This month we’re uniting with our UK communities to shine a spotlight on solidarity, one of our core values at Emmaus, and a way for us to make a difference to the lives of others by supporting individuals, charities and initiatives.

This can be very valuable for Emmaus companions as it is often key to helping to rebuild self-esteem, proving that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the lives of others.

Just like our companion Shania who will be taking part in Cancer Research UK’s 5k Race for Life which starts in Verulamium Park, Holywell Hill, St Albans on Sunday 16 July. 

Shania said: “I signed up a couple of weeks ago as I love volunteering and raising money for charity. I lost my uncle Ian to cancer last year and I was very close to him, so I want to run it in his memory.

“I’m not a runner at all, I’ve just started doing the couch to 5k app on my phone and it gets you running and walking, so in nine weeks I’ll hopefully be able to run 5k.

“It’s a very gradual course, at first you run for about 90 seconds and walk for 60 seconds. It’s not too bad at the moment, I’m only on the third stage of week one though so it’s early days!

“I’m feeling the benefit already though, I’m starting to feel fitter. My boyfriend’s doing it with me, so we’re training together, which helps spur us both on.”

The original and most popular Race for Life event, the 5k is an entry level distance and an achievable first challenge for most abilities.

It’s just over three miles and can take about an hour to complete on average, but there’s no pressure for fundraisers to finish in a certain time. Participants like Shania can run, walk or jog at their own pace to fund Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

If you would like to sponsor Shania on her first charity run, please visit her JustGiving page here: