A Penwortham woman is running the London Marathon on her birthday to raise money for her daughter’s playgroup.Advertisement
Helen Ormerod-Pateman applied for the marathon after seeing it coincided with her date of birth. When she secured a place, Helen decided to use it as an opportunity to fundraise for Middleforth Playgroup.
Helen said: “I am slightly strange and if there’s a marathon on my birthday I apply! I did the Manchester Marathon on my birthday six years ago, and wanted to keep the theme going.
“When I got my marathon place and heard there were big discussions of the playgroup’s money struggles it seemed like a no-brainer to fundraise for them.
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“The playgroup is at the heart of the Penwortham community and has been there for over 40 years. The staff have been there for over 20 years and run a very warm and friendly set-up.
“There is a real focus on learning through play and having fun, rather than the pressurised structure you see in some settings.
“However, they are really struggling for funding to just keep the roof over their heads. The majority of grants they receive have to be for a specific purpose rather than covering overheads and the government grants for the children don’t leave them much money at all.
“It’s a very modest little set-up doing an amazing job looking after the children, including my daughter. It’d be so sad to see it go as so many families have relied on it for over 40 years. If anybody can spare any donations for this playgroup, it all very much helps!”
Helen has also held a raffle and has been selling cakes and homemade sweetie jars with the help of her three-year-old daughter.
She said: “I may look into doing an event after the marathon but don’t currently have the time to invest with looking after our children and training.
“I’m enjoying my training even though I had lost my way with running. I attended quite a few gym classes prior so luckily had the stamina to jump straight into training.
“I am seeing a physio because I have a classic case of runner’s knee but with their help, it shouldn’t stop me completing the marathon.
“My partner and his family have also been amazing. I don’t really have much of my own family support, with being in the care system when I was younger so I’m very lucky.
“My kids are only aged one and three, so they just think mummy is having fun. My daughter particularly enjoys the medals and cake though!”
Middleforth Playgroup runs during term time from 9.15am to 12.15pm at St Leonard’s Church Hall in Penwortham. It’s open to children aged two-and-a-half to four. You can follow the playgroup on Facebook.
To donate, visit Helen’s fundraising page on wonderful.org.