A BROMSGROVE paramedic has been taking on a virtual London Marathon today to raise funfs for the NSPCC.
Lisa O’Rourke lined up for the 26.2 miles with two friends by walking the Hanbury Circle before moving onto the canal – starting at Barnt Green and finishing in Worcester.
A socially distanced welcoming committee will meet them at the Queen’s Head in Stoke Prior when they finish.
Lisa, aged 48, said: “I decided to do this a couple of months ago.
“I completed The Lake District Challenge before for the NSPCC which involved a walk, cycle and a kayak and I absolutely loved it. It was the toughest, most gruelling thing I have ever done but it felt like a great achievement when I finished.”
Lisa has been joined by her friends Amanda Synnott and Jacky Cotton.
“I’m feeling a bit nervous about it but we’ll be walking it and doing it in two parts over the space of 24 hours.”
Th prepare for the feat, the trio has been walking every week, increasing th distance each time.
“The last one we did was 15 miles so we’ll just go for it on the day with the other 11 or so miles.
“It’s a beautiful route and it’s very picturesque -there’s a lot of cafés and pubs along the route that are aware of what we are doing and they’ve allowed us to come in on the day when re reach them to fund-raise which is a lovely gesture.”
Lisa, who has a fundraising target of £500, described the work of the NSPCC as ‘incredible’. Her page is currently up to more than £475.
She said: “The support we’ve received from family and friends has been fantastic.
“Some will be meeting us with supplies along the way to keep us going.
“People have been really generous with donations already. It’s a difficult time but every penny adds up and it will make a huge difference when it’s all collected together.
“I think it’s vital that the NSPCC is there through Childline or its services for children who might be in situations they feel they can’t get out of.
“They also do some very important work by going into schools with their Speak Out Stay Safe workshops and assemblies.
“I’m doing this for the children that haven’t yet found their voice.”
The London Marathon was due to take place in April but was postponed because of the pandemic an was the rescheduled one – due to take place today – has also been put off until next year.
Instead fund-raisers were urged to organise their own events in their areas to recoup some of the cash charities have lost because of event cancellations during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Claire Campbell, NSPCC Supporter Fund-raising Manager for the Midlands, said: “Lisa and her friends are doing an amazing thing by taking on this unique London Marathon this year.
“Every mile they walk will help raise funds and awareness to allow us to still be here for children.”
People can boost Lisa and her friends’ total by visiting the fund-raising page here.