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Sonia Esposito - fundraising for Hive in 2017 with sponsorship for the Great North Run (see her story below)

Bradford Council: Department of Adult and Community Services

The Big Lottery



Sonia Esposito

Sonia has very kindly been fundraising for Hive in Shipley by doing the Great North Run in Newcastle on 10th September, a popular half marathon with thousands of runners.  Her aim was to raise £1,000 and she has already more than achieved this, along with other fundraising events.  Here is her story:

Choosing Hive

“I believe in everything Hive does – it is unique.

There should be more awareness of what it can offer”

Hive was her choice because it is “local and close to my heart”.  She has personal understanding of Hive’s objectives as close members of her family have Alzheimer’s, dementia, and depression.  Through creativity Hive supports anyone, but focusing on projects and services that improves both mental and physical health and wellbeing.

“If I could pick Hive up and take it down to London for my dad I would”.

Her main reason was for her dad, who has visited Hive and really enjoyed it, and she believes in giving something back to the community.  The £1,000 target was set by Sonia, saying if you raise £500 then you’re happy with that but if you reach your target (or more) then that’s even better.

Signing up and training for the Great North Run

“Running wasn’t my thing but I’ve really got into it”

She made the decision to do the Great North Run last summer, and signed up in February costing £52.  Many major charities were listed to select, but there were no smaller ones to choose.  This didn’t sit right with her at all, despite choosing a large charity meant you got a free package including fundraising help, printing and stop stations along the run.  To represent Hive she had to select ‘no’ for the major charities, set the application up through Virgin Money Giving to represent Hive and answered ‘no’ to many of the questions, for example purchasing a T-shirt for £19.99.  At the time she didn’t know which charity so it was left blank.

Around three years ago Sonia realised that she was having a hard time even just walking the dogs up the hill, stopping to catch her breath.  She weighed 3 ½ stone more back then and thought “this is ridiculous – I’m turning into an old woman”, so she joined a gym.

Four friends applied for the Great North Run along with Sonia, but she was the only one to receive the ‘congratulations – you’re in’ email.  She wasn’t expecting to be picked as she’d answered ‘no’ to all the Great North Run questions regarding spending money on large charities.

Now in training she is running three times a week, often from 5.30am.  “I’ve seen the most beautiful sights such as dragonflies and goslings along the canal and it’s the best ‘me’ time.  I cannot do it unless I’m listening to the radio – talk shows occupy my mind.”

“Without anything in my ears my legs would just freeze!”

Raising money

Sonia has already raised money through her Virgin money giving page, sponsorship forms at Hive and attending events such as the Baildon farmer’s market.  There have been collection tins at other events such as Shipley Festival on 23rd June.  Hive had an open day as part of the festival and she was cycling on their bicycle-powered potter’s wheel.  T-shirts have been printed for herself and supporters, and Hive is fully supporting Sonia on this extremely generous and determined mission.  She has also raised funds through bag packing at Asda recently and will be attending the Bradford Market Summer Arts & Craft Fair on Saturday 26th August.

“Why reach for the stars when you can reach for the cosmos?”