I promise I will keep it as brief as I can whilst still doing justice to the worthy cause I will be supporting.
It has taken me 5 years of trying via the ballot to actually get a place in the Virgin London Marathon. I am not a natural runner making this by far the most challenging thing I have ever undertaken.
I will be running for DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee). They bring 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis. They launch appeals to raise money for those struck by disaster, making sure the funds reach those most in need in focused projects. Following the work on the ground, a report is produced detailing the specifics on how the money has helped the country.
DEC has a history of achievement in this area. They have sent aid to Nepal following the tragic earthquake. They gave extensive help to Syria and have worked across East Africa. They are, right now, supporting the crisis in Yemen. Many of my family visited Yemen between 1980 and 2008; my sister Isabelle, worked in the capital there (Sana'a) over a number of years. Reports from her friends, who are still there, sadly confirm the country's continuing desperate situation.
According to DEC, two years of conflict have pushed Yemen to breaking point. It was already one of the world's poorest countries and at present half the population are going hungry and need help; this equates to 14 million people...
The horrifying statistic is that a child is dying on average every ten minutes because of preventable diseases. Child malnutrition is at an all-time high.
Those facts were enough to get me off my sofa and out of bars for training. I would be hugely grateful if you could add your help to this hard working charity. Large or small, contributions really do make a huge difference. The positive impacts have been measured by DEC;
• £25 could provide a month's supply of life-saving peanut paste to a malnourished child
• £60 could provide clean drinking water for two families for a month
• £100 could provide supplies to a clinic treating severely malnourished children for a week
I really appreciate any support you can give; seeing donations coming through is the best incentive for training!