A TAUNTON man said he felt “elated” on completing the London Marathon and has smashed his fundraising target to help Somerset children with disabilities.
Thirty-four-year-old Roger Neale took up running three years ago to get his own health back on track. After completing the Taunton Marathon and three Tough Mudder events he was able to complete the London Marathon in a very respectable time of four hours 35 minutes.
“My wife and two children were there to support me and I spotted them at mile 23,” explained Roger.
“I felt brilliant at the finish – the last few miles takes it out of you – but I was elated. At night I couldn’t go to sleep – it was overwhelming.”
Roger decided to raise money for Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children after a friend had told him of the good work the charity does, helping to improve the lives of children with disabilities and terminal illness.
“Support from everyone has been phenomenal,” he said.
The Greenkeeper at Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club in Taunton targeted the sum of £2,500 for Newlife and so far has raised £2,900. You can still add to Roger’s fund by clicking on www.justgiving.com/Roger-Neale.
Every penny that Roger raises will be used to help provide vital specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in Somerset.
Newlife has funded 139 Equipment Grants totalling over £200,000 for children in the county; this includes wheelchairs and buggies to allow children to go on days out or to go to school, beds and stair climbers to keep them safe at night and communication aids to give children a voice.
Statutory services in Somerset often have a responsibility to make equipment provision – but when help is declined, Newlife steps in. The charity challenges many such decisions and has an impressive success rate. However, where we are unable to overturn these decisions, we provide the equipment ourselves through our range of grant and loan services. We do this with the support of front-line health professionals across Somerset who have helped Newlife help local children in real need.
The recently launched Newlife Somerset Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness and right now £4,663 is needed to help ten Somerset families.
Vitally, the Somerset Fund website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/somerset – will enable local people to find out who needs help in the area right now and highlight the support the charity gives vulnerable families. It includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – telephone number 01543 431 444 or email [email protected] – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families.
“I was in London to see Roger and the other courageous runners,” added Newlife Deputy Community Fundraising Manager, Philippa Gregory.
“People like Roger who are committed to raising money are the 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 www.newlifecharity.co.uk. The Newlife Community Fundraising team can be contacted on 0800 988 4640 (free from UK landlines) or by emailing [email protected]
All equipment support services can be accessed via the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines) or email [email protected]
Pictured: Roger Neale