Lichfield auctioneer backs Midlands runner’s 2024 London Marathon fundraiser for Whizz Kidz
A LICHFIELD auctioneer is backing a Midlands runner’s 2024 London Marathon challenge.
John Simms, 54, hopes to raise at least £1,900 for Whizz Kidz, the UK’s leading charity for young wheelchair users.
A champion runner for Manchester in his youth, John is being supported by Richard Winterton Auctioneers of Lichfield and Tamworth, for whom his wife Claire works.
Auctioneer Richard Winterton said: “When Claire told us about John’s marathon plans and the important cause he is supporting, everyone immediately wanted to help.
“We have made Whizz Kids the firm’s chosen charity leading up to the marathon and are collecting donations at our salerooms.
“Friends and colleagues have also rallied round to sponsor John personally and we all wish him the very best for the marathon on April 21.”
The UK’s leading charity supporting young wheelchair users up to 25 years old, Whizz Kids provides equipment and skills needed to live life as independently as possible and enjoy all the opportunities and activities many take for granted.
More than 10,000 young people have received life-changing wheelchairs from Whizz Kidz; more than 20,000 have attended Whizz Kidz events, gaining new skills and confidence.
“I am honoured and privileged to run for an incredible charity that encompasses my passion for engaging with children in activities and their development,” said John, a contracts manager from Swadlincote who has spent much of his career in hospitality within the education sector.
“Whizz Kidz’ work is invaluable – a child may be less fortunate in their mobility but that does not mean they should not be able to lead a ‘normal’ life and participate in things that generally most people take for granted.”
He added: “It’s unacceptable that young wheelchair users face so many obstacles in their lives.
“From inaccessible spaces to negative attitudes, it’s time to change the status quo and create a world where every young person can reach their full potential.
“The more people that know about Whizz Kidz, the greater the impact will be in helping more young wheelchair users become independent.”
John, who grew up in Harpurhey, North Manchester, initially took up running while at Moston Brook Secondary School where he was part of a team winning awards and trophies at national events throughout the country.
“This then led on to me representing Stretford Harriers Athletic Club, as they were known then, and Greater Manchester at county level,” he said.
“But on leaving school, the usual work commitments and life took precedent and it was not until 2015 that I completed my first marathon.
“I have since completed 15 with London 2024 being my 16th and third global major marathon.
“It has always been my goal to complete the London Marathon and Whizzkidz UK have given me this opportunity.”
Support John’s fundraising online here.