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Running for Joshua

News   •   Feb 05, 2016 09:11 GMT

Two enthusiastic runners will be taking on four major challenges in just 90 days to raise £2000 for a charity that supported their friends when their son was seriously ill in hospital.

Ian Murray, 39 from Billericay, and Dave Mansfield, 44 from Ashford will be running 130 miles from March to May by undertaking a half marathon, two marathons and a 100km ultra marathon in a bid to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity that gives free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation to the families of sick children.

In 2012, Ian and Dave’s friends, Matt and Catherine Sykes’ eight-month-old son became seriously ill and required specialist long term treatment in Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) – two hours away from home. Despite this, Matt and Catherine were able to stay by Joshua’s side as The Sick Children’s Trust supported them at its ‘Homes from Home’ Rainbow House and Guilford Street House, located just two minutes from GOSH. Ian, who has been running for the last eight years, says: “I remember speaking to my wife one evening and her mentioning that Matt and Catherine managed to get accommodation near to GOSH through The Sick Children’s Trust charity and I thought to myself what an amazing thing that is - something which enables them to be close to Joshua.

“It’s an awful and stressful situation having a sick child without having the difficulties of logistics to contend with; something I believe can be so devastating to the mental wellbeing of the child and parent. Rainbow House and Guilford Street House along with the emotional support The Sick Children’s Trust offers is so valuable to the families staying at the ‘Homes from Home’, but also so valuable to the child to have their Mum and Dad with them during that time.”

Dave, the Chief Operating Officer of netConsult Ltd, will be joining Ian in taking on these tough challenges for a second year. In 2015, the duo ran the Essex and Halsted Marathon and attempted the 110km Ultimate Trials Lake District Race and this year they are determined to conquer each and every challenge ahead of them on behalf of Matt and Catherine. Ian continues: “Dave and I have previously fundraised for a local children’s hospice, but this year we wanted to fundraise for a smaller charity which sometimes gets overlooked in favour of some of the bigger names. Not only that, we’ve seen the benefits that The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’ have had on our friends and it makes a significant difference in helping the emotional well-being of families as well as supporting them practically”.

Guilford Street House Manager, Tina Thake, says: “What a challenge Ian and Dave have set themselves! It’s a great pleasure to have the support of Matt and Catherine’s friends and hear how passionate they are about raising vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust which will help more families with sick children stay together. Ian and Dave will also make more people aware of the work we do, as they are spreading the word through their company netConsult Ltd and through family and friends. We know people don’t always hear about our ‘Homes from Home’ until they need our support, so raising awareness is vital. Good luck to you both, we look forward to seeing all the pictures!”

If you would like to support Ian and Dave, please visit

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