A keen runner is ticking off one of his lifelong ‘bucket list’ goals by running 26.2 miles as part of this year’s London Marathon (4 October) – whilst raising funds for national charity The Farming Community Network (FCN).
Adrian Rushby, 52, from West Oxfordshire, is celebrating the London Marathon’s 40th anniversary by competing remotely – swapping the streets of London for the winding and hilly roads of the Cotswolds.
Due to the impact of Covid-19, this year’s London Marathon will be taking place across the UK – those who were supposed to take part in London will instead be planning routes of the same distance (26.2 miles) in their local area.
Adrian, who is the Production Director at P. D. Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd., has been training for the Marathon since July 2019 and has been raising funds for FCN.
FCN is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. FCN provides free practical and pastoral support, and its confidential, national Helpline (03000 111 999) is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm.
In April, May and June of this year, 71% of calls to FCN’s Helpline were stress-related – many of which had a Covid-19 connection.
Adrian said: “Farmers are so important. It’s hard to imagine travelling the UK without seeing rolling fields, and the Agri-food industry employs over 4 million people.
“But it’s tough for farmers, who work long hours, often isolated, in unpredictable weather; particularly during the current pandemic, where these key workers have kept food on our tables.
“That’s why I’m very proud to be running this year’s Marathon for FCN. A full marathon has always been on my bucket list. And, after watching the thousands of people running every year, I thought I’d better get on and do it and raise funds for a cause I truly believe in.
“FCN provides invaluable practical and pastoral support to farmers, helping them with everything from financial difficulties through to more personal issues including long-term illness. Their work really cannot be overstated.”
Alex Phillimore, Marketing and Communications Manager with FCN, said: “We are very grateful to Adrian for his support of FCN. The London Marathon is a real test of endurance and participants have been training for months and even years to take part, so it’s great to see that it’s still taking place this year in spite of Covid-19 precautions.
“Farmers have faced many challenges this year beyond their control, and farming in general is an industry where stress, isolation and loneliness can be a real issue – particularly during the Harvest period, where many farmers are working long and tiring hours.
“FCN is here to support farmers with issues big or small. Our Helpline (03000 111 999) is open 7am – 11pm every day of the year and is operated by helpful volunteers who understand farming.
“Fundraising efforts such as Adrian’s make a huge difference and allow us to continue providing our services to those who need it the most.”
To find out more about Adrian’s story and to support him and FCN, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AdrianRushby
The London Marathon is an annual marathon event held in London. Now in its 40th year, the London Marathon sees more than 40,000 people every year run its iconic 26.2 miles whilst raising money for charity and other causes.
Call 03000 111 999 if you:
- Feel concerned or anxious and would like to talk to someone who understands farming, will listen to you and help you think through your options
- Would like help to draft a contingency plan to ensure you and your farm are prepared, should you be unable to work for a time.
- If you or people you rely on become ill or are self-isolating and you need to find help locally- we will endeavour to find support for you in your local area. We will source contact details of local organisations and groups who may be able to assist you in finding help to feed livestock, collect shopping or collect prescriptions if you are unable to do so. This directory will be revised and updated in the coming weeks and months.
Or visit www.fcn.org.uk