On Sunday 23rd April, 64-year-old Alan ran 26.2 miles for Young Lives vs Cancer in the 43rd edition of the world’s most popular marathon, which starts at Blackheath and ends at The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. After months of regimented training Alan finished the gruelling marathon in 4 hours, 35 mins as one of over 50,000 entrants taking part in the iconic event. Alan has so far raised £1,476 for Young Lives vs Cancer, National Ventilation’s charity of the year for 2023. National Ventilation’s support of the charity is part of a group-wide initiative, which has raised £8,957 so far this year.
Alan has been working at National Ventilation for almost a decade coordinating the ventilation company’s logistics and distribution. Although Alan has always been active and is a keen footballer, he only started running four years ago when his daughter encouraged him to take part in a Parkrun. Once bitten by the Parkrun bug, this led to him joining Bridgewater District Road and Trail running club last year, where in November 2022 he was entered into the Marathon ballot. To Alan’s surprise he was successful in the ballot and so started the new year with a 16-week training programme to ensure he was marathon-ready.
Deciding to run for Young Lives vs Cancer was an easy choice for Alan for two reasons, the first is Alan had seen first-hand the good work the charity does through its support of Alfie the son of Andy Bills, Specification Manager at National Ventilation. Alfie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2019 at just three years of age and over the last three and a half years his family has gained support both emotionally and financially from Young Lives vs Cancer. Thankfully Alfie’s last chemotherapy treatment was in September 2022 and his life has begun turning around. During this difficult time Andy has also been supported by his colleagues. This camaraderie is the second reason for Alan choosing to support Young Lives vs Cancer, since it is National Ventilation’s charity of the year and Alan is keen to work together with his colleagues to raise funds for this valuable charity.
“I am thrilled to have completed the 2023 TCS London Marathon and to have raised valuable funds for Young Lives vs Cancer. Never in a million years would I have envisaged being on the start line of a marathon, let alone the London one. Training for the event was a journey, but a good journey and I am ecstatic that I completed my goal by crossing the finish line. Witnessing the support that Young Lives vs Cancer gave Andy and his family was one of the catalysts for me choosing to run the 2023 TCS London Marathon. The other important reason was to support National Ventilation’s charity of the year, which brings our team together for a good cause,” said Alan Parkinson, Operations Director at National Ventilation.
Speaking on behalf of Young Lives vs Cancer, Rose Bailey, Fundraising Engagement Manager, said: “We’re delighted that Alan chose to run the 2023 TCS London Marathon for Young Lives vs Cancer and would like to congratulate him on completing the 26.2 miles, which is a great achievement. We’re very grateful for all the fundraising by National Ventilation. Thanks to their excellent efforts, young people facing cancer, and their families, won’t have to face cancer alone. Thank you so much to Alan and to everyone at National Ventilation for your amazing support!”
Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent) is a cancer charity for children and young people that is solely funded by donations. The charity helps families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them. Every day, 12 more children and young people hear the devastating news that they have cancer. The £1,476 raised will help towards the charity continuing to fight for children and young people with cancer.
For example, £15 could pay towards a social worker to support a recently diagnosed young person; £38 could pay for a family to stay in one of the charity’s Homes from Home near the hospital and £100 could pay towards a financial grant to ensure families facing money worries can pay for basics like food.
“A huge congratulations to Alan for completing the 2023 TCS London Marathon for Young Lives vs Cancer. We are delighted Alan decided to raise funds for Young Lives vs Cancer which supports children and young people and their families in their fight against cancer,” said Robin Francis, Managing Director at National Ventilation. “At National Ventilation we have seen first-hand how Young Lives vs Cancer helps young people and their families. The charity has supported Alfie and his family throughout their journey as well Matt Dyer who works at the company who also had cancer as a child, so we know just how important the work of this charity is.”
When a child is diagnosed with cancer life becomes full of fear, for them and their family. Fear of treatment, but also of families being torn apart, overwhelming money worries, of having nowhere to turn, no one to talk to. Young Lives vs Cancer helps families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them. Powered by the kindness of their supporters, they face it all together. Visit the Young Lives vs Cancer website to find out more.