Our #10kForNurses team is growing and with many supporters taking on 10k their way, Joan Pons Laplana tells us how and why he's getting involved and how you can support UK nurses facing hardship.
"For the last few months nursing has made the headlines due to many nurses struggling to make ends meet. The pay cap imposed by the government is hitting frontline staff hard. Cavell Nurses’ Trust is seeing an increasing number of calls for help from nursing professionals, with a 32% increase in requests for help in the first half of 2017. It is a very worrying trend.
"Lots of us are only a pay cheque away from poverty. The psychological impact is also enormous. It can happen to anyone, including me – and it did.
"A few years ago after my marriage ended I was struggling to juggle my finances, having to pay for extra rent on new accommodation and surviving on a single wage. I was just managing to keep afloat but everything went pear-shaped when my car broke down and I couldn’t afford the repair bill. I was in a difficult position: if I did not repair the car I could not go to work and without working I would be unable to pay the bills. Facing the prospect of being jobless and homeless I decided to skip paying my rent. Despite working overtime to try to catch up I was struggling and one day I received a letter from my landlord telling me to pay the missing rent or he was going to evict me. At that point my levels of stress were through the roof and that day I broke down in tears during my break. Luckily a work colleague came to the rescue and signposted me to the RCN Foundation. They helped to get back on my feet and I was very grateful.
"One day I promised I would give back to a charity that helps nurses, so the time has arrived and I have chosen Cavell Nurses’ Trust.
"Following last year’s Tweetathon success, where I ran the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon while tweeting every mile during the race, I have decided to do it all over again. I heard that WeNurses and Cavell Nurses’ Trust were looking for 100 volunteers to join the #10KForNurses challenge, and I just knew I needed to join in.
"So, on the 22nd of October I will be running the Sheffield City 10k at the Rother Valley Country Park in aid of Cavell Nurses’ Trust.
"But I will be doing it with a twist. I will be HOPPING the course on my purple spacehopper, HOPing to raise a lot a cash to help fellow nurses, midwives and HCAs going through hardship.
"Cavell Nurses’ Trust provides a package of support for UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship – often because of illness, disability, domestic abuse and the effects of older age.
"But to keep giving this much-needed support to our fantastic nurses, the charity needs YOUR help. Sponsor the Big Hop and you can make a HUGE difference to nurses in their hour of need.
"You can sponsor me via my JustGiving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thebighop
"Or if you wish you can sponsor my running vest for a full kilometre. For a tiny sponsorship amount you will be able to reach a HUGE audience. Find more information visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-big-hop
"The Big Hop will be also be live on the day (22nd October) via twitter. You will be able to follow my progress by following me on twitter at @RoaringNurse, @WeNurses or @CavellTrust and also we will be using #10KForNurses and #TheBIGHop.
"But we are still looking for more volunteers to join #10KForNurses. Why don’t you join in? It couldn’t be easier just take a look at the #10kForNurses page and sign up!
"If you live close to Sheffield please come to the race and join me, walk with me, or come and cheer me. I will need all help possible to complete this MAD challenge! But wherever you are on the 22nd of October make sure you join in and make some noise. You never know when you are going to need help in future and to make sure that Cavell Nurses’ Trust can go on helping nurses in need, we need you."