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Running For A Cause

Paul McGrath, our Accounting Manager, is going the extra mile this October by taking part in the London Marathon to raise money for Once Upon A Smile. Here's why he's jogging 26 miles to the finish line.

The London Marathon is one of the most coveted running events in the UK. Every year, thousands apply to be part of the event, with more than 40,000 people jogging through the streets on the day.

It’s a grueling 26 miles to the finish line, but millions of pounds are raised for charity. In 2019, £66.4 million was raised in total, setting a new world record for an annual single-day charity fundraising event.

Paul has managed to secure a spot and is dedicating his run to Once Upon A Smile, a charity focused on providing long-term support to families who have suffered a loss.

Originally Paul was meant to be taking part in the Marathon last April, but due to the pandemic, it was cancelled and delayed until later this year. With a new date set, Paul's looking forward to being able to finally support his chosen charity.

Once Upon A Smile was founded in 2011 to provide emotional and practical assistance to bereaved families after it became apparent that there was a lack of support for families after the death of a loved one.

The charity has previously said: “We identified many support agencies if a loved one was ill or had a terminal illness, but nothing for the family after the death.

At this point we made our decision, the new charity was going to provide support to families that had suffered the loss of a loved one, and was going to specifically be an ‘after care’ for these families.”

Once Upon A Smile is close to Paul’s heart, as he has personally seen the after-effects of losing a loved one at a young age.

“My mother lost her dad at 6 years old which had a devastating effect on the family. In the 1960s there was no real support system for them, no one to help or turn to for support or advice. Their world fell apart.

More than 50 years later Paul states that it still affects them. “As he was self-employed and running his own business the family income stopped when he passed away, which meant they lost their home and livelihood. There was no support emotionally, practically or financially and no one to help in their time of need.”

Once Upon A Smile is one of the only bereavement charities in the UK to offer a variety of support to families through a difficult time. They offer a range of services including:

• Child Bereavement Support

• Family Support

• Respite Breaks

• School Support

• Children’s Residential

• Family and Group Events

Paul has already raised £816 and there are still months to go before the big event. If you’d like to help to support him by sharing or donating to his fundraising page, you can find it here.

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