Marathons of giving
520. David Hellard
A sports enthusiast from London has raised over £40,000 for the UK charity Street Child.
Since his first marathon for the charity in Sierra Leone, David Hellard has spent the last four years taking on a series of extraordinary challenges in aid of Street Child. His fundraising has helped more than 1,000 children get back to school. In a bid to raise £100,000 for the charity he is currently running the Marathon de Sables in the Sahara Desert, labelled the ‘Toughest Footrace on Earth’.
In 2013, whilst completing the Street Child marathon in Sierra Leone David had the chance to witness first-hand the amazing work the charity does helping vulnerable children in West Africa. After the Ebola crisis hit David made it his mission to help them in every way possible. As an established runner David realised he needed to go the extra mile, literally, to get his friends to sponsor him.
David set himself a list of extreme challenges which included leading the entire London Marathon at the 400 meter point. Contending with Mo Farah, David did this successfully and went on to complete the race in the top 5% of all marathon runners. Just three weeks later David went on to tackle a further challenge on his list – 20 miles and 200 obstacles in the world’s largest assault course, finishing in the top ten.
David’s efforts are relentless with him seeking more extreme challenges. These range from his podium finish in the Afghanistan Marathon to setting a new course record for the Man vs. Mountain challenge consisting of 22 miles and a 5,055 feet climb. As well as this, David has organised three large scale events, successfully raising awareness and funds for the charity.
The next challenge on the list is the Marathon des Sables, otherwise known as the ‘toughest footrace on earth’. This race covers approximately 150 miles over six days in the Sahara desert. This ultra marathon is the equivalent of five and a half marathons, all in extreme temperatures. David’s target is to raise £100,000 for Street Child.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“David has shown tremendous commitment and undertaken incredible physical challenges to help children affected by the recent Ebola outbreak. From the London marathon to the gruelling Marathon des Sables this week, David has pushed his body to its limits to support the work of Street Child. I wish David every success in the Sahara and in all his fundraising work – and I am delighted to recognise him as the 520th UK Point of Light.”
Street Child said:
“It is fantastic that David Hellard has been recognised for his commitment to fundraising on behalf of Street Child. The money he has raised so far has helped over 1000 vulnerable children access education. We are extremely grateful for his continued support and are very proud that he has been awarded the Points of Light Award.”