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Shelton Mangirazi, one of seven Martha Trust staffers running in the Virtual London Marathon.

Martha Trust runners go virtual in London Marathon

Local charity Martha Trust will have seven runners under its colours in the Virtual London Marathon this Sunday. Meanwhile the Trust has received a generous grant from a Masonic charity. Nick Terdre reports.

Martha Trust, which has one of its three homes for people with profound physical and learning disabilities in Hastings, will have seven runners participating on its behalf in this year’s London Marathon — which, thanks to the coronavirus, is taking place in October for the first time ever.

“With the pandemic, I realise everyone is financially struggling and I decided I wanted to give something to local charity Martha Trust and raise what I can through doing the virtual run,” said Shelton Mangirazi.

“I like challenges and when I run, it makes me happy knowing I am supporting people who need my support.”

Shelton is one of three runners from Hastings taking part, along with Owen Nolan, home manager of Mary House, and Richard Rapley. The other four are from Kent, where the Trust has two homes in Deal.

“After so much uncertainty around the London Marathon we were delighted that the Virtual Marathon was organised in its place,” deputy CEO Julie Gayler said. “We would like to thank all our runners, who work so hard to train and raise vital funds for Martha. We would not be able to support so many vulnerable adults without their commitment and huge generosity.”

This year’s London Marathon has been divided between an elite event, in which a restricted number of top runners will do multiple circuits around St James’s Park, and a virtual event for mass participants. Those taking part in the virtual event will have the whole day to complete the marathon mileage on a course of their choosing, recording their performance on the official app.

Since the Trust began participating in the London Marathon in 2013, it has raised sponsorship worth £71,570.

Provincial Grand Masters Archibald Iain Torrance, left, and Roger Richardson, with Martha Trust’s deputy CEO Julie Gayler, left, and Kerry Banks, events and fundraising officer.

Masonic grant

Meanwhile the Trust has received a grant of £16,908 from the Masonic charity Mark Benevolent Fund, which will pay for 14 specialist beds at its homes.

“We are incredibly grateful to The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Archibald Iain Torrance of the Mark Province of Kent, and The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master Roger Richardson of the Mark Province of Sussex  for their generous support in the purchase of new specialist beds for our three homes in Kent and East Sussex,” said Ms Gayler.

“It is vital that we are able to provide the required specification of bed for all our residents, some of which are of bespoke design. This kind donation will truly benefit everyone who lives at Martha Trust.”


This article was amended by Nick Terdre on 6 October 2020.


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Posted 21:03 Saturday, Oct 3, 2020 In: Charities

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