“Wee Short Legs that are Quite Old”!
Continuing our blog series we introduce key members of the SOHTIS team and are inspired by their contribution to anti-human trafficking work.
Hazel is a retired professor of Nursing, has been involved in anti-trafficking work on a voluntary basis for many years. She sits on our SOHTIS Advisory Committee, providing pro bono expertise and guidance on the development of our organisation. A huge SOHTIS thank you to Hazel who also raised funds for us by participating in the 2019 Glasgow Kiltwalk, she shares some of her experience with us.
We asked Hazel
Tell us a little bit about you?
I enjoy walking and company so the idea of doing a longish walk with 12,999 other people ticked both boxes for me! The opportunity to do it as a fundraiser for such a good cause was the icing on the cake.
What was the best thing about the Kiltwalk?
That’s a difficult one – there were so many good things it’s hard to say. The great buzz as we set off, the music as we passed by the many people who had come out to entertain us and cheer us on our way, the fantastic sense of camaraderie and, of course, getting across that finishing line!
What was the most challenging thing about the day?
Without doubt it was hearing that, with four and a half miles to go, we had passed the last set of loos two miles back! Perhaps my reply to your last question, i.e. what was the best thing about the day, ought to have been finding that we had been misinformed and, in fact, there was a most welcome loo stop two miles on from that point! I hasten to add that we were given this information, not by official Kiltwalk volunteers but by members of the public who gave us snacks and water and were no doubt well-intentioned but certainly uninformed.
What are your top training tips?
I didn’t have time to follow the recommended training schedule which suggested building up to relatively long walks. Instead, I downloaded an app that recorded my walking speed. I found that my comfortable walking speed is three miles per hour (I just have wee short legs that are quite old!). I made myself walk at 3.3 mph and, walking just once a week over a period of four or five weeks built up the distance from three or four miles to six or seven. During the last week I took a train to the halfway point and walked the latter half of the route at a speed that was comfortable for me. I think that familiarising myself with that section was very useful psychologically as I knew how much farther I had to walk as my energy levels were likely to dip. I think that on the day our pace was about 2.8 mph.
What is your motivation to raise funds for trafficked victims and why did you decide to support SOHTIS?
I have heard a lot about the horrific experiences of people who have been trafficked and subjected to cruel exploitation in modern slavery. As I’m on the SOHTIS Advisory Committee I know about their plans to provide much needed support to help survivors as they rebuild their lives. However, no matter how well-meaning people are, it can’t happen without money.
What would you say to others who might be thinking about signing up for the Kiltwalk?
All in all, it was a great experience so I would say, ‘Yes, go for it. If I can do it, so can you!’ The Hunter Foundation generously donate an extra 40% of anything you raise in sponsorship making it is a great way to raise funds!
Call to Action
SOHTIS believes everyone deserves to live in freedom with dignity and respect.
There are ways that we can all be involved in being part of the solution to human trafficking in Scotland. Some as simple as raising awareness by following SOHTIS on social media and sharing our posts, joining Team SOHTIS and volunteering or fundraising, linking us with useful networking contacts and by donating funds.
TEAM SOHTIS is recruiting NOW for the Kiltwalks 2020
GLASGOW – 26 April
DUNDEE – 16 August
EDINBURGH – 13 September
Join our team and with us bring FREEDOM to those trapped in modern slavery in Scotland.
You can find out more about the Kiltwalk at https://www.thekiltwalk.co.uk/events/