As we encourage more of supporters (and new ones) to say ‘Yes to the Vest’ and be involved in any of our events in 2020, we caught up with our event poster girl!
Lyn Bow is an inspiration to us all, running countless events across the world to support our work, raise awareness and vital funds to support families. Read her stories here in our Q&A and be inspired…
Lyn, explain why and how you are involved with Held In Our Hearts (HIOH)?
“I got involved with SANDS/HIOH in 2017 when I decided to run the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF) for one of my friends who had a still born at the same time as I had my daughter. After meeting her in the street two years after her loss, I was telling her I was running EMF, and she said ‘oh I would love to be able to run to help raise money for the charity that helped me after losing Bella.’
“I then said to her that I would love to run on her behalf and help raise the money as I was planning on running the marathon anyway so why not do it for a good cause. The rest is history. The day before the marathon one of the other charity runners got in touch with me and asked if she could travel with me to the event, as she was travelling from the same area and would love the company, to which I obliged. I then got very friendly with her and from that day we have been very close friends and ran many events since then for the charity.”
How much satisfaction does it give you to support HIOH?
“I get huge satisfaction from helping raise money for HIOH as I know the money goes to great use in helping other families who have tragically lost a child. Having spoken to many other charity runners who have used the service, they speak very highly of Nicola (Welsh) and her team. I have made lots of friends within the charity and they offer lots of support to everyone who takes part in their events.”
How exciting a time has the rebrand and change of name been since January?
“It has been a very exciting time for everyone involved in the name change over the last month or so, with a lot of hard work and drive from all the staff to make this successful. It’s fantastic news about the service expanding into Fife and Forth Valley and offering a lot more support to families in need. I have enjoyed watching the videos shared by the families themselves who have received the help and how much they have benefited from the charity.”
Onto events, you are a big supporter of events for the charity. How many have you roughly participated in?
“I honestly have no idea how many events I have actually ran for the charity! Every event I participate in I throw the vest on, whether it be to raise money for them or simply just to raise awareness. I have taken the vest all over the world with me – last year alone I ran three of the world’s major marathons (London, Berlin and Chicago) and hopefully this year I will get into the New York Marathon in November and finish off with Tokyo and Boston to complete The Abbott World Marathon Majors. That has been a lifelong dream of mine.”
What has been your favourite event over the years?
“My favourite event that I have ran organised by the charity has to be the Great North Run. That was so much fun, one of the best half marathons ever, lots of fun and laughter – even the train journey down to Newcastle was brilliant. The families that have got involved have a very special bond with each other as they have all been through the same hurt and grief in their life after losing their child. Events like this gives them a focus and challenges their thoughts and grief into giving something back while keeping fit and active at the same time.”
HIOH is asking people to say ‘Yes to the Vest’ this year. What events can people get involved in, and which ones are you doing?
“I tend to do events right through the year to keep me busy. I have already done MacTuff in January, which Tracy did also. I just did Devilla Forest 15km race on Sunday there. I have Glentress Half Marathon coming up, I’m doing Deerstalker in March with Nicola’s husband Gary and I’m also doing the John Muir Ultra in March too. I have a lot more in the pipeline for later on in the year but I’m waiting to hear back from NYC marathon on 26 February to whether I have been successful or not. Then I can start booking more events.”
What would you say to anyone thinking of doing an event for HIOH?
“I would say to anyone thinking about doing events for HIOH to jump in with both feet. It gives you a massive sense of achievement and something to work towards if it’s something you have never done before. You get heaps of support from the events team and lots of encouragement from others who are doing the event, especially on the Team Facebook page. Why not get your family members involved too? In that way they will feel part of giving back to a charity that have supported their loved ones, as sometimes family members can feel helpless. This is a great way for them to feel a part of something special. Even if it’s to stand on the sidelines shouting and cheering, or even run it themselves.”
Do you have any idea, in total, how much money you have raised for the charity through participating in events?
“I have raised almost £4,000 for the charity over the last few years which I have loved every minute of. The friends I have made doing it has made it even more special. I will continue to say ‘Yes to the Vest’ at every opportunity I get to raise awareness of the fantastic work HIOH do for others in need.”
Please get in touch with Tracy, our Fundraising Manager to find out more about our events or sign up to get involved.