Renew Counselling and Training


Rachael runs the Hackney Half Marathon for Renew Counselling and Training

We’re delighted to have the wonderful Rachael running for us at the Hackney Half Marathon this May! Read on to find out more about Rachael and why she’s running for Renew.

You can show your support by clicking the donation link below.

Hi Rachael! Thank you so much for undertaking this challenge for Renew. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Rachael, a Londoner in my twenties working in urban regeneration and placemaking. When I’m not training for a half marathon you can find me enjoying live music, seeing the world, hanging out with my housemates and our dog or sipping on an Aperol Spritz with friends!

How did you get into running?

After a few attempts of 5km runs during my prescribed 1 hour outing in the pandemic, I overestimated my ability in running and got myself roped in to running for The Passage in the London Marathon back in 2021. It’s a charity my mum supports and works closely with. I enjoyed the whole process of training more than I thought I would and was impressed at the body’s ability to adapt to something you once thought you couldn’t achieve! Since then, I’ve kept up running with this year’s Hackney Half being my second half marathon since the London Marathon.

For me, exercise has always been an outlet to help manage stress but I found running to be a real crutch in helping to switch off and reset during a tumultuous period.

Why is running for more mental health support important to you?

I’m a huge advocate for mental health support, particularly counselling. I’m quite open with my own positive experiences with counselling, but I also don’t take for granted that I was in a fortunate and privileged position to be able to access the support when I needed it.

Sadly, mental health support is not widely accessible, which is further exacerbated by the rising demand. I feel very strongly about ensuring everyone can have the tools and support that they need and deserve, in the same way our physical health is supported.

I think there are still taboos and stigma associated with mental health but things are starting to change, with people slowly being more open about their own experiences and normalising the conversation. Running for Renew is just a very small way in which I can further that message!

What do you think of Renew’s work in Essex and East London?

Renew does an amazing job in supporting the local communities of Essex and East London, making sure that many people who would not otherwise be able to afford counselling are given the support that they need. Through their training programmes they empower people to become experienced, professional counsellors that provide clients with a safe and supportive space.

How have you found training for the Hackney Half?

It’s been a cold and long winter so it’s been a bit harder than usual to motivate myself , but it’s also been a great way to explore my local area as I moved to a new house in November.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you’ve finished? 

100% have a cold beer – got to replace those carbs and rehydrate…