Hoping to raise more than £1,000 for Christian Aid, Ron Forster, a retired United Reformed Church (URC) minister, and his wife, Shirley, are taking part in a sponsored run.
The couple, who are members of St John’s URC in Wideopen, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, will run at least 210km – the equivalent of five marathons – between them within a month.
They began by using their daily exercise time during the coronavirus lockdown to run approximately 6km each, for Christian Aid Week which runs from 10-16 May.
Mr Forster said: “I normally run about three times a week, so it is going to be a definite challenge to cover the distance of five marathons while keeping to the government’s guidelines on exercise.
“But the beautiful countryside and good weather have helped us get off to a good start, and we hope to get beyond our target and give our sponsors a longer run for their money. Coronavirus reminds us that we are global neighbours. But some people are a lot less equipped to cope with the crisis and are much more vulnerable than we are.
“We are so fortunate to have what we have in this country. For years, Shirley, in particular, would do house-to-house collecting for Christian Aid Week. This year, none of that can happen. I hope that people will consider sponsoring us to help people who don’t have an NHS, or soap and water, or who live in crowded conditions and can’t protect their families from this virus.”
Helen Cunningham, Christian Aid’s church engagement officer for the north east said: “In times of crisis the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised are at the greatest risk. Coronavirus impacts everyone, but love unites us all. Ron and Shirley’s run gives us a chance to help our global neighbour. Please support them if you can, so we can help more vulnerable people.”
If you would like to sponsor Ron and Shirley, donate here.