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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Fancy running in the City2Surf? Join this team and help young mums in need

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Come and run for HOPE: (l-r): Sydney Catholic Youth and CatholicCare staff Abbel Gaspi, Elizabeth Pasion, Justin Donnelly and Ashleigh Green. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Ashleigh Green says there’s nothing like the feeling that comes from knowing you have helped to give someone hope and a future.

The community engagement coordinator at CatholicCare Sydney is inviting youth and young adults to join her in the City2Surf fun run to raise $75,000 for CatholicCare’s HOPE Program.

The early intervention program supports disadvantaged 16-25 year old women who are pregnant or have a child under two years old.

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CatholicCare and Sydney Catholic Youth (SCY) have joined forces to form a team to support HOPE while tackling the world-famous run from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach on 12 August.

All of the young mums referred to the program need help to take care of themselves and their baby, while many are at risk of homelessness and are isolated with no family or other support, says Ashleigh.

“They may also be experiencing domestic violence and have issues with substance misuse, and a lot of them are at risk of losing their child to Family and Community Services,” she says.

Ashleigh Green PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“The HOPE program is all about supporting them practically and emotionally. We help them find secure housing and all the resources they need so they are able to keep their baby and break the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage.”

The program has been running for 18 months.

It is tailored to the individual needs of mothers and their children and Ashleigh says it has a 100 percent success rate in terms of keeping them together.

“That is really important and it’s a great measure of success,” she says.

SCY team leader Chris Lee says it’s important to support mothers in hardship who are trying to create a better life for their children.

“A lot of young Catholics are passionate about being pro-life and it’s important to support life not only at conception but when women in difficult circumstances, who have no one else to turn to, have made the decision to keep their babies and improve their outcomes.

“We’re very happy to support CatholicCare and the HOPE Program which gives these young women positive alternatives and helps them to get back on their feet.”

Karen was facing homelessness when she fell pregnant with her daughter Amber at the age of 16.

After a social worker referred her to HOPE she was provided with secure accommodation in time for Amber’s birth and she’s now returned to study in hopes of becoming a youth worker herself.

Sydney Catholic Youth’s Abbel Gaspi

“If I didn’t have the HOPE program to help me get on my feet, Amber could have been taken away from me,” she said.

“The program provided the support everything I needed in life.”

Ashleigh says the team will welcome both walkers and runners.

‘It’s an opportunity to have a lot of fun with young Catholics from across Sydney and support a good cause as well.

“It’s a cause I’m really passionate about and it’s really great to be able to support it in a practical way.”

For more information contact Ashleigh Green by phone 9509 1146 or email [email protected]

Expert tips for City2Surf newbies

CatholicCare’s John McGann has run numerous marathons and ultra-marathons, including the City2Surf 10 times.

Here are his tips for beginner runners preparing for the City2Surf:


Ensure that you are able to do a long run or run or walk session once a week, from 60-90 minutes at a slow pace.

The course is quite hilly so include some hill training (ascents and descent) in your runs before the event.

PHOTO: Unsplash/Bruno Nascimento


Cotton + liquid can cause chafing and blisters. Wear a synthetic top or t-shirt and synthetic socks if possible. Remember to bring a hat.

Don’t wear any clothes or running shoes that you have not worn during a training run on the day of the event.

On The Day

For those not in the Orange group the gear drop at Hyde Park North closes at 7am.

The course will be crowded so run at a pace you feel comfortable at. Walk up the hills if you need to.

Finally, enjoy the day!

How to register in CatholicCare’s Run for Hope team

  1. Visit and click ‘enter now’
  2. Select your preferred registration type
  3. In the pop-up box choose ‘join a team’, set up your registration information and purchase your ticket
  4. Skip the choose a charity section (that will come later)
  5. Pay for your registration
  6. Head back to and click ‘fundraising’, then ‘start fundraising’
  7. Choose CatholicCare Sydney
  8. Once your page is set up, click on ‘join a team’ and search for ‘Sydney Catholic Youth Team’
  9. Share the ‘Sydney Catholic Youth Team’ with your other team members
  10. You will be sent a fundraising kit with everything you need, and you will be contacted about receiving a team running shirt and drink bottleFor any questions contact Ashleigh Green: 9509 1146; [email protected]


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