Tatiana der Avedissian is the smiliest member of the Charity Choice team, and will be running in the Rock ‘N’ Roll half-marathon on Sunday 25th May to raise money for her favourite charity. She tells us how she grew to love running, and why the work of Alkionides is so close to her heart.
I’ve always had a love for dance, aerobics, swimming and walking but never running - well not until I got off the treadmill and onto the streets and parks of London to find out what all the fuss was about.
After a year of amateur running a friend decided she was going to run a 10k last year for our charity and I decided to join. The money and support poured in and so as not to disappoint I put more effort than ever before to ensure I completed my run non-stop. Completing my 10k run was one of the most amazing personal accomplishments I have achieved in recent years and as a result I had found a new passion.
The closest feeling I can associate to running with my headphones in my ears is driving in my car on the highway with my music blaring. Only, when you’re running you get to use up the adrenalin music creates!
I knew that this year I was going to participate in another run because it turned out to be a good source of income for our charity but decided I needed to up my game if I was to increase my fundraising target from the year before, hence my decision, for better or worse, to take part in a half-marathon.
I wanted to find a run that I could participate in which would not burden the charity with the cost or trouble of signing me up. A friend heard of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon so we decided this would be perfect for us as we all love our rock and none of us have ever been to Liverpool!
I am not competing in the race to finish at a certain time or anything like that. My main aim from the offset was to raise money for our charity.
Alkionides UK provides shelter to disadvantaged Cypriot patients seeking medical treatment in London hospitals for essential medical care that is not available in Cyprus. We rent rooms in Paddington which we call our “Nest” (allowing us to be close to all the main hospitals), to offer the patients and their accompanying family members rent free accommodation and emotional support during some of the most difficult periods of their lives. Alkionides UK is a fantastic organisation because we are a group of true volunteers both Cypriot and English. We are all very much a family and each one of us does our best to help the patients however we can; whether it’s translating for them at the hospitals, keeping them company at the ‘Nest’, driving them back and forth from the airport or their hospital visits.
Charity work runs in my family and I got involved with Alkionides about 5 years ago after my mother’s friend moved to England and wanted to offer support to needy patients that the Government of Cyprus was sending here for treatment. In most cases the patients and their families were left to rent hotel rooms which they could not afford. Added to the fact that many of them could not speak English and felt isolated here. Visiting the patients at the ‘Nest’ you realise what comfort we offer them when they are over here; no financial worry and just focusing on getting better.
Alkionides charity does great work in Cyprus too and we wanted to extend that reach when they are here for medical treatment. David Cameron over the years has spoken a lot about living in a ‘Big Society’ and I feel through our work we are creating this society: one where those that are able, help those that cannot.
If you would like to sponsor my run please visit my page; any and all support is really appreciated!
All the money I am raising from this run will go towards covering the rent for our “Nest”. Our charity has no administration costs.