A grandfather-of-two who lives and works in North Wales has raised more than £8,000 for a child protection charity by running the London Marathon with his two sons.
Andrew Bowden, from Mold, decided to run the 26.2-mile course to raise money for the NSPCC and was joined by his son Jonathan who lives nearby and his son Marcus who lives in Buckinghamshire. It’s a charity close to Andrew’s heart given his day job in social housing and he says the day was made more memorable with his family there to share the experience.
Andrew says: “I see a lot of need out there as part of my job and Childline offers such a vital service to very vulnerable children based in North Wales and UK-wide, which is why I decided to run in aid of the NSPCC.
“Running the London Marathon was very special and I am very lucky to have been able to do this with my two boys because we’ve created some fantastic memories. The whole family travelled to London, including my two grandchildren, who were at mile 25 to cheer us on. It was a very special moment for me and the Bowden family.”
Andrew, Jonny and Marcus all ran for #TeamNSPCC raising vital funds for the NSPCC, which relies on public donations for 90% of its income. As well as the charity’s Childline service that offers around the clock support for children and young people, the charity also has its NSPCC helpline, which provides free and confidential support to adults concerned about the welfare of a child.
Andrew says it was this that kept him going during the second half of the iconic race.
“The first 13 miles to Tower Bridge were fine,” he says. “It was really enjoyable with the crowds of people cheering us all on and the London landmarks to see. The next 13.2 miles were a bit of a challenge. It is the furthest I have ever run and, although I walked a little bit, the thought of giving up never entered my head! I had to do it for NSPCC and all my supporters who had donated so much money.
“Marcus trained so hard to achieve his time of 3 hours and 17 minutes and I really appreciated that Jonathan stayed with me all the way. At the finish line, we all celebrated together!
“We have now raised £8,405 and I am really proud of that, knowing it will be put to good use towards the fantastic work the NSPCC does – I hope our contribution helps.”
Community Fundraising Manager at NSPCC Cymru/Wales, Julie Richards says: “What a great show of spirit by Andrew and his sons, joining forces to help one another complete the gruelling 26.2-mile route with the support of their family.
“It’s rather special that they’ve come together in this way to share their support for the NSPCC and we are very grateful to them and the other fundraisers who chose to back our charity.
“The money they’ve raised will make a real difference, helping us continue to protect children and young people from harm and prevent abuse from happening in the first place.
“We’re inspired by children every day, but no matter how strong and adaptable they are, they shouldn’t have to cope alone. That’s why we’re here for them around the clock, with the help of our supporters, through our Childline service as well as local campaigns and our work with schools.”
As well as fundraising, the charity can be supported in other ways with volunteers playing a huge role in making the NSPCC’s child protection work possible. Childline Prestatyn is in need of more volunteers and anyone keen to find out more can contact Sally.King-Sheard@nspcc.org.uk or 01745 772101. Successful applicants are asked to give a minimum of 4.25 hours per week as a Childline counsellor, and receive a comprehensive training package.
Childline is available for children and young people 24/7 on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk. Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.