Funeral director raises funds for cancer charity inspired by nan

By Toby Porter

A funeral director has raised hundreds of pounds for cancer support by running more than the distance of a marathon after being inspired by his nan who was diagnosed with the disease.

Jamie Groves, development director of Funeral Partners Greater London South, woke up at 5:30am for 10 days running, to run 5km as part of the daily exercise limit imposed by lockdown.

Jamie, based in Garratt Lane, Tooting, reached his 50km target to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Hesaid: “Charities such as Macmillan need funding more than ever right now, so we must find ways to energise people to donate while following lockdown rules.

Jamie Groves outside Croydon University Hospital in the early hours.

“I’m obsessed with running and my nan, as well as my wife, told me to take it easy, but to complete Macmillan’s challenge of running 50km across 10 days I had to commit to at least 5km per day before work.”

Jamie and his colleagues at Funeral Partners, the family of high-quality funeral businesses, host regular fundraising activities for Macmillan such as coffee mornings. But Covid-19 restrictions forced him to rethink.

He got in touch with the charity who suggested the 10 Day 5K challenge. Jamie created his fundraising page with a modest £50 target which was exceeded within an hour, and has now raised nearly £400.

Jamie said: “The support has been overwhelming. It’s amazing to see that despite the difficulties people are going through, they’re willing to help others.

“I passed Croydon University Hospital on one of my routes, and thinking about the amount of work they’re putting into saving lives really inspired me to keep going.”

Hebe Wright, Relationship Fundraising Manager for London at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to Jamie for his enormous achievement of running 50K for Macmillan and all the people with cancer we are able support because of people like him.

“Jamie is an inspiration and beacon of hope in these trying times. Without him and those who donated to his run, we simply would not be able to do as much for the growing number of people who need us. It’s never been more important as we strive to ensure cancer doesn’t become ‘the Forgotten C’ during the Covid pandemic.”

Anyone in need of cancer support can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, which is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm, or visit Macmillan’s website 24/7.



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