Marathon Madness

Elspeth Dugdale | May 3, 2015

Marathon Madness
Phil, Em and friend Ed, sporting their shiny Finishers' Medals

April has been an energetic month, not to mention a long awaited opportunity to exchange hot and dusty Kampala road running for the gentler, more tranquil European city streets - or so they thought ......

Most recently, Phil and Em (Ball) ran the Madrid Marathon on April 26th on behalf of the Orphanage Marie France in Douala. Located in Cameroon, (West Africa), this is where Phil is currently carrying out some new work commitments. Despite earlier concerns that Madrid would be incredibly hot - and not ideal running weather, it turned out to be unseasonably cold and chilly, so challenging in a very different way. But they both conquered the course, with Phil running the full, and Em running the half marathon respectively.


A little background - The Marie France Orphanage provides accommodation, food and education for about 100 children, aged about 5 - 18. Phil's Cameroonian work colleague, Mary, is already involved in supporting the orphanage with her church. Various community initiatives have already taken place and through their own fundraising, the church had already raised $300;  so Phil was inspired to help them to raise more funds. This is very much in keeping with the Serve Direct approach to work with existing projects that are already getting 'stuck in' and doing a good job. All money raised through Phil and Em's MyDonate page will help to support these 'true' orphans - ie. children who are completely without any family and are totally dependent on support.




Two weeks earlier on April 12th, Elspeth ran in the Paris Marathon (slightly sunnier than Madrid) to raise money and collect books to stock a new children's library for another Bridge Primary Resource Centre  - 'Building Bridges with Books'. By giving primary children access to books at an early age, it vastly improves their chances of reaching secondary school when they reach class P7. But also, earlier access to books and educational resources helps to develop a solid reading culture and develops many other skills vital to primary learning. Thanks to all who have donated funds and books already - we already have some bags of books packed up to send to Uganda in June.

Immense thanks to all those who have donated with such great generosity to both projects - we are all very grateful for every pound, euro and shilling that have been added on. If you would still like to donate to either project, both MyDonate pages are open until July -

For Phil and Em's page for the Marie France Orphanage:

For Elspeth's 'Building Bridges' page:

And last, but not least.... best wishes and huge thanks to Matt Perriment who will be running the Hackney Half Marathon in May on behalf of Serve Direct - have a great 13.1 mile run. This is - allegedly - the same length as running the distance of 69,168 footlong Subway sandwiches, according to Matt's webpage: 

ANY MORE FUTURE FUNDRAISERS OUT THERE? Of course, fundraising does not have to be connected to long distance running!  Over the years, our many fundraising friends have made cakes, chutneys, beeswax, exclusive vanilla essence plus walked miles, waded through mud, made greetings cards, danced, competed, bungee jumped and even sold all their unwanted clothes..... plus many other activities, some more sane than others.

It is easy to set up a fundraising page - and then share it with as many people as possible. We have now switched to using My Donate for fundraising - follow this link to set up a page or find out how to start:

Or do get in touch with us for further info or to ask about fundraising generally.