A team of five runners will take on the UK’s second largest marathon to raise £2,800 to help support children facing the loss of a loved one
Local bereavement charity Jigsaw (South East) is delighted to announce its biggest ever line up of runners for the annual Brighton Marathon on Sunday 15 April 2018.
In a first for the charity, a team of five runners has signed up to not only take on the challenge of completing a 26.2-mile run around the beautiful seaside city of Brighton and Hove, but also to help raise much needed funds to support Surrey and Sussex families at the worst times of their lives.
Based in East Grinstead, Jigsaw (South East) supports bereaved children as well as those facing the death of a family member through serious, life-threatening illness.
For local joiner Tim Winkley (pictured above), 30, a seasoned long-distance runner, this will be the fourth time he has run the Brighton marathon and the second of an incredible three-race challenge he is undertaking for the charity totalling almost 180 miles.
“I’m running three events for Jigsaw this year,” said father of three Tim. “In April I’ll be running the South Downs Way 50 mile challenge, then just a week later the Brighton Marathon, and then in June I’m running the South Downs Way 100 mile challenge. I chose Jigsaw because I think the support the charity provides to grieving children is so important.”
For 26-year old reporter Matt Mace, a personal connection to the work of the charity has led him to get his first full marathon in the bag.
“I’m running in memory of my mother, who passed away just two days into the New Year when I was 15,” he said. “I was lucky enough to find solace through a counsellor and support group similar to the services that Jigsaw (South East) provides. Any money that I can raise that will help children get the same support I did is all the motivation I need.”
Matt’s colleague Alex Dunn, 27, is also braving his first full marathon, having already successfully completed a couple of half marathons. Alex, who lives in Horley, was also bereaved as a teenager.
“After I lost my Dad at a relatively young age (19), I can fully understand the key support that Jigsaw provides to help families express their emotions and control them in a way that enables them move forward as a family together.”
The fourth runner, Tony Longhurst, 28, from Croydon is a keen runner looking to shape up for one very important event this coming summer, whilst raising vital funds for charity.
“I’ve never been massively sporty but I started running for fitness a few years ago and a marathon is definitely a peak accomplishment if you’re a runner,” he said. “I’m also getting married in the summer so the vain side of myself wanted to get in some kind of shape for marriage photos (before letting myself go completely on the honeymoon!).”
The fifth member of the #FabFive marathon team heroically swooped in at the last minute to take up the charity’s remaining charity place, leaving a tight six-week window in which to prepare.
East Grinstead business owner and resident Doug Bewley (pictured above), 33, says that although he hasn’t run a marathon before, he is always keen to challenge himself, which led him to complete the gruelling 993-mile Lands End to John O’Groats cycle challenge in 2014.
“My wife Sophie works for the charity so I’ve heard all about the fantastic support that it offers to children at very tough times of their lives. When I heard there was a space left, I just couldn’t let the charity lose money if it remained unfilled and it’s been a while since I set myself a challenge.”
The team have already raised almost £1,000 of their £2,800 target.
Carolyn Steer, Business Development Manager said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to announce a team of five runners at this year’s Brighton Marathon. It is not only a fantastic opportunity to be represented at the UK’s second biggest marathon event, it is also going to raise vital funds to support our work with bereaved children and young people, and those facing the death of a loved one through serious illness.
“The pain of losing a close family member can, at times be overwhelming for young people, and we are so grateful to these brave individuals for putting themselves through such a gruelling physical challenge in aid of others. We will be there to cheer you on.”
Based at East Court Mansion in East Grinstead since 2006, the charity offers support to children and young people who have a family member with a serious, life-limiting condition. It also provides grief support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a significant family member through illness, accident, suicide or murder (through groups in #Reigate and #Guildford and #East Grinstead).
Sponsor the #FabFive now – there are various JustGiving pages, all of which support Jigsaw (South East)
Tim Winkley’s three-race challenge page
Doug Bewley’s six-week super sprint marathon challenge page
Matt Mace, Alex Dunn and Tony Longhurst – Faversham House’s finest