Running for Accuro – Ana’s story…

Meet Ana Bocancea, Community Development Worker and Volunteers Co-ordinator at Integration Support Services, an amazing charity that supports the successful integration of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other ethnic minority communities in Essex and Hertfordshire. She is also a newly appointed Trustee for CanalAbility.

Our Fundraising Manger, Sue Fishpool, connected with Ana at a WIBN (Women in Business Network) event earlier this year. At the time she was working for a construction company and decided to sign up for our Royal Parks Half Marathon on the spot. Communications Officer, Katie, went to meet Ana at the Latton Bush Centre in Harlow, home to Integration Support Services, to find out more about her…

Ana is originally from Moldova and moved to the UK 9 years ago, initially to London with her family. During her time in London she was surprised at the lack of support for migrants and bilingual education which she believes severely affected her daughter’s well-being and has caused lasting learning disabilities. This motivated her, as well as four years volunteering at a community centre in Hackney, to undertake a degree in Business Management and follow her dream of opening a Bilingual Centre – to help families who have just moved to the UK to manage their situation and change the experience for others.

The family relocated to Harlow and welcomed a son. Ana has worked at Integration Support Services since April this year and feels fulfilled in her new role in organising and facilitating community events and co-ordinating volunteers that are required to run ISS’ services such as the Falcon English School and the Tree House Family Hub. Ana also runs a Women’s Conversation Club in Harlow – a social club with the aim to increase the confidence of women in the area whose first language is not English, whilst learning the language.

After meeting Sue, Ana saw an opportunity to help out a charity and put herself forward to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Accuro in October. After confessing to being into fitness but not having much running experience, her desire to run for Accuro was spurred on by her young boy who is currently awaiting a diagnosis of Autism which made this a cause close to her heart. Ana said she may potentially require Accuro’s services in the future.

Ana is currently in training and recently achieved her first milestone of 4km without stopping and will be receiving a bespoke training plan from Coach Kate, who is offering professional running guidance to our runners. Ana has said ‘I’m anxious, I’m scared, I’m terrified” about the challenge “but I will still do it!”. Ana added “I run to honour the memory of my father, Vasile Negura who was an honourable Police Major and Civil War Veteran in the Republic of Moldova and also a running specialist who used to run 12km every morning!”

Communications Officer, Katie, said.. “Ana is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. She does so much good for her local community both within her role and outside of it. She is also a busy mum to two children with additional needs and despite this, is always thinking about how she can help others which is why she chose to take on this sponsored challenge for us. I am honoured that she shared her personal story with me and it is incredible to hear about all the barriers she has overcome to get where she is today. She is a true inspiration and everyone at Accuro is behind you for the Half Marathon – you have got this Ana!”

If you would like to support Ana, please head to her JustGiving page.































About Integrated Support Services

Integration Support Services (ISS) is a charity based in Harlow, Essex and started its support services for vulnerable migrants and refugees in 2005. We were formally registered as a company limited by guarantee (nr. 6308078) and as a charity (nr. 1120609) in May 2007. The charity was founded by a group of refugees and migrants living in Harlow based on their own experiences and challenges faced to integrate in to the local communities. ISS’ mission statement is to support the successful integration of migrants, refugees, ethnic minority communities and groups in Essex and Hertfordshire and with a vision to see an integrated society where inequalities and barriers between different races, origins and beliefs do not exist.

If you are in need of this type of support, please visit their website here.