A marathon runner has been named this week’s Charity Champion after running 26.2 miles for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in the London Marathon 2018.

49-year-old Paul Morris from Stafford took on the famous run for the first time last week. Through his fundraising, Paul has raised over £4,000 for the hospital’s Out to Play Appeal.  

Completing the marathon in 5.23 hours, Paul said: “Boy it was tough - my first ever marathon and the hottest on record! I reached very low points towards the end but the drive to finish and raise the money was what kept me going and eventually got me over the finish line.

“The atmosphere was amazing and the support from the crowd was something you can’t explain until you witness it. What stuck with me is that at 19 miles a fellow Team BCH runner, who I didn’t know, ran alongside me and helped me get going again.”

Inspired by a local family, Paul conquered the challenge to support school girl Millie, who is a proud ambassador of the appeal, which has been nicknamed ‘Millies Mission’. 

Reflecting on the appeal, Paul added: “As a parent myself, I have been so touched by Millie’s story, throughout all her own difficulties and health problems, her focus has always been to make things better for other children like her - through fundraising and raising awareness for the playground.”

The Out to Play Appeal is raising funds to re-vamp the outdoor playground at the Children’s Hospital. After more than 12 years of constant use by lively kids, the present playground is now unfit for purpose. Millie’s mum, Kathryn, commented: “The outdoor play area has been invaluable in keeping our family united and reminding us to have fun and smile when we least feel like it.”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “We’d like to say a massive thank you to Paul and all of our London Marathon runners, between the 22 of them, they have raised over £60,000 for our hospital, £4,000 of which was raised by Paul.

“The marathon is a tough run, and especially on the hottest day on record. We can’t thank Paul enough for choosing to run for our charity and raising such an incredible amount for our Out to Play Appeal.”

For more information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, visit www.bch.org.uk, email [email protected] or call 0121 333 8506.