Who are today’s charity champions?

The Alice in Wonderland team. Picture: CRYSTAL BARBER

The Alice in Wonderland team. Picture: CRYSTAL BARBER - Credit: Archant

Gina Long lauds those who have been putting in time and effort to help others, starting with the London Marathon runners

Scott and George celebrating marathon success. Picture: CRYSTAL BARBER

Scott and George celebrating marathon success. Picture: CRYSTAL BARBER - Credit: Archant

I was delighted to be amongst the tens of thousands of people supporting the London Marathon runners. The commitment and dedication shown by the participants in such sweltering heat was awe-inspiring. Among those pounding the streets were my friends Pascal Canevet and Jo Allsebrook, who between them raised over £6,000 for charity Sarcoma UK. They each send their thanks to all who sponsored them on what was, they said, one of the best days of their lives.

I am pleased to be celebrating another marathon success. Scott Marjoram, from Ipswich, was running to raise funds for his nephew George’s new set of wheels. George Woodward, who you may recognise from previous columns, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, affecting the motor neurons in the spinal cord and leading to severe disability. As George grows older, he will require more and more specialist equipment.

Scott decided to take on the 26.2-mile challenge to help provide a new manual wheelchair for George, to support his growth and prolong the movement he has in his arms and upper body. Amazingly, Scott raised £2,800, with help from family and friends. He says: “It was such an incredible experience; one I’ll never forget. The challenge was so tough, but all so worthwhile, especially as we can now purchase George’s new wheels with the funds raised. Thank you everyone for your support.”

Sending huge congratulations to you all and my mate Dr Chris Cook. You have made every single charity and good cause so proud, contributing to over £45million raised in the London Marathon 2018. You are all remarkable charity heroes. I was so inspired that I’ve already registered for next year in the hope of getting a place.

The business retail, travel and tourism students hosted a wonderful Alice in Wonderland networking evening at West Suffolk College last week. As part of the assessment for their course, the students had to organise an event from scratch, selling tickets to local businesses, creating decorations and organising entertainment and a raffle. GeeWizz was fortunate to be their benefitting charity. With over 60 guests in attendance, the students raised over £2,500.

Sending heartfelt thanks to the Alice in Wonderland team, each dressed as the characters, along with all who donated prizes for the raffle and auction. Nicola Tabb, their tutor, was bursting with pride, seeing what they had achieved. Andrew McGowan led his team in the Edmunds Restaurant (such fantastic food served) as we were all entertained by Han Schofield’s talented students’ group Amado, singing a cappella.

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Every Heart Matters: The inspirational Jan Bloomfield, is embarking on a mission to walk 60 miles from Bath to Cheltenham, across two days, in the Cotswold Challenge.

Jan is director of workforce and communications for West Suffolk Hospital and, with her friend Linda, is raising funds for My Wish Charity’s appeal for a new cardiac centre at the hospital.

Jan says: “The appeal is so important to me, because it’s the biggest challenge that My Wish Charity has ever had. It would be wonderful for My Wish to achieve the total funding required of £500,000, meaning patients will not have to travel long distances for treatment.”

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2million in developing a state of the art cardiac suite, providing quicker access to treatment for patients. The £500,000 My Wish are hoping to raise will allow this suite to be in a purpose-built centre, rather than across several areas of the hospital. Jan is hoping to raise £2,500 for the appeal; do consider supporting at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janet-bloomfield

Rural Pastimes Country Fair 2018: On the beautiful Euston Hall estate on Sunday, June 10. This year sees them host a qualifier for the Heavy Horse Championships. There’s the UK’s number one motorcycle display team, Bolddog Lings; The Sheep Show; displays of classic cars; steam engines; model aircraft and dog shows. Proceeds will be split between St Nicholas Hospice Bury St Edmunds and other local causes.

Tickets available on the day: Adults £10, under 12s £5, and under 5s free.

Do share your charity stories. Email details and a photo to gina@geewizzcharity.com and follow me on Twitter @geewizzgee1

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