GOLOCAL

Running for Hope Rotorua is encouraging people to support local businesses while also supporting its charity, which gave out pamper packs to essential workers over recent weeks.

The locally run charity provides :pick me up" gift packs for those in the community who are struggling.

Co-ordinator Clare Jessep says Running for Hope gave out four pamper packs to nominated essential workers during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

These essential workers included a supermarket worker, a nurse, a hospital chaplain and a hospital cleaner.

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"To be able to honour them was huge, and there were a few tears from a couple of them," said Jessep.

"They were putting their own health at risk and I think it's really important they were honoured."

The pamper packs they received included items such as moisturisers, chocolate, vouchers and candles.

She says the packs had to be given to the recipients from a distance, left in areas for them to pick up.

Jessep says a number of businesses have come on board since she started Running for Hope and the pamper packs in 2017. In that time there have been about 80 packs given away.

People can nominate someone to receive a pamper pack, and they are usually given out once a month to acknowledge life events such as death, divorce, loss of jobs or risk of depression.

Four businesses have been supporters of the pamper packs with vouchers since "day dot".

These are Ems Flowergirl, Polynesian Spas, Zippy Central Cafe and Brew Bar.

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Four Running for Hope pamper packs were given to essential workers during lockdown. Photo / Supplied
Four Running for Hope pamper packs were given to essential workers during lockdown. Photo / Supplied

"For me personally, they've given so much to Running for Hope and I get to see that light on people's faces when they receive the packs," Jessep says.

She says it is important for people to support local businesses because it is the livelihood of local residents.

She encourages people to support both these and other local businesses, as well as Running for Hope's work, by buying vouchers and then donating them to the charity.

"I've seen some great stuff come out of a really hard time. People seem to be kinder or more considerate."

Running for Hope Rotorua promotes running as an important contributor to good mental health, while realising the importance of acknowledging an individual's journey through grief.

Clare says running has been incredibly helpful for people's wellbeing during lockdown.

"I completed a 100km virtual lockdown challenge over two weeks and got to sponsor four other people to do it. The feedback was positive from these runners."

Those who want to know more or would like to get involved can contact Clare Jessep on (022) 091 4300 or through the Running for Hope Rotorua Facebook page.