22nd March 2017

Heartfelt story inspiring London Marathon fundraiser

A keen runner who has signed up to take part in this year’s London Marathon has pledged to raise funds for two very special charities close to his heart.

Leigh Sinton-based Simon Bond, an environmental consultant in Bromyard, will be raising money for both St Richard’s Hospice and the Jo Cox Foundation.

Simon had previously registered to run the 2016 London Marathon in aid of the hospice but had to pull out at the last minute due to injury.

Simon now volunteers for the Worcestershire hospice.

He said : “In 2016 I had a tour of the hospice and was amazed by what they do; since then I have become part of the family support volunteer team providing a listening service to those that have recently been bereaved.  The hospice is incredible and does everything it can for its patients.  The care is unique to each individual whatever their physical, emotional or spiritual needs are.”

Simon will donate the other 50 per cent of the funds he raises to The Jo Cox Foundation.

Simon explained : “I had the pleasure and privilege to count Jo Cox as one of my friends.  I grew up in my scouting days with her husband Brendan who is still a close friend.  I have been utterly inspired by the response and campaign successes since Jo’s death last year and I’m proud to be able to raise money to help continue some of Jo’s work.”

The Jo Cox Foundation was set up following the murder of Jo, MP for Batley and Spen on 16 June 2016.  It supports her friends, family and colleagues in their efforts to continue her work and to highlight the issues she cared about.

Simon added : “When the training seems like a drag and I need motivation, I think of the amazing things that go on at St Richard’s Hospice and my inspiring friends Brendan and Jo Cox.”

Thirteen St Richard’s Hospice runners will be on the starting blocks this year, raising money for the hospice as well as achieving their personal ambitions of completing the famous marathon.

2017 runners Chris Little, David Clews, Stuart Murphy, Becky Fawkes and Anita Hennessey have secured places through St Richard’s Hospice’s five Golden Bond scheme places, while Debbie Bullingham, Dominique Edwards, Stephanie Holmes, Nicholas Herbert, Kimberly Bailes, Jo Brett, Freddie Neve and Mike Flatt have all secured independent places for the event.

The runners are now well into their physical and mental training schedule for the 26 mile 385 yard race, and will join thousands of fellow participants on the starting line in Greenwich Park on 23 April.

Ria Simons, Community Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice, said; “The London Marathon is a high profile and prestigious event and it is always a delight to cheer on all the runners; we are very proud of the enormous effort our team has put in over many months. We are very grateful for their support and wish them all the best.”