thrilled and relieved that it was over. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment, more so than for any other marathon I had completed. I asked a policeman to take my picture and immediately sent it over to my workmates, so that they knew I had done it!

Although I have crossed this finish line, I still want to continue raising money for Unseen. My next challenge will be the Bath Marathon in August.

So far, the response I have received from the community and my church has been overwhelming. After giving a short talk at a church about modern slavery and the work of Unseen, one man put £200 in my left hand. This has really inspired me to continue.

I’m still going because this cause means everything to me. In 2018 alone, the Helpline indicated over 7,000 potential victims. That’s 7,000 more people who are getting a helping hand out of their exploitation.

While modern slavery continues, I’ll keep running.

- Shannon, Advisor at the Modern Slavery Helpline

Join Unseen on 15 March 2020 to run the Bath Half Marathon and support survivors of modern slavery.

For more information or support please email the Fundraising Team.