A 27-year-old Leyland woman will take on a personal challenge for a charity that changed her life.
Amber Hornby was truly inspired by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Foundation after taking the decision to come out.
Now she will run her very first marathon – The London Marathon – in April for the foundation.
Amber will marry her fiancee Louise Hall in North Wales later this year.
The pair, who live on Stanifield Lane, Leyland, are organising a fund-raising charity fun day at The Rose of Farington pub, Leyland, on March 30, followed by live music in the evening.
Amber is no stranger to challenges due to her sexuality – with family and friends both turning against her when she revealed she was gay.
“It was very negative, initially disbelief because previously I’d been in a relationship with a man, so they felt I’d lied to them,” said Amber, who comes from Lostock Hall.
“They didn’t agree with my sexuality, they didn’t agree with being gay in general. My parents turned their back on me to a degree.
“I lost lots of friends because of it. It was difficult for them to understand.”
Amber, who works as a safeguarding officer for a care group, said people would even cruelly shout across the street to her parents “is your daughter a lesbian?”
But she turned to the Foundation for help and says: “My own coming out journey wasn’t simple and I accessed the service myself during Manchester Pride for support with how to come out.
“The advice they gave me was honest and invaluable. I know first-hand how important the service is to people like me.”
Family and friends have become much more accepting of who she is - including the man she was in a relationship with.
“He knew something wasn’t right,” said Amber. “We’re very close friends now. He was a huge support when we broke up.”
He parents, too, are now there for her, with her marriage to Louise, who comes from South Wales, an undeniable reality.
Louise, 23, said the pub event was the last fund raiser before the big day and admitted they had found it difficult to attract sponsors due to the nature of the charity Amber is running for.
In the meantime she is giving her support to Amber’s daunting challenge.
“I’m massaging her legs every day,” she said. “She’s doing really well to be fair. She’s never been a runner - she’s never done anything like this in her life, but it’s for a cause we’re both passionate about.”
Amber says: "This is going to be one of the biggest challenges of my entire life but running for such a worthy charity will push me to train harder and proudly complete the marathon.”
A JustGiving page has been set up at www.justgiving.com/Amber-Hornby