Laura Hird

On April 8th 2018 I will be running the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon!

Whilst this will be my third marathon, it will still be an enormous challenge as I have to endure months of long training runs (often in the cold, wind and rain) to prepare myself to run the 26.2 miles!

However this time round I have chosen to run to raise money for Strode Park Foundation in memory of my Uncle Dave and my close friend’s brother Darren. Strode Park is an amazing charity based in Herne Bay in Kent that provides specialist care and leisure services for children and adults with disabilities. Their expertise span a broad range of client groups including people with physical and sensory impairments, acquired brain injuries, stroke, spinal injuries and disabling conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy and Cerebral Palsy. They also provide training and support to young adults with physical or learning disabilities to enable them to lead a more independent lifestyle.

My Uncle Dave had MS and Strode Park supported him from 1996 and then he lived there for the last 4 and a half years before he sadly passed away in October 2017. I know that he was so happy living there and when speaking to my Auntie Jackie, she has nothing but praise for the amazing staff and complimented them on the brilliant support they gave to both her husband Dave and herself. She was keen to state that Strode Park do an amazing job of caring for the families of residents as well as the residents themselves. "They always have time for you" she said.

Darren attended Strode Park's Lifestyles Academy for Independence from 2008 and in 2013 this enabled him to move out into shared accommodation with his friends from Strode Park before he passed away suddenly in 2014.

So hopefully by running Manchester Marathon in their memory, I can raise money to help Strode Park continue the incredible work they do every day to help people like my Uncle Dave and Darren.

Laura Hird