1165. Vivien Davidson
Vivien Davidson, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, is a volunteer coordinator for ‘Jog Belfast’ who helps people, including those who are visually impaired, take part in park runs and marathons and trains volunteer guide runners to assist them.
Vivien started the park run in 2014 and its membership has grown to over 100 runners every week, many of whom Vivien trains for the Belfast marathon. Vivien has also trained 47 volunteer guide runners who enable visually impaired runners to take part in a range of running events. Park run has not only inspired people to stay healthy, but has also brought the community together and rejuvenated the local park. Vivien’s award comes a day after completing the Belfast City Marathon.
In a personal lettert to Vivien, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Jog Belfast’, you are helping people to enjoy running and improve their wellbeing. Your initiative to make park runs accessible to visually impaired runners is also opening up the sport you love and making it more inclusive. I hope that you and your fellow runners enjoyed this year’s Belfast City Marathon.”
“It’s an absolute honour to receive this award from the Prime Minister. I volunteer in many different activities associated with helping beginners who would like to run to improve their health and wellbeing. I was given the opportunity in 2014 to train as a guide runner for visually impaired runners and since then have gone on to develop a pool of local guide runners willing to volunteer as a Visually Impaired Guide to all distances from parkrun to marathon and beyond. The joy I feel when I see two runners crossing the finish line at events reminds me that I am part of something very special and that makes such a difference to the lives of visually impaired runners.”