There’s a reason why I don’t bother with the lottery any more. I have an unenviable track record of never winning anything, be it prize draws, raffles, competitions…and now I can add ballots to the list!
Like countless others, I stayed up late, shouted at my laptop when the application website crashed…repeatedly….filled out the form, paid my fee and waited for six long months.
‘Better luck next time’ magazine drops through the letterbox with a winter training top…blah, blah, blah – you know the rest! So the public ballot was a no-go, but my dreams of running the marathon remained intact thanks to a local charity who had secured a place of their own.
The Beacon Centre for the Blind put out a call for runners interested in representing them and I quickly signed up. I consider myself very lucky indeed that they accepted my application and offered me the place.
Like all charity runners, I need to raise a decent chunk of money for Beacon but that’s fine – I like a challenge (as if 26.2 miles wasn’t enough) and have plenty of ideas for getting in the cash.
For those who are interested in what the charity does, allow me to briefly explain. Based in Sedgley in the West Midlands, Beacon helps those with sight loss live fuller and more independent lives by offering them the best facilities and support.
More than 3,000 people in the community receive assistance from Beacon through a team of dedicated outreach workers, while social groups can meet at the centre to participate in arts and crafts, music, fitness and IT sessions. The charity also operates seven shops across the region which deliver much-needed funds through their sales.
I’ll be visiting the centre in a few days to get more of a feel for what they do and to discuss other ways I might be able to get involved, for example through volunteering. I’m fortunate in that my workplace offers time out of the business for voluntary work – two working days a year in fact. So ideally I’d like to apply that to the same charity I’m representing at London.
Having a charity partner is certainly highly motivational and I’ll be wearing the Beacon running vest with pride. It isn’t just about fundraising, it’s also building awareness of what they do and what help is available for anyone facing up to the difficulties of coping with a visual impairment.
You can find out more at www.beacon4blind.co.uk.
And my Virgin Money Giving Page is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NickTrueman.
I’d like to personally thank the team at Beacon for making my London dream a reality plus anyone who has been kind enough to offer a donation to help me on my way.
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