A young mum who suffered anxiety and depression following a violent marriage has been inspired to run the London Marathon to raise funds for a charity that helps others in a similar situation.
Former Hastings resident Amy Rodway is taking the 26.2 mile marathon challenge in support of Best Beginnings, one of eight charity partners in the Heads Together collaboration, spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which aims to change the way we think and talk about mental health in the UK.
Amy’s story of depression began when her youngest son was born and says she knew it was impacting on the whole family. “I was in a violent marriage which I managed to get out of and he is out of our lives,” she said. “However this caused me extreme anxiety and depression; some days causing difficulties to function as a single parent.
“The relationship only came to a stop because I found the courage to start talking to my friends.
“I was humiliated and embarrassed but it had to stop I just didn’t know how. I couldn’t live with it anymore but I couldn’t get away and it just got worse before I managed to get him out.”
Amy’s experience of depression and how it affected her family prompted her to run the London Marathon for Best Beginnings because the charity develops powerful, engaging resources to help parents who may be in a similar situation to hers, to build the confidence to know when and where to seek help.
Alison Baum, Best Beginnings CEO says many women feel that if they seek help, it may be a poor reflection of their ability to take care of their babies. “This is simply untrue,” she said. “There is a terrible pressure on women to be what is deemed as the ‘perfect mum’ and for some that pressure can be exhausting and isolating. As part of Heads Together, we are really hoping to shift things.”
Amy, who now lives in Northiam, says she’s over the moon to be running the London Marathon on April 23, for Best Beginnings. “It is a wonderful charity that supports parents in giving their children the best start in life,” she said. Please visit Amy Rodway’s fundraising page on uk.virginmoneygiving.com/amyrodway1