Dad’s marathon challenge

Tom Sharp

Tom Sharp - Credit: Archant

CLEVEDON dad Tom Sharp is preparing to tackle the 26 miles and 365 yards of the London Marathon to raise money for a charity which has supported his son Billy.

Billy Sharp

Billy Sharp - Credit: Archant

Graphic designer Tom, aged 35, first took up running four years ago as a way to get over a football injury, but has since taken part in eight long-distance runs for charity.

But the marathon will be his biggest challenge, and he hopes to use the event to raise thousands for VICTA, a charity which supports children with sight problems.

Tom said: “My target is to raise £2,000 for VICTA - a charity who look after blind and partially sighted children like my boy Billy.

“Billy has nystagmus and is partially sighted so this is a charity close to my heart.”


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Billy was six months old when his grandmother first noticed his eyes ‘darting about’. A referral from the GP to Bristol Eye Hospital confirmed the diagnosis. He also has a squint in both eyes.

Tom – who is married to teacher Jo, aged 39, and has two other children, Lauren, aged 11, and Daisy, seven – has already raised £1,500 in sponsorship, and other activities like cake sales, bag-packing and local collection boxes.

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He said: “The fundraising is going fantastically well so far, everyone has been so generous.

“I decided five years ago that I really wanted to take part in the London Marathon, it’s the pinnacle for runners and has done such fabulous things for charities over the years.

“I feel really lucky to have found a place with VICTA, it is a tremendous charity which relies almost solely on the London Marathon for donations.

“They do so much good work for children like my son Billy, and part of my mission is to raise awareness of the charity.

“The knee should be okay as I had a successful anterior cruciate ligament operation a few years back so fingers crossed.”

You can find out more about VICTA work by visiting www.victa.org.uk, or contribute towards Tom’s fundraising by logging on to www.virginmoneygiving.com/tomsharp

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