It was nearly 3 months ago but is far from a distant memory! In the first week of April I competed in and completed the 2011 Marathon Des Sables (MDS), I need to say a huge thank you to all who sponsored and supported me and also wanted to offer some info on the impact the money is making!

My final total sponsorship was £13,138.23 which is both overwhelming and truly remarkable. I would like to give you a little more information about where the money that was donated is going and also a little about the event itself; read on if you are interested or just skim the pictures if you are busy!

All about the money…

My chosen Charity was Hope For Children, HOPE's aims and objectives are to help disabled, orphaned, poor and exploited children, in particular those living in developing countries. This is achieved through providing, promoting and advancing children’s rights to basic necessities, including education and health care, aimed at sustaining their long term development. To make things a little more real, let me introduce you to someone…

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This is James and the money people donated saved his life.

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James is an 8 year old boy who fled to Kampala because of abuse and the war in North Uganda, he was forced to live on the streets (1) but it was still better than where he came from. Living on the streets is incredibly dangerous; violence and sexual abuse is commonplace (2); James has to beg every day just to get scraps of food to survive. The street children are seen as a problem by the police who regularly round them up, put them in cells and subject them to regular beatings and abuse (3). One of James’ friends actually died from the attacks he received in police custody.

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Kampala is just one of the places that Hope for Children are helping. One of HOPE’s workers found James on the street (4), offered him counselling and support and helped him to get into a local school. The money that you have given has paid for James to receive an education and more importantly support from professionals who have helped him to stop substance abuse (5), leave a world of beatings and sexual attacks (6) and integrate into normal society.

Special thanks to all the corporate sponsors…

Microsoft, ICS Solutions, HowSplendid, DotNet Solutions, Resource IT, The Fantastic Tavern, cScape, Black Marble, Mando Group, Sword, Bluesource , Core GB, Clearpeople and Orion Lodge

You have let this boy become a child again and whilst he has lost his innocence forever he now has HOPE. Thank you

Below is a picture as proof that I did it!

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