This year, a team of 12 raised money and took on the world-famous London Marathon in aid of Haven House, the UK’s largest marathon, and the iconic 26.2-mile route through the capital.

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Between them they hope to raise a staggering £40,000 for Haven House. The money raised by the runners is vitally important to ensure we can continue to provide our much-needed care services to children and families in our local community. Here are some of our inspiring team:

Ellie Irwin

Ellie’s mother-in-law Sue Irwin was the founder of Haven House. Sue was working as a health visitor in the early 90s when she saw a desperate need in her local area to provide care to life-limited children and their families at no cost to them. Haven House began life from her spare bedroom at home, and from those small beginnings we have now supported hundreds of families, looking after seriously ill babies, children and young people.

Ellie said: “I ran the Virtual London Marathon for Haven House last year and training through the heat of the summer, to running through floods on the day made it a real challenge. I'm more nervous this year as I know there will be blood, sweat, and tears (loads of tears!) to get to that finish line, but I'm doing this for such an amazing cause and that keeps me going!”

Jenine Jungerhans

Mum Jenine is dusting off her running shoes for Haven House, in support of the care we give to her daughter Isabella.

Jenine said: “For several years I've joked about running the London Marathon, whilst drinking a large glass of wine and eating whatever is available at the time. However secretly it has always been on my bucket list.

“Our beautiful Isabella has special needs and during this crazy year of uncertainty Haven House have been amazing. Offering us and other families with children who have complex needs or life-threatening illnesses, much needed respite.”

Clair Barber

Clair is hoping that 2021 is her lucky year in getting to the finishing line. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that Clair was unable to complete the challenge in April 2020 and then subsequently in October 2020.

She said: “Third time lucky? It looks like I will actually make it to the start line of the official London Marathon this time. Let's hope I am still smiling at the finish line.”

Angus Fullerton

Mark Lonergan

Mark has decided to celebrate his 50th birthday by fulfilling his dream of running the marathon. Training for Mark has been eventful, with several injuries and then catching Covid just three weeks ago.

Mark said: “It's been a bit of a dream to do the marathon since I was a child, so with my 50th year approaching it seemed the perfect time to give it a go. I'm excited and nervous in equal proportions! Haven House was always my first choice as a charity to support, and I know people are really delighted to give generously as they give. I've had a monthly donation going for years and know it's money well spent.

“The training has been eventful! I love being out in the fresh air and I enjoyed the long runs around parts of London I've never seen. The canals around Stratford are beautiful, well I think so. Less positive, and not a surprise to anyone who knows me, I have picked up a few injuries (knees & feet), and I caught Covid three weeks before race day. But I'm reasonably fit now and looking forward to the start, and finish.”

Sophie Bragg, Events Manager at Haven House, said: “The dedication of all the runners fills us with pride and is so inspiring. Such a commitment is not an easy undertaking, and we are proud of all of those who choose to support us in this way.

Competing in the prestigious London Marathon, a world-famous race, is such a special way to support our hospice, as well as being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are delighted that this special group have chosen to dedicate this experience to raising funds for Haven House. It means the world to us. We will be cheering them on all the way and wish them the best of luck.”

Go Team Haven House: Ellie Irwin, Andrew Louka, Clair Barber, Hayley Shepherd, Mark Lonergan, Maria Borg Barthet, Craig Wilson, Jenine Jungerhans, Charlotte Ryan, Nick Browne, Dave Fonseca and Angus Fullerton.

If you would like the chance to be on our team in the London Marathon 2022, then apply today.

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