Would-be marathon runner Vicki Carter-Bland made sure her favourite children’s charity didn’t miss out when the London race was postponed.
Vicki got a team together and staged her own challenge in aid of Round Table Children’s Wish – on her birthday.
Vicki, a teacher at Rawlins Academy in Loughborough, said: “I’ve been wanting to run the London Marathon for years – I used to live on the route and the date always falls close to my birthday so it’s always one of my favourite days of the year.
“I’ve entered the ballot around 10 or 12 times and never got in but this year I was lucky to be offered a charity place by Round Table Children’s Wish.
“I thought it’s the perfect year to do it – it’s taking place on my actual birthday, April 26, it’s the 40th anniversary of the London Marathon and the 30th anniversary of Round Table Children’s Wish – a big day for everyone so I was so pleased to finally get in.
“The training and the fundraising are a big commitment. When it was postponed until October I thought I still want to do something, both to celebrate my birthday and to raise funds for Round Table Children’s Wish.”
So, with the number 26 featuring prominently and the London Marathon organisers suggesting the 2.6 challenge to help charities, Vicki came up with a plan.
She organised a team of 26 friends and colleagues to each run 2.6 miles on April 26 – and worked out that in total that made a distance equal to 2.6 marathons.
Vicki said: “It was a great day – my team included runners from Loughborough Ladies Circle and Charnwood Tangent, which I am a member of, and my colleagues from school.
“It was also a fantastic birthday celebration because we were all in contact all day with everyone sending me a selfie before and after their run.
“We raised £640 as a team for Round Table Children’s Wish and I was pleased that I introduced the charity to some who didn’t know about what fantastic work they do.”
That figure is in addition to Vicki’s own fundraising for the charity – the total is £2,475 from all her London Marathon 2020 sponsorship.
Over the last 30 years Round Table Children’s Wish has helped make wishes come true for many youngsters and their families all over the country, ranging from a family holiday to Disney to a computer game.
Vicki said: “I first learned about Round Table Children’s Wish through the Round Table’s Ladies’ Circle. It’s a wonderful charity which does so much for poorly children and their families.
“As well as fund-raising for them I’ve also referred some children for wishes through my school.
“So many of the smaller charities are struggling because of the Coronavirus situation and I really wanted to help.”
Round Table Children’s Wish director Karen Winchcombe said: “We’re so grateful to Vicki – and the Ladies’ Circle and her friends – for this fantastic fundraising. These are difficult times for charities like us and we rely entirely on donations to keep up our work with poorly children.
“Granting our wishes has had to be put on hold for now but we’re determined to brighten up children’s lives again just as soon as it’s possible.”
You can learn more about the work of Round Table Children’s Wish at www.rtcw.org.
Note to reporters
Round Table Children’s wish is a national charity which grants hand-crafted wishes to children aged four to 17 with life-threatening illnesses.
Round Table Children’s Wish,
857 Wimborne Road,
Tel: 01202 514515
Media information: Debbie Moore, Deep South Media on 01202 534487. Email: Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org