Five local runners support Jewish Care in Virgin Money London Marathon

01 Oct 2021

After nearly two years of waiting to run the Virgin Money London Marathon, five runners from Barnet have already raised over £14,000 between them for Jewish Care, to go towards the vital support that the charity provides to older people through a wide range of services.

Alan Giesenow, who is 39 and married with a son of 6 lives in High Barnet, says, “I completed nine half marathons, so I decided it was time to sign up for my first full marathon.

“That was nearly two years ago but the wait has given me a chance to raise a little bit of extra money. Training has been tough and rewarding but it’s a great challenge and I’m ready for it mentally and physically. I’m looking forward to seeing the Jewish Care support team along the way and it’s good to know that Jewish Care is there for us all in the community if we ever need their support. It’s real honour to run for the charity, especially after the pandemic”

Fellow runner, Jake Norton, is also running his first marathon and chose Jewish Care “because everything about the organisation brings happiness and light to our community and the last year has really showed us why Jewish Care is so vital. They have managed to help so many not only survive but thrive even when up against the most difficult of challenges.”

Originally a cyclist, Jonathan Wiesbart, 52, signed up to do his first marathon and recently suffered a setback when he came off his bike and broke his elbow. Jonathan says, “Despite the break in my training regime I am still hopefully on course to finish in a respectable time. I’m doing my bit to support Jewish Care by running over 70km and training 7 hours a week. I’m not ashamed to ask people to do their bit in helping Jewish Care plug some of the funding gap from the pandemic.” 

Leslie Walters, 55, from Woodside Park, is also running his first marathon and will jointly support Jewish Care and the North London Hospice and Ben Pollock has also been training hard to support Jewish Care and Behind Every Kick.

The funds will help to support Jewish Care’s services that have supported thousands of older people through the pandemic. Many of the services receive no Government funding including the local community centres, Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, the social work and community support team, Jewish Care Direct Helpline, Meals on Wheels and befriending services, supporting hundreds of older people across the borough.

Adam Overlander-Kaye, Jewish Care’s Director of Fundraising & Community Engagement said, “I’d like to wish all of our runners’ good luck and thank each of them for taking on this tough challenge in support of Jewish Care. After waiting for 18 months for the Marathon to take place we can’t wait to support them on the route on Sunday, If you feel inspired and would like to join Team Jewish Care to do a Marathon or another challenge event please do get in contact, we would love to hear from you”.

If you would like to take on a challenge, whether it’s pounding the streets, climbing up mountains or cycling across the city, there are events for people of all ages and fitness levels to help raise money for Jewish Care.

No challenge is too big or small, taking on a 10k, half marathon, marathon or bike rides are a great way to get fitter whilst supporting your favourite charity. Jewish Care will support you all the way to the finish line with a dedicated member of the team to help you with your fundraising and training to get you ready for the challenge.