On 13th April, digital director Paul Wreford-Brown is running the London Marathon for Shooting Star Chase. If you’d like to sponsor him, here’s his sponsorship page, but here’s why he chose this charity in particular.
Creative communications agency Embrace: Why have you chosen this particular cause to benefit from your sponsored run?
Paul Wreford-Brown: Shooting Star Chase is a well-known Children’s Hospice in my local community – Hampton in Middlesex. Their reputation is amazing, everyone locally has heard of the fantastic work that they do supporting children with life limiting illnesses and also giving much needed love, care and support to their families. I was offered a place in the London Marathon and I jumped at the chance – I love running and I feel honoured to be supporting such a brilliant cause.
Can you tell us about your experience visiting the hospice and the day-to-day work Shooting Star Chase hospice does?
It was an emotional afternoon, the Hospice strives to be a happy place far removed from a NHS hospital experience. The team is full of care and that comes across from the moment you enter. I took the whole family and we had a cup of tea with the other runners and were introduced to the hospice.
It is a place that deals with the truly difficult heartbreaking side of life, this is fortunately alien to most of us, but caring for children who are unlikely to live to adulthood and have crippling debilitations is what this hospice does every day and it does it in a beautifully positive way.
Another Paul, a parent of a child who receives care and treatment at the Hospice talked us through what the place meant to him. He’s a seasoned runner and I’d previously trained with him in Richmond Park. To be honest hearing Paul talk about what the hospice meant to him and his family was truly, truly moving, not only is it a treatment centre but it clearly provides the support that gets Paul and his family through life. Paul took us on a tour and showed us around all the facilities, which are geared up to offer exceptional care for the children and also support for their families.
How have you begun training for this marathon, and what challenges has it thrown your way?
Early mornings, blisters, sore legs, however the hardest thing is the time the training takes and with a hectic family life and a hectic work life, juggling everything is definitely the trickiest thing.
Have you taken part in previous marathons? How do you expect this one to compare?
I love running and running the marathon was a life-long ambition for me, I can remember watching it on TV when I was quite young and being drawn to it. Real people slogging out 26 miles – with the right desire it’s very achievable.
I ran in 2012, this is my second time, so I understand a bit more what I’m letting myself in for - I’m not sure whether that’s a good or a bad thing!
There’s a lot of hype around the 2014 event as Mo Farah is running along with the three fastest marathon runners in the world. They’re going for a world record attempt and Haile Gebrselassie who is one of my sporting heroes has been drafted in to set the pace. Clearly I’ll be miles behind but I can imagine the atmosphere and support will be great.
How can people support you on this run?
It costs £9.5million a year to run the hospice and only 10% of this comes from government funding, the rest comes through sponsorship.
The marathon is the biggest fund raising day for them. So if you can make a donation then you’ll be literally keeping this place going and providing much needed care to families with children who really, really need support and care. You can donate on my sponsorhip page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulWrefordBrown
In what ways would you like to see the money raised benefit the Shooting Star Chase children's hospice?
I’m just pleased to be supporting such an amazing cause. I sent out an email to a few parents at my kids’ school and I received a donation from someone I’d never met – amazing! They left a truly touching message, which reads: “In memory of my niece Emily who was wonderfully cared for at the hospice before her death in 2008. They looked after her so well!”
This really brought it home to me and I feel inspired and privileged to be supporting a charity that does such amazing work in such difficult circumstances.
Thank you Paul and good luck!
Join communications agency Embrace in wishing Paul the very best of luck for the run on 13th April and by donating at Virgin Money Giving page.
Find out more about Shooting Star Chase.