With a month to go until the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, Scotland’s largest children’s charity is offering free entry to the event for those pledging to run for them.
Aberlour, a charity working in the Lothians and across Scotland, provides lifeline care for vulnerable children, young people and their families. Runners who sign up for the marathon, half marathon team relay, 10k or 5k in aid of Aberlour and pledge to raise at least £150 in sponsor money will benefit from free entry.
The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is Scotland’s biggest running event attracting over 30,000 participants across the weekend. The marathon itself is the second largest in the UK, behind only London, and has sold out every year since 2008. Standard entry has now closed, however any budding athletes who still want to take part can sign up if they pledge to raise money for a charity.
This year we have several people raising vital funds for vulnerable children across Scotland by taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Joshua Muggleton and Jacqui Shields explain why they are running in aid of Aberlour.
A team of four from Fife have decided to run the Edinburgh Marathon relay on behalf of Aberlour. Kirstine Watson, Joanne McCabe, Rona Noble and Dr Joshua Muggleton work closely with vulnerable children and their families and regularly work with the staff at Aberlour in their roles within NHS Fife’s Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities Team.
Dr Joshua Muggleton, a Clinical Psychologist with Autism, said: “Every day I see the incredible work Aberlour does to support children and families with a learning disability, and I never fail to be impressed by the understanding they show and the extremes they will go to to put everyone at ease and provide the right support for the child, sometimes at very short notice. Their support has helped children grow in confidence and has offered vital support to parents. That’s why I, alongside my colleagues Kirstine, Jo and Rona, decided to run the Edinburgh Marathon Festival team relay and raise as much money as possible to make a difference in the lives of some of Fife’s most deserving children.”
48-year-old Jacqui Shields from Falkirk is running the Edinburgh Marathon this year to raise money for Aberlour. After taking part in last year’s Kiltwalk on behalf of the charity, she decided to go one step further and take on a full marathon.
She said: “After crossing the finishing line at last year’s Kiltwalk, I spoke to a fundraiser from Aberlour and thought, if I can walk it, I can run it. I used to run years ago when I was in the army, but it kind of fell to the wayside after I left and had a family of my own. I took up running again in September 2017 and have completed several local park runs, the Edinburgh Half Marathon, and just recently the Alloa Half Marathon.”
“I’m excited for the challenge of the full Edinburgh Marathon this May, and hopefully I can raise as much money as possible for Aberlour. They do such fantastic work, if more people knew about the work they do they wouldn’t think twice about supporting the charity. The children and families are so fortunate to have Aberlour in their corner, and I’m so pleased to be able to help in a small way.”
Aberlour’s Catherine Thomas, Head of Fundraising, said: “Thousands of children and families in Scotland are at risk of crisis because of poverty, abuse and disability. Aberlour is working to reach more children and help them to cope, but this is only possible thanks to our amazing supporters. Taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is a fantastic way to raise funds, and whether you take on the marathon, half marathon, team relay, 10k or 5k, you’ll be helping to stop children suffering.”
To claim your free entry to this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival events call Aberlour on freephone 0800 085 6150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.