Northampton teacher to run London Marathon to raise awareness of child abuse

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A teacher from Northampton is preparing to take on the streets of London to raise awareness of child abuse.

Along with fellow NSPCC marathon runners, Matt Bushell of Lings Primary School is hoping to help smash the target to raise £2.3 million needed to answer every child who contacts the charity’s ChildLine service.

Matt said: “As a teacher I have seen first-hand the difficult circumstances that children can experience when growing up and am fully aware of the important work that the NSPCC do to support and protect young people.”

It will be Matt’s first marathon. He began running regularly in January 2015, starting off with a single lap of Abington Park.

Since then, he has run in three half-marathons and run twice a week with the incredibly supportive Northampton Road Runners.

He is also a regular volunteer at the weekly Northampton park run at the Racecourse and has started a ‘Golden Mile’ running club at Lings Primary School.

He said: “From a running point of view, taking part in a marathon was a natural progression, and I can’t wait to run in London. Everyone I have spoken to who has experienced it has so many happy and inspiring stories to tell.

“They all comment on the incredible atmosphere around the course. I have been training specifically for the marathon since January, and my longest run so far has been 20 miles. My aim is to get round in under four hours, but I’ll be happy just to enjoy the day, get round in one piece and have raised some money for the NSPCC.”

Kirsty Joanes, NSPCC fundraiser, said: “When a child contacts ChildLine to tell us they’re being abused, feeling suicidal or are in danger we take immediate steps to make them safe. But right now we can only help three out of every four children who try to contact us, and that is why we need local runners to sign up and support us. Every step, every mile, will help us keep every child safe.”

NSPCC’s helpline is 0808 8005000. The telephone number for Childline is 0800 1111.