Monique’s on a Marathon Mis­sion

Napier Courier - - NEWS -

Napier woman Monique Jeffares is a on a mis­sion — a marathon mis­sion.

Train­ing for the renowned 42.2km dis­tance run while work­ing full time and be­ing a mum and wife is a mis­sion in it­self, but on top of that, Monique is com­mit­ted to rais­ing aware­ness and funds for Fam­ily Works, a ser­vice of Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port East Coast.

Fam­ily Works pro­vides pro­grammes and coun­selling for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies who are af­fected by child abuse, fam­ily vi­o­lence and ne­glect. The en­tire mis­sion cul­mi­nates at the Auck­land Marathon this Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 28.

Monique is the com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port East Coast and of­ten wit­nesses the ar­du­ous work of the Fam­ily Works so­cial work­ers and coun­sel­lors.

“I ad­mire and ap­pre­ci­ate their ded­i­ca­tion and gen­uine con­cern for their clients, as well as their frus­tra­tions with lack of funds. Be­ing a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion there is al­ways a short­fall we must raise each year to meet the de­mand,” Monique says.

Last year alone, Fam­ily Works re­ceived 1426 new clients. Fam­ily Works Hawke’s Bay man­ager, Pam Mc­Cann, says unfortunately the ser­vice is work­ing with an in­creas­ing num­ber of chil­dren trau­ma­tised by their home en­vi­ron­ments.

“This trend is likely to con­tinue as more fam­i­lies deal with drug ad­dic­tions and poor men­tal health,” Pam says.

Monique has two sons, Hugo (6) and Archie (4) and she says the thought of them be­ing hurt, abused or griev­ing and not know­ing how to process their feel­ings made her feel “re­ally sad”.

The 36 year old ad­mits she’s al­ways had the de­sire to run a marathon but al­ways put it off with ex­cuses. Her at­ti­tude changed af­ter los­ing her mum to lym­phoma can­cer ear­lier this year.

“Mum suf­fered ter­ri­bly but she was so brave at the same time — she never gave

In a way I’m run­ning through my grief and try­ing to do a good deed by rais­ing money for these chil­dren who are also strug­gling at the same time.

up hope. She passed away in May and af­ter that I de­cided to sign up for the full Auck­land Marathon. It sounds very cliche´ , but life re­ally is short and no one knows what’s around the cor­ner. I’m do­ing this run while I’m fit and healthy. In a way I’m run­ning through my grief and try­ing to do a good deed by rais­ing money for these chil­dren who are also strug­gling at the same time.”

For the past four months Monique has been hit­ting the streets when­ever she got the op­por­tu­nity — dur­ing lunch breaks, at 5am be­fore the rest of her fam­ily woke, later at night and in the week­ends. She is grate­ful for the sup­port of her fam­ily, friends, work col­leagues and es­pe­cially her hus­band, Tim.

“The train­ing has been chal­leng­ing, es­pe­cially af­ter a rough night with the kids or when I’ve had in­juries. To be hon­est I felt like giv­ing up a few times. But run­ning for a cause like Fam­ily Works and know­ing the funds are go­ing to chil­dren who are strug­gling so much more than me, kept me go­ing.

“Mum was also very head-strong and de­ter­mined. I be­lieve I have a lit­tle bit of her in me, and I’m hop­ing that’ll get me across that marathon fin­ish line on Sun­day.”

■ Monique has com­mit­ted to rais­ing $5000 to en­able 10 chil­dren to re­ceive coun­selling or so­cial work and would be grate­ful for any do­na­tions via her Give A Lit­tle Page Mon’s Marathon Mis­sion for Fam­ily Works

PHOTO: WAR­REN BUCKLAND

Monique Jeffares is run­ning the Auck­land Marathon to raise money to pro­vide coun­selling for chil­dren.

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