A Marathon effort to raise money for Norwood

30 April 2019

Norwood is exceptionally proud of the 15 runners who took part in yesterday’s Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for the charity. The total figure raised so far is in excess of £30,000 but is expected to rise to a sum closer to £40,000 when all sponsorship pledges are realised over the coming days.

The money raised will enable Norwood to continue to provide its vital services to more than 4,000 people every year. The services Norwood provides range from specialist social work support and counselling for children and families facing breakdown, mental health problems and crisis, to a range of therapies and accommodation services for children, young people and adults with educational challenges, learning disabilities or autism. None of this would be possible without the marathon fundraising efforts of people like the 15 Norwood heroes who took on the 26.2-mile challenge of this year’s London Marathon.

The fastest Norwood runner yesterday was Richard Rule, 53, who arrived at The Mall in a personal best time of 3 hours, 23 minutes and 21 seconds. Richard had competed in the London Marathon once before, but found this year’s event particularly special. “The crowd were just brilliant this year,” an emotional Richard said at the finish line. “They, and the fact that I was doing it for such a fantastic charity, really kept me going. I ran for Norwood simply because I believe that everybody, regardless of their circumstances, should be given a chance and that is precisely what Norwood stands for.”

For Dominic Coleman, 23, from north-west London, the decision to run for Norwood was simple and deeply personal. “I was watching the marathon last year and said to myself: ‘I am going to do that for Norwood.’ Norwood is an amazing charity with a strong family connection; in fact, it has been an integral part of my family’s life for more than 25 years.

“My cousin Max is 27 years old and became profoundly disabled following an illness in infancy. Max has a condition called cerebral palsy which is often life-limiting, but he has exceeded all medical assessments and continues to live life to the full. Norwood has been there for Max at every stage of his life, from support with equipment and counselling through to access to the Jewish community for him as a disabled adult. Norwood has been a constant source of help, and for his parents and siblings Norwood has provided emotional and tangible support throughout his life.”

Despite feeling a sharp pain in his ankle at around the three-mile mark, Dom completed the marathon in around four hours and although “absolutely exhausted”, summed up the experience in one word: “Ridiculous.” Dom’s uncle Jack, Max’s dad, said: “I’m very emotional right now but I couldn’t be prouder of Dom.”

Special mention must also be made of the incredible Flora Frank who, a little more than a month after coming first in her age group at the Jerusalem Marathon in March, completed her 37th marathon yesterday. All of which would be remarkable enough, but Flora did not run her first marathon until she was 53 years old and is now a 76-year-old great-grandmother.

Norwood salutes all 40,000 people who took part in yesterday’s London Marathon and has already secured places for next year’s event. So if you were inspired by Sunday’s event and feel like being part of next year’s extra-special 40th anniversary marathon while raising money for an extra-special charity, now is the time to register your interest with us.

#TeamNorwood: Simon Rosenblatt, Dom Coleman, Flora Frank, Andrew Brickman, Richard Rule, Shavonne Wyche-Davis, Latasha Lessington, Tamara Jacobs, Joe Wagman, Brian Ackroyd, Rachel Caplin, Shantall Tegho, Remy Lyse, Yair Oshman, Andy Da Costa.