On Sunday April 22nd, Brian Crowther set upon the intensive 26.2 mile London Marathon for a good cause: to raise money for Carers Lewisham. Since is beginning in 1981, over one million people have completed the route, which currently begins in Blackheath and finishes at The Mall. More than three quarters of all competitors now run for charity, and participants raised £59 million for various charitable causes in 2016.
Brian, an avid cyclist, chose to hop off his bike to support Carers Lewisham in this year’s race. While the tough winter made training gruelling, he gained perspective by thinking about the cause he was running for.
‘’The day itself was epic, glorious (if a little hot) weather, formidable crowds and a generosity of spirit that I haven’t seen before willing all the runners to succeed. I was very proud to wear my Carers Lewisham vest, especially running through the streets where they do their amazing work,’’ Brian wrote on the following Monday. He finished the race with a three hour and twenty-four minute time.
Brian first encountered Carers Lewisham in 2017 and was inspired by the support they provide to a wide range of carers. In his fundraising page on the Marathon website, he points to some of the statistics about the hurdles faced by this population. Caring often proves a financial strain: 53% of carers have needed to borrow money because of their caring role and 60% of carers have used all of their savings to cover the cost of caring. Meanwhile, 68.8% of older carers say that being a carer has an adverse effect on their mental health, while 45% of young adult carers report mental health problems.
Carers Lewisham does important work in the community to help carers face these hurdles. This includes providing general advice, employment support, mental health workshops, and more. The charity currently supports over 2,500 unpaid carers. Providing such comprehensive programming requires money, and it would not be possible without fundraising and donations from the community.
Carers Lewisham extends our thanks to Brian for recognising the needs of carers and running for the cause. If you would like to support Brian in his efforts to fundraise for Carers Lewisham, you can continue to do so here.