Irwin Mitchell Solicitor Raises Over £2,000 For Mencap
A lawyer from Sheffield took part in a trial of a different kind over the weekend, by successfully completing the Virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and raising thousands of pounds in aid of national charity Mencap along the way.
Helen Royles-Jones, 30 from Oughtibridge was due to take part in the London marathon on 26 April, but when the event was cancelled due to Covid-19 lockdown, the Irwin Mitchell solicitor, together with 45,000 other competitors from around the world switched to the virtual event on 4 October.
The virtual marathon allowed runners like Helen to complete course close to home, making it possible to raise money for their chosen charity and receive the coveted medal for finishing.
Helen’s route took her through the course of the 1982 Sheffield Marathon, starting in Hillsborough heading out towards Meadowhall and Tinsley before turning back to go towards the city centre and Abbeydale Road, before heading back to Hillsborough to finish with laps of the park and she completed the marathon distance in a respectable 4 hours, 17 minutes and 10 seconds.
Hailed as the most inclusive London Marathon ever, participants had 23 hours and 59 minutes to complete the 26.2 miles by running, walking or jogging. Progress was monitored by the Race App, which allowed Helen and others to track and log their run, while listening to full audio commentary along the way - with a host of famous voices bringing the sounds of the day to life.
Expert Opinion“Having done all the training and fundraising it was disappointing to see the marathon cancelled, so when the option to complete the virtual marathon was offered, I wanted to go for it.
“Irwin Mitchell has links with Mencap and as so many charities have struggled as a result of the lockdown, I felt it was more important than ever to complete the course and it’s a great feeling to be able to pass on such a great sum of money to such a deserving cause. The funds will be put towards Mencap’s All Move campaign which is focussed on greater inclusion in sport for people with a learning disability.
“Running past the Tinsley Viaduct and alongside the M1 wasn’t quite the same as running past Marble Arch, but the hills of Sheffield make a marathon here a hard test compared to the flat of London, so I was keen to try and find a route which was as flat as possible, and was delighted to make it to the end in such good time.” Helen Royles-Jones - Associate Solicitor Advocate
So far Helen has raised over £2,300 for Mencap, the UK charity that works with people with a learning disability. It provides a host of vital services, from round-the-clock care to helping someone join leisure activities. Mencap also offer advice and information on education and employment and helping many people to live independently for the first time.
With the charity sector facing an estimated shortfall of £10 billion as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the hope is that fundraising at the virtual London Marathon will break last year’s record £66.45 million raised for good causes.
Anyone who still wished to support Helen’s fundraising can do so by visiting her just giving page at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HelenJones153