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Thirty-three-year-old Roger Neale took up running three years ago to get his own health back on track – and now he’s in training for this year’s London Marathon to help improve the lives of disabled and terminally ill children in Somerset.

Roger, from Taunton, is a dad of two young children. He said: “When my first was born I knew I wanted to be an active dad so I needed to do something about my weight. I was quite a big boy. I have now lost a lot of weight and find that running is a good way of managing my weight and staying fit.

“I managed to complete the Taunton Marathon last year in just over four hours and have taken on three Tough Mudder events since. Now I am in training for the London Marathon in April. Friends introduced me to the amazing work that Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children does to support families in Somerset so I am hoping that, through the marathon, I can raise a significant sum of money to help support that work.”

If you would like to support Roger – a Greenkeeper at Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club in Taunton – go to www.justgiving/Roger-Neale Every penny that Roger raises will be used to help provide vital specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in Somerset.

Newlife has funded 109 Equipment Grants totalling £210,881 for children in the county; this includes wheelchairs and buggies for mobility, beds and stair climbers for safety and communication aids to give children a voice. Last year (2013/14), Newlife invested £2,088,105 in specialist equipment for children across the UK, a 33 per cent increase on the previous 12 months. But applications for equipment continue to rise as statutory services cuts continue to bite – and Newlife is looking for ‘local heroes’ like Roger to donate or fundraise to help provide specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in their local area.

Newlife Operations Manager Stephen Morgan said: “It’s the enthusiasm and commitment of people like Roger that is key to us continuing to be able to support vulnerable families, as the demand on Newlife equipment services increases.” For more information about Newlife Foundation, go to The Newlife Community Fundraising team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines) or by emailing All equipment support services can be accessed via the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines) or email

Pictured: Roger Neale

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