Hft | About us | Running the London Marathon for Hft – Fiona’s story

With the help of fundraised income, we’re able to provide the extras that make all the difference to people with learning disabilities – whether that’s helping someone who feels isolated meet new people, or supporting someone to find a job.

Every year, our supporters take on a huge range of challenge events to contribute to these projects, including the world-famous Virgin London Marathon.

Among our amazing Hft runners this year was Fiona, a teacher from Harrogate who faced the challenge of a lifetime when she signed up for the marathon alongside her mum, Louise. Fiona’s uncle Stu has been supported by Hft for over 30 years and Fiona decided she wanted to raise money that could help other people with learning disabilities and their families.

As a keen runner, Fiona had already completed several half marathons and runs, including the Great North Run, but decided she was ready to take the plunge and take on the iconic Virgin London Marathon. In the run up to the event, Fiona trained hard and despite suffering with blisters and muscular issues, persevered and never once missed any of her scheduled runs.

Fundraising was also a priority for Fiona, who took on a range of activities to raise money for her cause, including running assemblies about Hft and the marathon at the school where she teaches – who also kindly agreed to have Hft as its charity of the year. Fiona reports that children at her school were keen to get behind her cause and even held their own cake sales and charity projects to contribute to their teacher’s fundraiser.

When the day of the marathon came around, Fiona described it as ‘like nothing I’ve experienced before’, with particular highlights including spotting her family in the crowd and running past several famous landmarks. In the end, Fiona finished in four hours and nine minutes, and beat her fundraising target to raise £2,905!

Fiona says:

“My marathon journey started with the amazing work that Hft do changing people’s lives day after day. My uncle Stu is not only supported to live in his community with lifelong friends, but also takes part in so many activities every week – I often say he has a better social life than I do!

“The work Hft does to support people like Stu to live full, safe and secure lives is invaluable and I was proud to be able to contribute. I would encourage anyone thinking of taking part in the Virgin London Marathon on behalf of this amazing cause to go for it.”

Emma MacDonald, Sports and Challenge Events Manager, says:

“We’re so grateful to people like Fiona, who take on challenge events to raise money for Hft. Their efforts mean we’re able to support people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.

“Shortly the ballot for this year’s Virgin London Marathon will be announced. But if you can’t wait until then, you can apply now for one of our charity places.  And if you’re lucky enough to win a place through the ballot, we’d also love for you to join Team Hft.”

Find out more about the London Marathon and our challenge events