Care cru­sade al­ters tack

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Child abuse cam­paigner and marathon run­ner Re­bekah Smith has been forced to hang up her run­ning shoes but she’s vow­ing to con­tinue her bat­tle to keep chil­dren safe and pro­tected.

The mother of three had been train­ing hard for the New York City marathon in Novem­ber, hop­ing to raise $50,000 for the chil­dren’s char­ity Jig­saw Family Ser­vices. But a few weeks ago she col­lapsed at work and doc­tors have for­bid­den her to run or ex­er­cise while they get to the bot­tom of the prob­lem.

‘‘They have told me that New York is com­pletely off the ta­ble,’’ Re­bekah says. ‘‘It took me a while to come to terms with it. I’m re­ally dis­ap­pointed that I will not be run­ning.’’ But Re­bekah has de­cided to con­tinue her bat­tle against child abuse in Toko­roa and will keep up her fundrais­ing ef­forts and her links with Jig­saw. Un­der the slo­gan ‘‘Cher­ish Our Chil­dren’’ Re­bekah is cam­paign­ing to make Toko­roa a bet­ter place to raise chil­dren and to pro­vide strong role mod­els for fathers and step fathers.

‘‘I de­cided to run the marathon be­cause I wanted to do some­thing to help chil­dren in this area. But I have dis­cov­ered, through the sup­port of Jig­saw, my em­ployer Carter Holt Har­vey and many lo­cals and friends that we can make a dif­fer­ence any­way. I’m ap­palled Toko­roa has one of the high­est child abuse rates in New Zealand. It is such a small com­mu­nity, I re­ally be­lieve we can get to­gether and change all that,’’ she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone Re­bekah Smith 027 447 6162

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