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Wetherby volunteer’s charity run to help older people after grandparents loss

A Wetherby charity volunteer who lost two grandparents during the Covid-19 pandemic is raising money for older people in a bid to reduce loneliness.

Mal Leszczynska will run a half marathon for Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) having seen how lonely her nana and grandma had become in the last years of their lives.

She hopes the money she raises will help WiSE to fund further activities to reduce loneliness for older people living in Wetherby and its surrounding villages.

Mal said: “I have been volunteering for WiSE since February this year. As I work shifts, I’m fortunate enough to be able to get involved with a lot of the activities WiSE offers.

“I think WiSE is such an amazing charity. Unfortunately I lost both my nana and grandma during Covid and seeing how isolated they had become in their last couple of years was heartbreaking. I really wish they’d had access to something similar. I really want to help prevent other elderly people from being lonely and isolated and volunteering helps me do that. It brings me joy to see older people get out and socialise. I also love hearing all the stories they have up their sleeves. There is nothing better than hearing what their lives were like ‘back in the day’!

“I love running, not only because it keeps me fit, but because it’s a way for me to de-stress. I ran the Cheshire Half Marathon a couple of years ago so it’s not my first time. But I like challenging myself to be better, so this time around I’m hoping to run it a little bit faster.

“I’m excited to start raising money for a good cause and I’m really looking forward to finishing and being able to eat my weight in ice cream without feeling guilty! I hope to raise £250, I’m sure that would help WiSE with at least one activity so that feels like the right goal. If the money I raise helps put on one more activity on for the elderly in the community or pay for something that brings them an inkling of joy, it’ll bring me joy too.”

Mal is taking part in the half marathon at the Leeds Running Festival on 18th August. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/page/mal-l

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