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Coronation Stride to raise money and awareness for Cambridge charity Cogwheel

Elisabeth Silver, chair of trustees at Cambridge-based charity Cogwheel Counselling, is to tackle the Cogwheel Cambridge Coronation Stride this Sunday (May 7), alongside her colleague Isabelle Dolis, to raise money and awareness for the charity.

Elisabeth Silver, chair of trustees at Cogwheel. Picture: David Silver
Elisabeth Silver, chair of trustees at Cogwheel. Picture: David Silver

The walking/running event is being held as part of Cogwheel’s 35th anniversary celebrations and to celebrate the coronation. As well as raising money, the 27-mile, self-guided walk around the perimeter of Cambridge, with shorter options of 13 and six miles, is also promoting the importance of mental wellbeing.

Elisabeth, who has been a trustee for the charity for about six years, chair of trustees for the last three, explains that the route is basically “a big circle around Cambridgeshire”, adding: “It’s to raise funds for affordable counselling, which is what Cogwheel does.

“Like many small charities, Cogwheel’s had quite a tough time during the pandemic; we continued to deliver services. So we went from an organisation that was in-person and within a couple of weeks we went to something that offered counselling online, because it just felt so important to keep a service going.

“But all of that’s quite expensive and we weren’t able to do as many sessions with Covid, and that obviously affects small charities and the reserves they have. So as we come out of that, we’re looking to build up our reserves to get back on a financial level that’s going to be viable for the long term – and this is one of the ways of raising some money to do that.”

Isabelle Dolis, head of services at Cogwheel
Isabelle Dolis, head of services at Cogwheel

The 27-mile marathon distance walk starts and finishes in Histon, with registration on the day between 7.30am and 8am. There is a choice of two starting points for the six and 13-mile options, either in Histon or at Shelford Rugby Club.

The walks/runs will have a starting time between 8am and 10am. Runners are welcome to run for fun and enjoyment; there is no race and no run timings are provided. A free minibus shuttle service will return six and 13-mile walkers/runners to their original starting point.

Elisabeth is tackling the 13-mile walk, alongside Isabelle, who is head of services at the charity. “We just thought it would be a good way to raise some money,” said Elisabeth, “we’ve got JustGiving pages and I’m going to wear Cogwheel colours, which are a sort of green and yellow outfit.”

On the services that Cogwheel provides, Elisabeth said: “Our goal is to make sure that counselling isn’t just available to those that can afford to pay the full costs, but it’s done on a basis of you pay what you can afford, so it’s based on your income.

“Then as a charity we subsidise that – and obviously we have a pool of counsellors so we can quality assure those services, and a head of services who’s always there, and they’ve all got the right support in terms of supervision and things like that.”

Isabelle Dolis, head of services at Cogwheel
Isabelle Dolis, head of services at Cogwheel

The Cogwheel Cambridge Coronation Stride takes place this Sunday (May 7). For more information, visit cogwheelcambridgestride.org.uk. Elisabeth’s JustGiving page can be viewed at justgiving.com/fundraising/elisabeth-silver, while Isabelle’s is at justgiving.com/fundraising/isabelle-dolis-for-cogwheel.

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