Ignite Sport > News and Blogs > Ignite Sport UK smash Thomley fundraising target at Oxford Half Marathon

Seven Ignite Sport UK colleagues completed the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday in support of Thomley and its work to enhance the lives of people living with complex needs.  

Justin Merritt, Hannah Bladen, Josh Ashby, Jordan Piper, Jack Tutton, Andrew Francis and Kyle Bestley all completed the 13.1-mile course and smashed their collective fundraising target of £1,750. By Monday morning the figure for the charity had reached £2,278.75.   

Funds raised from the septet’s efforts will help Thomley deliver its annual programme of events to develop essential life skills in people with complex needs at its purpose-built eight-acre activity centre in Worminghall, Oxfordshire.  

The centre has been welcoming visitors through its doors since 2002 and now attracts 12,000 visitors annually who take part in creative activities and workshops.  

Ignite Sport UK CEO Justin Merritt said he was pleased to see the Oxford Half Marathon so well supported by the local community.  

“Sunday really felt like Oxford had reopened to the public again,” said Justin. “Although we’ve been free of social restrictions for a number of months, to see thousands of people line the city’s streets and cheer on their family and friends really was an excellent sight.  

“It was a fantastic event to be part of and I am thrilled with the sum of money we have managed to raise for Thomley which works so hard to improve the lives of those
less fortunate than ourselves.  

“The going got quite tough after halfway but the day’s positive atmosphere helped drive all seven of our runners across the line. We’re still raising funds through the week and are most grateful for any extra support we receive, however big or small.  

“We would also like to thank everyone who has already donated to our cause which will help Thomley develop its secure, fun and inclusive activities which are accessible to everyone.”  

First past the post on Sunday for Ignite Sport UK were Josh Ashby and Kyle Bestley.  

“We’re a competitive bunch at Ignite Sport UK so to hold the fastest time bragging rights is a good feeling,” joked Josh. “It’s great to be involved with supporting a local charity like Thomley and the money we’ve raised will help make a small difference to the services they provide.”   

Joe Kitchen, Operations Manager at Thomley, added: “Thomley simply wouldn’t exist without the support of our community.  

“We are delighted with the funds Ignite Sport UK staff and other runners representing the charity managed to raise at this year’s Oxford Half Marathon. The funds raised will be vital for Thomley to continue offering a unique and specialised service for disabled people.  

“It costs over half a million pounds every year to run the Charity, so we can’t thank those who donated enough for supporting us at this brilliant event.” 

If you would like to donate to Ignite Sport UK’s fundraising page in aid of Thomley, please visit: Virgin Money Giving | Ignite Sport UK Runners.   

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