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Dorset’s super seven are in training for this year’s London Marathon

March 25, 2024

Seven super supporters of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity are set to run the London Marathon on Sunday 21 April 2024.

Joining 50,000 people on the streets of London next month are Carolyn Atkins, Jake Cave, Joe Joubert, Chris May, James Mainwaring, Ian Pitcher and Jack Roberts who are all running 26.2 miles to help provide those special extras for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole hospitals.

Each runner has their very own motivations and inspiration to get them across the finish line. This is what makes the London Marathon a special event as every person has their own personal reasons for taking part in such an iconic running challenge.

Jake Cave and Chris May are going the distance to raise funds for Gully’s Place to help support children with life-limiting conditions from the point of diagnosis, providing care in the hospital, at home and within the community.

Jake said: “I’ll be running 26.2 miles to help support those families who are affected and going through the worst possible time. I would personally like to say thank you in advance for any help towards my fundraising target of £2000. London Marathon here I come!”

Chris said: “A couple of close friends of mine sadly both lost their sons on separate occasions last year – Trey and Riley. Gully’s Place provided them all with emotional support and guidance through a very difficult time, allowing them to grieve in peace. This emotional support continues after the initial period in hospital. University Hospitals Dorset has been a crucial support network for these families and this difficult time would have been nearly impossible without them. So, I’m running the London marathon 2024 in memory of Trey and Riley.”

Carolyn Atkins is running for gynaecological and cancer care in support of her good friend, Rachel who was treated for stage 3 ovarian cancer at University Hospitals Dorset 2 years ago.

Carolyn said: “Thankfully, Rachel is now in remission due to the wonderful care she received from our local hospitals. We have been thinking of a way to try and give back to the wards that treated and supported her, and I have been very lucky to be given a charity place in the London Marathon. It’s my first marathon so it’s daunting but nothing compared to what Rachel has dealt with so amazingly, never complaining, always cheerful and being an inspiration to all around her.”

James Mainwaring is raising funds for the charity funded SPRING service that supports parents and families who face the loss of a baby. Tragically on 4 July 2020, he and his wife lost their beautiful baby boy, Archie. At 39 weeks and 2 days, there was no heartbeat.

James said: “It was at this moment where the SPRING team, stepped in and began to support my wife and I. They helped and taught us to pick ourselves up and begin this new difficult chapter in our lives. They were there supporting us until we could support ourselves. I want to use this opportunity to support the charity and people who supported me in my time of need so they can carry on supporting others.”

Ian Pitcher has chosen to run and raise funds for the cancer care services at University Hospitals Dorset. Ian is training hard in readiness for the start line.

Some of the Trusts very own NHS heroes are also getting their training in to take on the London Marathon in just a few weeks’ time.

Physiotherapist, Jack Roberts is pushing himself out of his comfort zone to fundraise towards specialist rehabilitation equipment at Poole Hospital. This includes a specialist wheelchair for his rehabilitation team to offer rge best possible care to those going through the darkest days of their life at the beginning of their rehabilitation journey, including those affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions.

Jack said: “Running a marathon distance has always been a bucket list thing for me, in particular, the London Marathon. However, I have always thought of it as unachievable feat. So it definitely feels like a mammoth task! However, training is going well so I am hoping to feel prepared come race day!”

And last but by no means least is Integration Developer for UHD, Joe Joubert who wants to give back to maternity and ICU services for the outstanding care, dedication and support he and his wife received to safely deliver their son in 2017 after a prolonged labour and emergency C- section at Poole Hospital.

Joe said: “During this time, I experienced first-hand the outstanding care, dedication, and support from all the staff that ensured a safe delivery. My partner has also suffered regular admissions at UHD with urosepsis and surgery, where her life has been saved several times. Ultimately, I want to help patients and families through some of the tough times they may experience.”

Fundraising Assistant, Aurelia Chilwna said: “We’re extremely grateful to have such incredible support and on behalf of the charity, I hope the training is going well! The London Marathon is one of the toughest running events in the UK which puts anybody, however fit they are through their paces. We cannot thank this super seven enough for going the distance to support our hospitals.”