Having completed five half marathons and failing to run a marathon before my 25th birthday, I finally got lucky and secured a ballot place for the 2018 London Marathon - my biggest challenge yet.
I'm raising money, like I did in 2014 for my first half marathon, for Open Road. Open Road are a small charity based in Colchester that provide drug and alcohol services across Essex and Medway. Their services range from Needle & Syringe Services and Recovery Programmes, to Counselling, Therapy and Family Support.
The night-time economy in Colchester has been supported by Open Road for many years in the form of the SOS Bus, a service ran exclusively by volunteers who offer a safe haven, medical support and dispute resolution to Colchester's many revellers. Their work relieves pressure on an already-stretched emergency services and reduces the negative effect the night-time economy can have on my home town. A second SOS Bus has recently launched in Chelmsford.
Despite being ran by volunteers, the SOS Bus programme costs £110,000 a year to operate, and I'm hopeful that my fundraising will be a small help towards what I truly believe is an excellent initiative.
It would be great if supporters could do any of the following:
1) Donate as little or as much as you can. Don't buy a coffee from a tax-dodging corporation, forgo that last pint, or dig a little deeper - it would be greatly appreciated.
2) Come and support me on the day. A cheer from friends and family on half marathons is a boost, but it will have a real impact when the distance is doubled!
3) Tell SOS Bus volunteers what a great job they do if you're ever out in Colchester or Chelmsford. Maybe even volunteer yourself.