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Plymouth Run Fundraiser Smashes Target, Raising Over £3,500 For First Light

First Light is delighted to announce the resounding success of the recent Plymouth Run fundraising event, held on Sunday 28th April. A total of 13 dedicated runners, including First Light staff, service users, and teams from our charity partners, took on the challenge of the Half Marathon, 5k, and 10k races, all coming together for a common cause.

Despite the challenge of the course and the unpredictable April weather, the runners showed unwavering commitment, spurred on by the knowledge that their efforts were making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. Their dedication paid off as they surpassed their fundraising target, collectively raising an impressive total of £3,640 (so far!).

Anna Mitchell, First Light’s Fundraising Officer, expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support: “The response to the Plymouth Run has been amazing! The enthusiasm and generosity of our runners, supporters, and the local community have been truly inspiring. A huge congratulations and thank you to all those who took part. Every donation will enable us to continue providing essential support services to those affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

Among the participants were individuals with personal connections to the cause, including service users who have benefited firsthand from First Light’s support. Reflecting on her experience, one of the runners shared: “I ran the Plymouth Half Marathon to raise money for First Light as they helped me through the toughest time of my life; I am so grateful that because of them, I finally feel control over my own body and am able to run and raise money for such an incredible cause.

I’m feeling very, very proud and super pleased with myself as when I started in January, I could only just do a 5k.”

Other participants included teams from Venton Ltd and The Lost Gardens of Heligan, who are First Lights Charity of The Year partners for 2024.

Sophie Turton, Conference Centre Manager at Venton Ltd said: “Having the opportunity to take part in the event was a fantastic opportunity for the team at Venton. Not only have we been able to raise vital funds for the charity as part of our Charity of the Year Partnership, but the sense of achievement having completed (and ran) the whole 5K course was fantastic. The atmosphere was incredible, and we couldn’t have asked for more support from the First Light team to cheer us on.”

Rebecca Miles, Head of Marketing at The Lost Gardens of Heligan said: “I was delighted to support First Light, Heligan’s chosen charity, at the Plymouth Half Marathon this weekend. It’s a fantastic – albeit challenging – event and I’m so proud the Heligan team have raised awareness and vital funds of over £1,680 for such an important local charity.”

The Lost Gardens of Heligan: Charity Partner for 2024

We are really excited to announce that First Light has been selected as The Lost Garden of Heligan’s chosen Charity of the Year for 2024 following an employee vote by its staff.

Heligan, which is one of the most loved and romantic gardens in the UK, appreciated as much for its beauty and mystery as for the groundbreaking restoration project, will partner with us to fundraise, increase awareness, and engage with employees across the company throughout 2024.

To kick start the fundraising year, festive visitors to The Lost Gardens of Heligan have helped raise over £1,400 for us as the iconic gardens opened their gates for their annual charity day on New Year’s Day. Over the course of the day, visitors explored the gardens to walk off the festive excesses, blow away the cobwebs and enjoy a winter stroll through the historic 200-acre estate with family and friends. This annual charity day proved to be as popular as ever, and the local community and the atmosphere created in the gardens over the day was the epitome of generosity showing that Christmas really was ‘the season for giving’.

Laura Chesterfield, Head of Garden Experience at The Lost Gardens of Heligan said, “We would like to thank all our visitors and staff who have given so generously on our annual New Year’s Day charity day. We know how much the fundraising means to First Light and we are delighted to help raise the profile of the wonderful work they do.

Lyn Gooding, CEO at First Light said, “The overwhelming generosity shown by the visitors of The Lost Gardens of Heligan on New Year’s Day is truly heartwarming. Their support not only amplifies our mission but also symbolises the spirit of community and compassion. This incredible contribution will make a significant impact in supporting those affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. We are immensely grateful to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and everyone involved for championing our cause and fostering hope for a brighter future.

We are really looking forward to working with Heligan over the coming year.

First Light aims to raise £5,000 through the Big Give Match Funding campaign

We’re very excited to announce that First Light has been selected to participate in the Big Give Women and Girls Match Funding campaign taking place next month.

We’re aiming to raise £5,000 to help support our sexual violence services, as more women and girls than ever before are reaching out to First Light after experiencing sexual violence. Your support will help victims of sexual violence to stay safe, exercise their rights and recover from trauma.

We dealt with nearly 3,000 enquiries last year and overwhelmed services mean our waiting lists for vital support are growing. Delays in Police investigations and court hearings also mean that many victims are waiting up to two years for any prospect of closure. Less than 2 in 100 rapes recorded by police in 2022 resulted in a charge that same year, let alone a conviction. This leaves many women and girls struggling to recover from continuous traumatisation.

Any online donations made to us during the seven days of the campaign, 11th – 18th October 2023, via will be doubled. So if you would like to support our work this year, we highly recommend doing so during this campaign week, when your donation will be doubled and make even more of a difference to us. One donation, twice the impact.

At First Light, we don’t believe that anybody should have to wait for support. We need your help to increase our capacity, cutting down waiting lists and ensuring help is there for every woman and girl, whenever they need it.

Watch out for more information to follow in the run up to the campaign.