8th March 2019
Memories of his inspirational brother are motivating Andy Elms every step of the way in his training for the 2019 London Marathon, to raise funds for two special causes.
The Maypole House Charitable Fund, run by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) and Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity’s Critical Care Unit Fund, are to benefit from Andy's fundraising efforts in memory of his brother Tim, who died aged 33 in January last year.
Andy, 38, a finance manager for a media company, said: “Tim was a truly special and unique person, with an infectious personality.
“He faced many challenges over his lifetime, being diagnosed with hydrocephalus and later severe epilepsy, and had to cope with all the complications these conditions brought.
“He loved people and people loved him. Tim had that rarest of qualities that people would meet him just the once and they would remember him and for all the right reasons.”
Andy, a father of two who lives in Berkshire, admits he is not a natural runner, but is being spurred on to raise as much money as possible in memory of Tim, whose family home was in Great Dunmow.
“I am running for two really great causes, Maypole House Charitable Fund and The Critical Care Unit at Colchester Hospital,” said Andy.
“The Maypole House Charitable Fund helps provide respite services for children and adults with disabilities and their families and carers.
“The fund was set up with ECF following the transfer of money raised in Uttlesford, covering Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and surrounding areas, by a charity called ResCU (Respite Care in Uttlesford).
“ResCU’s initial aim was to build a respite care centre, which would have been called Maypole House. But when it was realised that this could not be achieved the decision was taken to close the charity and create the fund, enabling the money raised to be used as intended, offering ongoing much-needed support to families.
“This charity is particularly personal to me as my family were actively involved in running ResCU for over 20 years and in that time, much was achieved in setting up services including a shared care scheme.
“The Critical Care Unit at Colchester Hospital is where Tim spent his last few weeks. The care he received there really was exceptional and was the NHS at its absolute best. It would mean the world to me to be able to donate much needed funds to the unit, for them to continue the great work they do and to say thank you to them for everything they did for Tim.”
Donations in recognition of Andy's efforts will be collected by Essex Community Foundation and split equally between the two charities.
The Maypole House Charitable Fund has to date awarded grants totalling £81,000 through ECF, including support for a holiday scheme, playschemes and clubs for disabled young people across Essex.
Andy’s training is going well, and he recently completed the Thorpe & Egham and Hampton Court Half Marathons.
“I was pleased to complete these courses in reasonable times, but the thought of running double that distance is still very daunting. I am determined to do it and when I cross that finish line, all the early morning training runs and pain will have been so worth it!
“The very kind generosity that people have shown so far in supporting me and donating towards these two very special causes is heartwarming and is the thing that is keeping me going.”
Andy hopes to exceed his fundraising target of £2,000 and welcomes donations to his
Virgin Money Giving page - https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/running4Tim
Donations can also be made by contacting Essex Community Foundation on 01245 355947.
Andy Elms ran the Marathon in 4 hours and 58 minutes and at the time of writing he has raised £6,000.
Andy described what the event was like: "It’s hard to describe the atmosphere, it was like nothing I have experienced before, the amount of people that come out to support all the runners and line the streets throughout the whole route was just incredible, cheering you on and keeping you going especially when I was really struggling. I also got chatting to someone on the start-line and we ran together for most of the race which was a great distraction from what we were actually doing and we kept pushing each other along, so big shout out to ‘Mr May’!"