A MASSIVE fundraising event aims to help victimes of domestic abuse.

Emma Jayne Saanen is calling on people to start 2016 by taking part in a keep fit challenge to raise funds for tackling domestic abuse.

She is organising a mass “burpeethon” for Scottish Women’s Aid.

The aim is for a team of people to perform a total of 20,000 burpees - a combination of jumps and squats - in a single session.

Emma Jayne, who has experience of domestic abuse, said Scottish Women’s Aid is a cause close to heart.

She said: “I grew up with an abusive influence in my life, and while they are still present they are very much at arm's length.

"I'm lucky though, as I was able to leave and find my way in the world with the support of some very loving individuals.

“Not everybody has that option. I don't have the skills needed to end domestic violence against women, but I can raise money to support those who can.

"It angers me that domestic violence not only exists, but that it is a dirty secret; that people choose not to see it, even when it is happening right in front of their very eyes.”

Emma Jayne and a group of friends have set a fundraising target of £10,000.

But they need at least 50 people to take part in order to meet their target.

 

Evening Times:

Emma Jayne is also looking for volunteers to count burpees, keep an eye on people taking part, take pictures and for donations of bananas and water to keep participants’ strength up.

The 32-year-old, who works with visually impaired people, organised a similar event last year and raised £4000 for the charity with a collective tally of 12,206 burpees.

This year, the team are hoping to double their 2015 effort.

Emma Jayne, from Dumbarton, said: “Everybody hates burpees, so I thought it would be funny.

"Last year, 26 of us, with varying degrees of physical fitness, got together and attempted to do 10,000 burpees. We not only did it, but totally smashed the target by doing 12,206 of them.

“It was meant to be a one-off event, but folk really got into it so we’re back for a second year.

"This time we want up to 100 participants to complete 20,000 burpees - and more. This year, we want to double everything, so we are aiming for at least £8,000 but I think we can do even better than that. "Let's aim for £10,000."

Emma Jayne, who has medical condition fibromyalgia, which causes pain throughout the body, insisted that anyone could take part, no matter what their fitness levels are.

 

Evening Times:

She says the burpeethon would be a fun but challenging way to raise money for a cause close to her heart.

She said: “I am no fitness fanatic and burpees eventually become horrible no matter how fit you are.

“Out of our total burpees last year, I did the least - 120-odd. But that's not the point. If it were easy, then there would be no need to do a burpeethon.

“Within reason, we do not want fitness to be a barrier that puts people off joining us.

"If you are determined, have a sense of humour and are willing to do your best, then we want you on our team."

Latest figures show the Women’s Aid network in Scotland, including Glasgow Women's Aid, dealt with some 25,000 new cases of domestic abuse every year while prosecutors dealt with more than 36,500 charges reported by Police Scotland in the year 2014-15.

Scottish Women’s Aid Chief Executive Dr Marsha Scott said: "We are always incredibly grateful to all our supporters, and would like to say a huge thank you to Emma Jayne for organising this, and to everyone who takes part."

The 2016 Burpeethon challenge will take place on Saturday, February 20 at the ARC: Health and Fitness at Glasgow Caledonian University.

For more information and to sign up, see www.burpeethon.starshards.com.