On 6 July, local mum, Jenny Scrivener, began running the Virtual Ultra Marathon Race to The Stones. The race involves running 100km over seven days, which Jenny is undertaking to raise funds for the Hogarth Youth Centre.
In previous years, Race to the Stones was a 100km race along the Ridgeway, finishing at the Avebury Stone Circle. But this year, due to social distancing measures, the race has been moved online. Unlike a normal race, there is no set course for a virtual ultra marathon. Instead of running as a group, participants will complete the race alone, logging their journey online.
Jenny is an experienced runner, who has run five marathons before, but she still described this as a bigger challenge than she expected.
“Running a marathon was easier. When you run a marathon, you just keep going and then you’re finished but with this you have to run multiple times a day.
“It’s quite full on but it feels really good. I definitely feel like I’m working for my fundraising.”
Jenny’s son, Charlie, was a regular attendee of the Youth Centre until it was forced to close at the start of lockdown.
Jenny told the Chiswick Calendar how important the Centre has been to her and her son’s life. Charlie joined the Youth Centre at the beginning of last year. Jenny said that it has allowed him to meet a lot more people and grow in confidence. She also praised the “inclusive” atmosphere at the Centre and the “amazing” work of the team who work there.
“I think the guys that run it are just so lovely. They really engage with the each of the kids’ individual personalities – it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of care.
“It also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. For single parents like me, normal after school clubs and childcare can be really expensive. It’s unheard of to get such good value.”
Jenny said, “lockdown has put enormous pressure on many young folk and indeed on their families. I feel sure that it will leave its mark on many of them.”
Denny, the Senior Youth Worker at the Centre, argues that the impact of lockdown on young people has been particularly bad. Although the club has faced some financial difficulty since being forced to close in March, Denny hopes that the club will be able to raise enough money to put on a summer programme for the kids.
The centre has begun a phased reopening of its youth programmes, in line with government guidelines, and welcomed back its first group on 22 June. Jenny said that Charlie is ‘really keen’ to return.
To support Jenny and donate to the Hogarth Charitable Trust, visitjustgiving.com/fundraising/jennyscrivenerhogarth
For more information about the work they do visithogarthtrust.org.uk
For updates on Jenny’s journey as she runs 100km this week, follow @jennymcscriv on Instagram.