A VALE politician hopes to break the £10,000 barrier when he puts on his running shoes for one of the world’s biggest one-day fundraising events.
Vale MP Alun Cairns will take part in the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon this April as his third consecutive attempt at the 26.2-mile course.
The MP will this year raise money for Ty Hapus, on Holton Road, Barry, which provides day-care for early-onset Alzheimer’s sufferers and respite for their families and the Barry branch of the Marie Curie fundraising group which helps provide support to cancer patients and their families.
Mr Cairns has completed the marathon on two previous occasions in aid of RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat, Age Concern, Friends and Neighbours and Atal y Fro, and has so far raised thousands for the local good causes.
Mr Cairns said: “These charities are important to me. Members of my family have had cause to need support from such groups. Ty Hapus is an innovative centre designed to people with early onset Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Marie Curie is dedicated to the care of people with terminal illnesses and provide much needed to support to people at some of the most difficult times.
“I know from personal experience the pressures that each disease causes on the patients and also on their loved ones.
“The money I raise by completing the London Marathon will go towards supporting the services offered at the Ty Hapus Centre in Barry and for the Vale Fundraisers of Marie Curie.
“This is my third London Marathon and I am really hoping I can complete the course in around three hours 30 minutes. This is a bit of a stretch and I am probably shooting myself in the foot by stating a time but there is no doubt that raising money for such causes is a huge motivator.
“Finding time to train is very difficult, especially when there is a late vote in Parliament. I started training a few weeks ago and I have already been running around the streets in London after midnight. The days can be long and I do what I can to snatch a couple of hours here or there to knock up ten or 12 miles. If anyone sees me running through Barry and the Vale, please give me a beep. It gives me a great deal of encouragement, especially on the long runs."
Member of the Barry Marie Curie fundraising group Susan Borges said they were pleased Alun had chosen Marie Curie and wished him good luck.
She said: “The local hospice in Penarth costs over £3.9 million a year to fund. It offers high quality care for the terminally ill and respite. Also offering hands on care to those who are able to spend their last day at home in the comfort of their family.”
Ty Hapus day support manager Ellin Jones said: “I think it’s wonderful to support our little charity. As a charity we completely rely on the generosity of fundraisers so Alun’s contribution will greatly help the service we provide.”
To sponsor Alun and support Ty Hapus and Marie Curie log onto aluncairns.com
Donations can also be taken to and sponsorship forms completed at the constituency office at 29, High Street, Barry.