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Staff running Virgin London Marathon for Teenage Cancer Trust

We are proud of the charity work we do at Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy. This year we have chosen to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust which means a lot to our staff and students. The charity are dedicated to providing expert treatment and support to young people aged between 13 and 24 who have been diagnosed with cancer.

In April 2019, Mrs Haines, Mr Vincent, Mr Mwansa and Mr Khan will be running the Virgin London Marathon to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. We are determined to raise at least £8000 with the help of staff, students and families.


It all began with a Sunday morning watching the 2018 Virgin London Marathon, I was inspired! I have watched the marathon for a number of years but have always thought it was too much for me! I had been running for nearly two years and I was ready for my next challenge. Choosing a charity that I wanted to raise money for was easy. I have been teaching 11-18 year olds for 17 years and reading about the amazing work that Teenage Cancer Trust does for this age group has made me even more determined to raise as much money as I can.

Cancer has caused pain and upset in my family on a number of occasions. Both granddads, one nan and one auntie were taken by this awful disease, all before I was 20. I can only begin to imagine what it is like for a young person and their loved ones to go through this journey, so I am so happy that Teenage Cancer Trust has given me the opportunity to give something back to the age group that inspire and motivate me everyday.

The running training is going ok so far!  I have joined a local running club and put together a training plan. Although I will be extremely happy to complete the marathon in any time, my dream is to do it in under 4.5 hours. The early morning winter long runs are going to be tough and fitting it in around working full-time and spending time with my 6 year old daughter will be a challenge in itself.

One minute I’m walking down a corridor the next I’ve agreed to run The London marathon…

Cancer. It’s one of those words no one wants to hear, but at some point in our lives unfortunately most of have to hear it. Working in a school gives you a whole different insight to teenagers’ lives and I couldn’t even imagine how difficult it would be to go through all of those life changes and being diagnosed with such a disease.

That’s why Teenage Cancer Trust is so close to our hearts. The work that the charity does is remarkable and we need to help make sure that the funds are available so that the right care and treatment is constantly available.

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a sports enthusiast never mind a runner. But over the past few weeks I have been working to improve my running, distance and time. It’s a struggle but worth it!

Working with children day in day out as a teacher of Science, I can’t begin to imagine how much difficulty children diagnosed with cancer have to go through. Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer’. The sheer number of diagnosed young people is a massive concern for me and for me to be able to help them in any way shape or form is something that I would strive for. It’s heart breaking to imagine that these young children with their entire lives ahead of them are diagnosed with a long-term life-threatening sickness. Not only does it affect these unfortunate children but also causes a lot of pain for the families around them.

Everything considered, I have decided to take the huge leap and run the London marathon and in the process will be attempting to raise as many funds as possible for Teenage Cancer Trust, who are an exceptional charity that delivers world class cancer services for young people throughout the UK. They provide these young people with life-changing care and support so that they don’t have to face cancer alone. I genuinely believe that this charity can really make a difference to these young children and would hope that you could sponsor us to help this fantastic charity achieve their goals.

I do take my own fitness quite seriously and regularly take part in a number of sports. I have done some running before to maintain my health and fitness. However, the distance that I usually run is no way near the 42km distance that the London marathon is! I definitely have a long way to go. It is going to be a gruelling few months but I have the genuine desire and a plan in place to train myself so that I can complete the course.

Until I discovered Stephen Sutton's story, cancer and young people was something that wasn't on my radar. At the time cancer was one of those diseases that you either heard about or you knew through personal experience. I didn’t live far from his home town of Burntwood so it was very moving to see the community working together in supporting and championing his cause. The work Stephen Sutton did to shine the spotlight on Teenage Cancer while battling it inspired me to learn more about young people living with cancer and the support available to them.

I have chosen to run the London marathon for Teenage Cancer Trust to support the amazing work they do in helping young people and their families. I am very active and exercise regularly however running a marathon is something that is going to be very challenging. The furthest I have ever ran is 13.1 miles and I know 26.2 miles won't be easy. The stories I read about young people simply showing up with a smile on their faces despite the inevitability of their illnesses spurs me on to dig deeper and carry on. I would like to complete the marathon in under 4 hours my main objective is to finish it no matter how long that takes.

Charles Dickens wrote No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another" so I am honoured to be running and raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust because that is what I can do to “lighten the burdens of another”.

 Thank you to all the companies listed below who have kindly donated to our fundraising:

HC Group Hair Salon, Pelsall
The Lily Pot Florist, Pelsall
Calderfields Golf and Country Club
Walsall FC
Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 
Aldi Supermarket
Skirmish Paintball Games

If you are a company and would like to donate an item or service to our fundraising please email: