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NHS charity worker takes on the London Marathon

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, is leading by example this October by taking on the 2022 London Marathon to raise funds for the charity.

Nicola originally entered the marathon, one of the most renowned in the world, back in 2019 after being inspired by friends taking part in the race. She could not believe her luck when she was successful in a ballot of almost half a million people for the 2020 event.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the April 2020 London Marathon was postponed and Nicola deferred her place until 2022.

Nicola’s running unfortunately came to a stop at the same time, but has she has been working hard over the last few months to regain her fitness and has run over 300 training miles this year for her forthcoming challenge.

Nicola has chosen to raise funds for the Wish Fund, a campaign to help the Hywel Dda Paediatric Palliative Care Service create lasting memories for the children, young people and families they support across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

As a member of the Hywel Dda Health Charities team, Nicola has seen first-hand how important and meaningful the Wish Fund is to local families. She is hoping that her fundraising will be able to support a wide range of special activities to make long-lasting memories for children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. This may include group activities and family day trips as well as toys and arts and crafts materials which support the therapeutic play service to help children and young people process and understand what they are experiencing.

Nicola said: “This is the biggest personal and physical challenge of my life. I stopped running when the event was cancelled in 2020 and have started training from scratch again this year, initially by following the Couch to 5k programme.

“The marathon has come around so quickly. After being so excited about the 2020 event I’m absolutely petrified at the thought of the challenge ahead, but I’m determined to complete the marathon whether I run, walk or crawl!”

Angharad Davies, children’s community lead nurse for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to Nicola for choosing to support the Wish Fund. The Wish Fund provides us with opportunities to give that little extra to our patients and families. It means we can create lasting memories together which will be cherished forever. I can’t tell you how much this means to the children and young people we work with, their families and carers and the paediatric palliative care team.”

Nicola has a fundraising target of £500. To make a donation please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicolallewelynlondon2022

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