We are proud to welcome Tom Barton as our first ever ‘Challenge Ambassador’. Tom has joined Lepra after taking part in 11 marathons and most recently, running the Test Way in memory of his father, Rex a long-time supporter of Lepra.
Tom ran the 46 mile Test Way course in 9 hours 30 minutes to celebrate what would have been Rex’s 75th Birthday in May 2019. His run raised over £1800, and he now hopes becoming a Challenge Ambassador will help to inspire others to undertake their own challenges to help the 7 million affected by the curable, yet often misunderstood disease.
“My fundraising efforts for Lepra began when I was less than 6 months old, and since then I’ve run 11 Marathons for Lepra. I feel privileged to be able to help knowing each pound raised is put to good use.
Having seen first-hand the devastation that this disease can cause, along with the discrimination and prejudice against people who already face difficult circumstances, I am proud to spread awareness of Lepra’s work and to hopefully inspire others to undertake a challenge of their own to raise funds to help change lives.
Challenges do not have to be endurance events or tests of stamina, almost any personal challenge can become a way to raise funds and awareness. From giving up your mobile phone or social media for a period of time, or taking part in organised events like the Prudential Ride 100, Half and Full Marathons or an abseil, any challenge you can undertake can help us to beat leprosy together.”
Father of two Tom, is no stranger to setting up events as he is a member of the organising committee and treasurer for the Fleet Half Marathon. He has also just passed the UK Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) course allowing him to coach at running clubs and externally.