A sibling duo plan to raise much-needed funds for local charity FearLess, which supports victims of domestic and sexual violence. They are planning a 16km backwards run, starting at the Thicket Mead cycle path and continuing past Kilmersdon.

“We’ll be wearing our GPS watches and when we hit 8K we’ll turn around and we’ll run backwards… backwards!” Says Ben, one half of the sibling fundraising team.

Ben and his sister Jess are hoping to raise £320 between them - or £160 each- as part of the 16 Day Challenge set up by charity FearLess. The aim of the challenge is to do something related to the number 16 from 25th November to 10th December and raise £160 over 16 days.

Domestic and sexual violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men.

FearLess works towards breaking the cycle of domestic abuse across the South West, not only by supporting victims to move on, but by running voluntary behavioural programmes for purpetrators as well.

“It’s quite a taboo topic. This isn’t only about raising money for women, men and children affected by abuse, but also to raise awareness about why it’s important to talk about it and get help” Jess explains.

“It’s a difficult time at the moment as well - with the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis - a lot of sufferers are finding it really hard to find ways out. It’s great to raise awareness especially at the moment when times are already tough.” Ben added.

“Our goal is to raise £320 initially. Anything more would be amazing, but we realise that times are tough for a lot of people financially at the moment so we’ve set a modest goal to begin with” says Ben. “We just need 320 people to donate one pound each - that’s definitely achievable!” beamed Jess.

The pair have set up an enthuse page where people can donate, and have asked local companies to sponsor them. At the time of writing, Jess and Ben have managed to raise £101 so far.

When setting the goal of their challenge, Ben said, “we wanted a task that was do-able, but interesting enough to get people talking. How can we make it interesting?” They asked themselves. “Let’s do something weird to get people donating - it can be hard to fundraise sometimes” added Jess.

“I actually climbed Kilimanjaro a few years back, but I’m more scared about this! Running backwards seems really tough” she mused.

The pair will be bringing a collection tin along with them on their journey, and will also carry signs to raise awareness of what the run is in aid of. They will be completing their challenge on Saturday, 3rd December and will be filming their journey.