The 44th London Marathon took place on Sunday 21st April and once again saw over 45,000 people take part in the 26.2 mile-long course around some of the capital’s most famous landmarks. Among the runners this year was Metroline Holloway’s very own Graham Hunter, an Engineer who joined the company 7 years ago.

Graham is no stranger to marathons, he ran the London marathon in 2022, but this marathon had a poignant inspiration. Speaking to Your Voice before the marathon, Graham said “I’m running for Acorns Children’s Hospice in Worcester and a family friend, Jack, who sadly passed away in 2020. He’s sort of the guiding cause behind it.” Acorns Children’s Hospice offer a network of specialist palliative nursing care and support for local children and their families.

Despite his previous experience, no two marathons are the same, and so Graham had been hard at work training.“Plenty of long runs, plenty of eating and I get to go to Seville for a training camp”, he says. Graham’s not alone in his endeavour however, with a big group of his friends all coming together to help, in addition to help from the hospice as well. “They really weren’t surprised, they said it’s pretty you at this point in life!”

Supporting Acorns Children’s Hospice is understandably a cause very close to Graham’s heart. “It’s a very good children’s hospice based in Worcester. [My friend] Jack got life ending support from them, they help throughout all children’s lives, and they really do appreciate any donations you have.”

Despite the sometimes-challenging training regime, Graham hasn’t lost sight of what it’s all for. “It’s just to honour Jack’s name,” he says. “All the training runs have been tough, but I’ve been able to remember that this is for him and dig deep in honour of him and help the hospice as much as we can as they do wonderful things.”

The training has paid off: Graham was able to complete the Marathon in 2:51:47 and has raised £2,321 for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Service Controller Brothers Matthew Stoker of Potters Bar Garage and George Stoker of Cricklewood garage also took part in this year’s London Marathon, to raise money for Age UK. Age UK provides life-enhancing services and vital support to people in later life, many of whom live alone. With the help of many volunteers, Age UK are able to offer various services to make lives easier and less lonely.

Speaking about their fundraising, George says, “It is an honour to be representing and running for this charity in the London Marathon 2024. It has been a lifetime goal to do this and one to tick off the bucket list.”

“My own experience of seeing this wonderful charity in action was when I was at University and I had a chance to visit an activity centre in Kingston for a project I was working on. I have fond memories of some individuals who had great pleasure in telling me their own stories from their younger days,” he recalls

Service Delivery’s Matt Stoker and George Stoker also successfully completed the Marathon with a time of 4:16:35 and have raised a total of £4,309 for Age UK.