100k of the Cumbrian Way in a day for Carer Support South Lakes

Eugene and Billy McGee posing before their feat of 100K of the Cumbrian Way in a day
Eugene and Billy McGee posing before their feat of 100K of the Fundraiser Challenge

100k of the Cumbrian Way in a day for Carer Support South Lakes

TWO brothers are attempting their first ultra-marathon to highlight the plight of key workers, the unpaid carers, and to raise funds for the charity that cares for them, Carer Support South Lakes.

Born and raised in the Lake District, Eugene and Billy McGee will run the 100k Cumbrian Way, from Barrow to Keswick, on Thursday 3rd September. Their challenge has seen supporters pledge £1,141, exceeding their original fundraising target.

Eugene, a tree surgeon, and Billy, a social worker, say running is a relatively recent endeavour, although they’ve always hiked and been into outdoor sports. They took up running to maintain their fitness levels and to help with football training, and find it mentally and physically rewarding.

Building up from 5km runs, they’ve tackled trail running challenges including the Lakeland Trails Coniston marathon (42km) and the Hellvelyn 15km.

As Eugene explains: “As amateur runners at best, this is a huge ask of us but it’s for a cause we feel is underrepresented in mainstream media and society itself; stay at home carers. They’re an invisible work force caring for loved ones at home, unpaid, unheard and often sacrificing their own quality of life.”

“Billy meets many carers as part of his job, the most harrowing cases he sees include children, as young as eight, nine or ten, feeding, bathing and clothing siblings and parents alike. A recent report advised that the average young carer in the UK spends 25 hours a week looking after others in their household, and this equates to a salary of £12,000. Almost 40% of young carers say no one is aware of their responsibilities.”

“We’ve also seen the impact on our dad who’s cared for members of our own family too,” adds Eugene.

The brothers came up with the challenge when their Great North Run, scheduled for September, was postponed.

“As Cumbrians we agree that the Cumbria Way is a rite of passage,” says Eugene, “with arguably some of the best scenery the country has to offer.

“So, we’re substituting it for the GNR. It’s our biggest challenge to date, but with confidence and naivety we are determined to complete it, although we may end up renaming it the Cumbrian Crawl.”

Eugene and Billy have been in training, with gym sessions, cycling, running 5k every other day and long weekend runs. They’ve also been fell running and football training and recently returned from cycling the North Coast 500 route in the Scottish Highlands.

The culmination of their challenge is a celebration event and fundraiser at the Folk Café, Bowness-in-Windermere on Saturday 5 September.

The duo plan to set off from Dalston at 5am on Thursday 3rd September, arriving in Keswick around midday and finishing in Ulverston, via Lowick, around 10pm.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thecumbrianway100k to find out their challenge.

Autumn Ball postponed until 2021

Carer Support South Lakes Charity Autumn Ball table setting
Carer Support South Lakes Charity Autumn Ball MC speaking

Autumn Ball postponed until 2021

Carer Support South Lakes Charity Autumn Ball table setting

Carer Support South Lakes sell-out Autumn Ball, raising funds for local unpaid carers, is being postponed until next year (2021).

Carer Support South Lakes says since 2013 their event has been a successful fundraiser bringing in over £50,000 for carers aged five to 95-years-old.

The Carer’s Carer Ball, held annually at the Castle Green Hotel Ballroom in November, will now take place on Friday 19th November 2021.

The charity’s chief exec, Mike Seaton says over 200 guests attended the 2019 ball and next year’s promises to be even bigger and better. As Mike Seaton explained:

“The Castle Green team and Cumbrian party band The Seals have been fantastic in helping to re-arrange everything.”

“Our fundraising ball is the highlight of our very active year in the South Lakes. The event is hugely supported by the local community and businesses who understand how important carers are.”

“In the past the community have donated amazing prizes, from holidays in Portugal and Spain, and a luxury mobile-home adventure to food and wine hampers and restaurant dinners. All monies raised ensure essential services can continue – including advice and assessment lines, sitting and counselling provision and group sessions,” added Mike.

Carers Support South Lakes, established in 1982 and based in Kendal, is managed by a team of local professionals with help from volunteers from the local community. The charity, the ‘Carer’s Carer’, provides advice, help and services to 1350 unpaid carers.

“There are 12,000 unpaid carers across the county looking after loved ones who cannot look after themselves, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They need looking after so they can support others,” said Mike.

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who is ill, has a disability, mental ill health or an addiction and who cannot cope without their support.

For details of next year’s ball and for more information about Carer Support South Lakes visit www.carersupportsouthlakes.org.uk/