A 21-year-old man from Elsenham, in Essex, is putting his mind and body on the line in an attempt to raise much needed funds for a disabled children’s charity.
Jack Blanchard, aims to complete the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, in aid of Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Jack’s run will be part of Caudwell Children’s #Team20 celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the charity’s foundation.
Throughout 2020 Caudwell Children is encouraging people to engage with the charity in a number of ways, like taking part in a fundraising event, volunteering for the charity, or raising awareness of the charity’s services, in order to join their #Team20.
Jack, who works as a Junior Broker for GFI, a wholesale market brokerage service based in the City of London, found out about the charity when he asked a colleague in his HR Department if they knew of any charity places for the London Marathon.
He had been unsuccessful in the official marathon ballot but was determined to run in this year’s event.
When he was told that Caudwell Children had places, and that they provide disabled children with specialist equipment, such as powered wheelchairs, buggies, tricycles, car seats and adapted sports equipment, along with in-home and in-hospital support and a number of life-changing therapies and treatments, he immediately registered for one of their charity places.
Despite never having run a marathon Jack, originally from Ilford, in East London, is confident that he will complete the run. As he explained: “I’ve always been quite sporty and I was into football and cross country at school.
“Even before I registered for the marathon I was out running a couple of times a week, and now I’ve upped that to three runs a week.”
Jack, a former pupil of Oaks Park High School in Ilford, says he’s looking forward to 26.2mile event. He said: “Although I’m confident I can do the marathon the training has been quite a challenge.
“During the week I put in a couple of four or five mile runs and then on a Sunday I increase the distance to 13 or 14 miles, and although it’s difficult, particularly with the government restrictions around coronavirus, I’m starting to feel the benefit of it.”
With the marathon being pushed back to Sunday 4th October, 2020, due to the coronavirus crisis, Jack is hoping the extra time he has before the run will enable him to smash his £2,500 fundraising target. “I’m approaching even more friends for support, along with some of the Traders at work, and my sister is doing a bake sale for me,” concluded Jack.
Kate McMahon, from Caudwell Children, is delighted that Jack has decided to fundraise for the charity and says that he’ll have a great experience. As she explained: “Jack will enjoy the camaraderie amongst the group who run for the charity as participants enjoy a pre-race pasta party with each other, and they then get to let their hair down with a celebratory post-race party with family and friends.
“This includes a meal and a sports massage to help relax those tense muscles after the punishing 26.2 mile run around the streets of London.”
Kate, is urging the public to support Jack’s lung busting efforts. She said: “The money that Jack raises will be vital in helping Caudwell Children to support even more disabled children.
“Our services are not available through statutory measures so it’s vital that the public support Jack in order for the charity to continue filling the gap in provision for disabled children.”
You can support Jack through his Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/jack-blanchard